Information Sources for Mechanical Engineering 311 - Manufacturing Processes

Reference Assistance

Reference assistance is available in person at the Reference/Information Desks in the Libraries, via email and online chat. Use the Ask a Librarian link.

If you require further assistance after consulting with the librarian at the Reference/Information desk, you may make an appointment with the subject librarian for Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Search strategies

Most students are investigating a process that relates to a specific industry. When searching for information keep in mind that the information you need may be in publications about the process or about the industry. You will also be searching for information about specific materials that are used to manufacture products.

Keep in mind synonyms for concepts and the scope of your topic.

Reference books may provide you with excellent information on your topic and lead you to further sources. Reference books are located on the second floor of the Webster Library and do not circulate. Handbooks and specialized encyclopedias may be very useful for many topics. How Products are Made is a seven volume set that is also available online and may be a good starting point for many topics.

The following lists will help you to identify relevant titles:

When searching in CLUES for books there are several subject headings that may be useful (a selection appears below)

  • computer integrated manufacturing systems
  • machine tools
  • machining
  • manufacturing cells
  • manufacturing systems
  • mass production
  • process control
  • production engineering
  • production management
  • production planning
  • welding

You can also use the Keyword search feature of CLUES e.g.

  • fabricat* and "X" (where "X" is the product/industry/ process you are looking for)
  • equipment and "X" (where "X" is the same as above)
  • design and construction and "X" (where "X" is the same as above)

Books for this course may be in high demand. Remember it is possible to place a hold/request on a book so that you may be the next person to borrow it. See the page on CLUES Self-holds. If there are many holds on one book, the loan period is reduced to allow for more access.

Some students may wish to find companies that are using the process/technology they are researching. Staff members at companies may or may not be receptive to students' questions. If you wish to find a company you can look in directories of companies such as Canadian Trade Index or ThomasNet (American manufacturers).

Finding papers/articles using indexes and databases

To find papers that have been published in journals, conferences or technical paper series, it is necessary to first use a database that is appropriate for your topic. It is important to realize that not all papers that are identified using these sources will be found in the Concordia Library. Those that are may be available electronically or in paper format.

Some indexes/databases that are appropriate are:

ABI/Inform Trade and Industry on ProQuest

This database is primarily intended for a business audience. However, many trade journals that are indexed and some that are available in fulltext may be of interest to those researching manufacturing.

Academic Search Complete

A multidisciplinary database with some engineering content. Some articles are available in fulltext.

Aerospace and High Technology Database

The Aerospace and High Technology Database covers research in aeronautics, astronautics, and space sciences. The database includes reference to journal articles, conference papers and technical reports. It is produced by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Coverage begins in 1986 and the database is updated monthly.

Annual Index/abstracts of SAE Technical Papers

An author and subject index to the papers of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Includes topics relating to wide range of vehicles e.g. automobiles, motorcycles, airplanes, helicopters, spacecraft, mass transit. The index is in paper format. The papers published from 1981-2003 are available on microfiche  (M-FICHE TL 1 S6). From 2003 onward papers that appeared in the SAE Transactions are available in print (Webster Periodicals TL 1 S6). Both microfiche and print journals are in Webster Library on the third floor.

REF TL 1 S62x (Webster Reference, second floor)

Canadian Patents Database

Contains references to Canadian patents issued from 1989 to the present. Patents may be very useful as they describe processes and machinery.

Chemical Abstracts (via SciFinder Scholar)

Citations with abstracts to the chemical literature dating back to 1907.  Many topics for mechanical  engineering can be searched in this database e.g. composite materials, metals, etc.  as they contain a chemical aspect to them. 

Compendex Database

The electronic equivalent to the Engineering Index (COMPuterized ENgineering InDEX). This database lists research papers in all areas of engineering. It includes over 9 million references to the journal and conference literature. Coverage is 1970 onward and it is updated weekly. Compendex may be searched with INSPEC database.

IEEE Xplore

IEEE Xplore provides access to citations, abstracts, and full-text of articles published in the journals, transactions, and conference proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Most IEEE journals and conferences are indexed in Xplore, along with the publications of the British-based Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). Fulltext is available from 1988 onward with abstracts and selected fulltext back to 1913. 


Citations with abstracts to literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics and computing. Includes technical journals, proceedings, books and reports. Contains Physics Abstracts, Electrical and Electronics Abstracts and Computer and Control Abstracts. INSPEC may be searched with Compendex database.

Medline (PubMed)

This database searches the medical literature. There may be some articles listed that are relevant to this course. However, it may be more likely that the articles will be geared for the medical profession more than to the engineer. 

NASA Technical Report Server

The Technical Report Server contains bibliographic citations for Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR file series), journal articles, and conference proceedings (Open Literature file series), and citations from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) collection, NASA's predecessor organization. The citations represent a selected portion of the publicly available information available through the NASA RECON system. Over 2.2 million references.

United States Patent and Trademark Office Database

This database covers U.S. patents, full-text since 1976, full-page images since 1790.

What if your publication is not at Concordia? Finding Material in other University Libraries in Montreal

If you discover a publication that looks useful and it is not available at Concordia, you may request it using the interlibrary loans (ILL) service, COLOMBO. There is no charge for this service.

There is a time element to ILL so if you have left your research to the last minute or if you wish to find materials on your own, you can search the catalogues of other Montreal area university libraries. If you wish to borrow books from these libraries you will need to get a CREPUQ card at the Circulation Desk.

Sources on the Internet for Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Guides to Internet Sources

Searching blindly on the Internet is not generally recommended as good research methodology - but you can get lucky! There are some starting points for Internet based research which should yield results that are less commercial and more academic. Some starting points are listed below.

Google Scholar is a version of the well known search engine that targets academic material - journal articles, reports, books. Through agreements with publishers and databases it can be useful in discovering material not available on the free web. You will retrieve links to fulltext that may or may not be available to you as Concordia students. You will also retrieve citations from other publications and if these look interesting it will be up to you  to track these down using the appropriate research tools. To the novice researcher it may be difficult to decipher what you have found.

Google Scholar relies on the searcher knowing lots of terminology that would be found in relevant publications. Unlike the databases listed above they do not assign subject headings so items that are similar in subject are not pulled together.

Since high quality academic publications are generally licensed to universities they are only automatically opened from Concordia IP addresses. To allow access from off-campus you need to set the Scholar preferences.

 Using Google Scholar will also eliminate commercial sites which may actually be useful for finding information about specific products.

The sites below may be good starting points for web based information. They may save you the time that can be taken looking at hundreds of sites retrieved in Google or other similar search engines.

Professional or Government Bodies (societies, organizations, agencies, etc.)
 Catalogues of Components or Materials
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