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Library Instruction

Recommended Databases for Technical Writing

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These databases are accessible on the library web site (www.lib.lsu.edu) through the Indexes & Databases link.

American Chemical Society Publications
This database provides full text access to about thirty journals, with the ability to search all of the American Chemical Society journals, including the archives.

ASTM Standards
Contains full-text standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials and can only be accessed from the LSU campus.

EbscoHost Databases
EBSCO allows multiple-database searching. Some databases included are Academic Search Premier, Agricola, Art Abstracts, Biological Abstracts, Business Source Premier, CINAHL, Clinical Pharmacology, MEDLINE, MLA International Bibliography, PsychINFO, and EJS E-Journals.

Engineering Information Village 2 (Compendex)
Contains databases and links to information on the following areas of engineering: acoustical engineering, aeronautical engineering, aerospace engineering, agriculture, automotive engineering, biotech engineering, business and financial, careers and education, chemical engineering, chemical industry, civil engineering and architecture, computer engineering, construction, drugs and medicine, electrical engineering, electronics, energy management, geology and mining, industrial and manufacturing engineering, international engineering, manufacturing, materials, mechanical engineering, metals and mining, nuclear and power engineering, office equipment and computers, optics and electro-optical engineering, petroleum engineering, telecommunications, transportation, and utilities and power.

IEEE Xplore
This database provides full-text access to journals, magazines, and proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

NTIS (National Technical Information Service)
Resource for scientific, technical, engineering, and business information that is government-funded.

Science Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)
This database covers the journal literature of the sciences. It indexes more than 5,800 major journals across 164 scientific disciplines from 1984 to the present. Some of the disciplines covered include: agriculture, neuroscience, astronomy, oncology, biochemistry, pediatrics, biology, pharmacology, biotechnology, physics, chemistry, plant sciences, computer science, psychiatry, materials science, surgery, mathematics, veterinary science, medicine, and zoology.

Springer Interlink (Springer Journals)
The Springer database offers up to 500 journals and 7 book series, online in areas including engineering, science, humanities, business etc.


Information Bridge, Department of Energy http://www.osti.gov/bridge
Database of scientific and technical information from the DOE research report literature. Includes full-text documents and citations.

Scitation - American Institute of Physics http://scitation.aip.org
Citations from journals, proceedings, and other publications from scientific societies and technical publishers.

Scirus http://www.scirus.com
Online science search engine that includes open access journals as well as repositories.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office http:// www.uspto.gov (can also be found through library webpage under Subject Guides)
This is a full-text patent and image database that has information from 1790 forward. Tutorials can be found on the library web page through the Subject Guides research tool.

Look for these features in databases:
  • Browse - use this to scan databases for particular publications and articles within a particular issue
  • Simple Search -- use this to look for keywords of a topic
  • Advanced Search - use this for narrowing the search to a specific journal, date, phrase, etc.
  • Thesaurus / Controlled Vocabulary - this helps determine if the keywords you use are the same keywords the database uses for indexing (ex. heart attack or myocardial infarction)
  • Select citations / View citations - select citations in the result list to organize the articles that are helpful and at the end of looking through the result list, view the citations that were selected
  • Email / Print / Save citations - the selected list of citations can be emailed, printed, or saved
  • Export citations to Reference Manager like Procite or Endnote
  • Set up a personal folder within the database
  • Set up an alert and profile for specific topics
  • Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) - understand how to do an efficient simple and advanced search by using proper operators between key works (stay away from prepositions - ex. Don't search for marketing in nonprofit organizations, instead do a search for marketing AND nonprofit organizations). For more information see the Searching Techniques and Strategies Tutorial - Boolean Searching
  • Truncation and wildcard - databases use different symbols like * to search for different forms of a word (ex. librar* will find articles with the words library, libraries, librarian, librarians, librarianship, etc.)
  • Limiters - limit a search to full-text articles, peer-reviewed articles, publication date document type, articles with images, etc.


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