Peer-reviewed papers are important sources of information for design projects, but even papers that have not been as strictly reviewed (such as conference papers and trade publications) can be useful. Compendex is the easiest place to find this type of information for all engineering disciplines.
Compendex is an index, so it doesn't contain the actual text of most of the articles it searches. Use the Iowa State University Library link to check the ISU Library collections for the article(s) you want. If we have what you want, you'll be connected automatically (you may be asked to choose from multiple sources). If we don't have it, you'll have the option to request it from Interlibrary Loan -- it'll even fill out the request form for you. It usually takes less than 24 hours to get a copy of whatever you need, and there's no charge, so don't be afraid to request potentially useful articles!
Compendex also links up with Scopus. Why is this feature useful? Scopus tracks citations among papers. So if you find a useful paper with Compendex, you can use the link with Scopus to discover newer papers that cite the one you just found. Finding one useful paper and analyzing its references list (the older papers it cites) and the list of newer papers that cite it can save a lot of time and searching.
Because Compendex is extremely comprehensive, you may not need to do much searching in other databases to find what you need. If you have trouble finding what you need using Compendex, contact your librarian or try one of these databases:
If you've used Google Scholar for research before, you've probably noticed that you find citation information for lots of articles that you can't access. You may have even run into websites that ask you to pay $30, $40, or more to access a single article. That's because Google Scholar doesn't know you're affiliated with ISU unless you tell it that you are! To access some ISU Library subscriptions through Google Scholar, follow the instructions below:
Iowa State University – ViewIt@ISU.
Then just use the ViewIt@ISU link on each item record to check against the ISU Library's collections, just like with Compendex. (If you're off campus you'll have to sign in with your Net ID and password.) If we have what you want, you'll be connected automatically. If we don't, you'll have the option to request it from Interlibrary Loan.