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ENG 1102 Renaissance Engineer 2: Engineering Design Principles   Tags: c:all, c:le/eng1102  

User-Oriented Design Project Guide
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Steacie Library Hackfest



(Flow of Scientific Information, University of Waterloo, 2007)


What kinds of document do engineers use

  • Peer review: researchers validating each others work before publication
  • Kinds of documents:
    • patents: government granted license to an invention
    • standards: agreed upon methodology: ie 802.11
    • journals: research results presented in a periodical/magazine. Peer reviewed.
    • trade literature: discipline-specific magazines. Not Peer Reviewed.
    • popular press: regular newspapers, magazines, websites. Not peer reviewed.
    • conference proceedings: research results presented at a meeting. Often peer reviewed, but not always.
    • technical report: description of a solution to a specific problem. Not peer reviewed.
    • books
      • reference: encyclopedias, tables, data collections, properties
      • manuals: lab methods, programming languages, operating systems
      • monographs: general topics
    • technical specifications: how a system, device or component works, ie circuit diagrams, software package

Keywords for searching on these topics, try restricting to Steacie Stacks only:

  • General Design
    • Title search on Design
    • keywords:
      • industrial and design
      • engineering design
    • Key Book: How products are made : an illustrated guide to product manufacturing – TS 146 H67 — ref section
    • General Engineering keywords:
      • transportation engineering
      • civil engineering
      • electrical engineering
      • mechanical engineering
      • industrial engineering
      • aerospace engineering
  • User study
    •  topic areas:
      • ethnography
      • ethnography for marketers
      • usability testing
      • design methods / methodology
      • consumer behavior
  • Materials
    • Try a search on “materials and ” some other keyword
    • Key book: Handbook of materials selection — TA 403.4 H368 ref section
    • Key book: Encyclopedia of materials : science and technology — TA 402 E53 2001 Ref section
  • Ergonomics
    • Keywords:
      • human factors
      • anthropometry
      • human engineering
      • ergonomics
    • Key book: The measure of man and woman : human factors in design– TA 166 M342 2002 — ref section
    • Key book: International encyclopedia of ergonomics and human factors – TA 166 I556 2001 — ref section
  • Health and Safety
    • Try searching on “health and safety” limited to Steacie
    • Keywords:
      • safety and engineering
      • industrial safety
      • fire and (prevention or safety)
      • accidents and (prevention or safety)
  • Environmental Factors
    • Keywords:
      • environmental impact assessment (most books in Scott Library)
      • environmental engineering
  • Engineering Failure
    • keywords:
      • forensic engineering
      • building failures
      • system failures
      • materials defects
      • technology and risk assessment
      • reliability and engineering
      • emergency management

For citing works in your presentations/reports, you should use this format:

Journals: [1]. John AB, Wilson BC, Smith CD. The method of referencing. Journal of Energy 2006; 100(1):51-61.
Books: [2]. Bird DE, Kumar EF. The concept of energy planning. 7th ed. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Pearson; 2006.
Websites: [3]. David R, John AB, Lawson BC. The art of modeling. Downloaded from: (accessed May1, 2012).

Websites such as the Citation Machine can also be helpful in setting up references.


York's SPARK modules have lots of information about writing, referencing and how to avoid mistakes in attribution. 


My topics: electricc cars & ground penetrating radar.

Let's generate some ideas and keywords for the electric/hyubrid cars topic!

  • Demographics
  • Market / Industry Research
  • Technical Information
  • Case Studies 




 E-books are listed and linked in the general catalogue. The following e-book packages and titles can also be access as collections.

  • Access Engineering
    AccessEngineering is a reference tool for professionals, academics, and students that provides access to thousands of authoritative, regularly updated engineering reference books. AccessEngineering also comprises dynamic online features, such as instructional, faculty made videos, calculators, interactive tables and charts, as well as personalization tools allowing users to organize crucial project information as they work.
  • DataViz Material Properties
    Find and compare material property data, save and share interactive visualizations with others.
  • Knovel Digital Library
    Knovel is a library of engineering reference books, many of which include live, configurable equations
  • Books 24x7
    A large collection of ebooks in all fields of engineering, computer science and technology
  • Synthesis Engineering eBooks
    A collection of detailed, high level ebooks on engineering and computer science topics. Suitable for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
  • SPIE Digital Library
    The SPIE Digital Library contains ebooks and journals in many areas of engineering and optics.
  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library
    The IEEE Digital Library contains ebooks, journals, conferences and articles relevant for all areas of engineering, computer science and earth and space science.
  • Safari Books Online
    Safari contains ebooks on a wide range of computer and information technology topics
  • Springer E-books
    The Springer ebooks package includes ebooks in all areas of science and technology, including Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Market Demographics

These databases will allow you to access census and survey data about Canada. They will help you to understand more abuot the market demographic or user population you are interested in.

  • PMB (Print Measurement Bureau) Online  Icon
    Use to retrieve data on Canadian consumer patterns and media habits. Coverage includes media activity, groceries, travel, apparel, home electronics, leisure, snacks, children's products, and more. Gives demographic information by province and key cities for individual product/service/activity categories, e.g. answers questions such as which age groups of Canadians are most likely to drink tea?

    To access data and report generation options, click on the link to Lifestyle/attitudes. The Demographics link provides all historical information including PMB 2014- Spring. York University Libraries do not subscribe to 2008 and earlier studies.
  • CANSIM - Statistics Canada  Icon
    Socioeconomic database from Statistics Canada. Freely available.
  • Canadian Census Analyzer
    Access census profile data at varying levels of geography, plus microdata and postal code conversion data, for census years 1961, 1971, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2001, and (eventually) 2011.
  • Passport (formerly GMID)  Icon  Icon  Icon
    (Global Market Information Database by Euromonitor): Provides country statistics and profiles, lifestyle indicators and analysis, market data and analysis, and company profiles and market shares. Category Briefing reports often include the follow: Trends, Competitive Landscape, Prospects and Category Data. Industrials Canada (available by selecting the Industrial subtab within the Economies main tab) offers ISIC reports for over 150 industry sectors from a B2B perspective. Includes both data and analysis for sectors covered.

Industry Research

These database allow you to research specific industries from a business rather than a technical  perspective

Engineering & Related Articles

These database provide a wide range of articles, both scholarly and non-scholarly. The databases at the end of the list (Lexis-Nexis, Canadian Newsstand) are newspaper databases where you can research current trends.

  • Scholars Portal Journals
    Database of millions of full text articles across all scholarly disciplines. Very good for inter- and multi-disciplinary topics
  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library
    The IEEE Digital Library contains ebooks, journals, conferences and articles relevant for all areas of engineering, computer science and earth and space science.
  • Google Scholar
    More a search engine than a database, Google Scholar searches the scholarly literature broadly. Use Google Scholar to quickly find known journal articles, view citing articles (useful for citation chaining), and locate free full text copies of journal articles. Make sure that your Google Scholar is connected to York University Libraries by clicking on Settings > Library Links and searching for York University. Visit the Google Scholar Search Tips site for help.
  • Inspec (via Engineering Village)
    The Inspec database is an invaluable information resource for all scientists and engineers, that contains 13 million abstracts and specialised indexing to the world's quality research literature in the fields of physics and engineering.
  • SPIE Digital Library
    The SPIE Digital Library contains ebooks and journals in many areas of engineering and optics.
  • Web of Science
    Indexes 8,5000 research journals across the Social Sciences, Sciences and Arts & Humanities. Allows you to search for articles by subject, author, journal and author address as well as for articles that cite a known author or work (citation searching). Coverage is from 1945 - present.
  • Scopus
    Covers nearly 18,000 periodical titles from some 5,000 publishers. Provides coverage in all subject areas with particular strength in the sciences. Coverage is back to 1996. Effective for finding post-1996 cited references for articles.
  • ABI/Inform Global
    This resource incorporates management, industry and company-specific information of both a practical and theoretical nature. Subjects covered include: finance, public administration, marketing, management, economics,taxation, telecommunications, corporate strategies, competitive and product information.
  • Business Source Premier
    This databases contains about 8,000 full-text periodicals and other sources, including scholarly journals, trade and general business magazines, country economic and industry reports, industry yearbooks, and market research reports.
  • Lexis Nexis Academic  Icon  Icon  Icon
    Provides access to documents and records from more than 45,000 legal, news and business sources. Includes comprehensive company and industry reports, patent details, merger and acquisition analysis, bankruptcies, spin-offs SEC filings etc.
  • Canadian Newsstand  Icon
    A searchable full-text database of major Canadian daily newspapers. Major titles include Calgary Herald (1988-), Edmonton Journal (1989-), Halifax Daily News (1990-), Montreal Gazette (1985-), National Post (1998-), Ottawa Citizen (1985-), Toronto Star (1985-), Vancouver Sun (1987-)
  • New York Times
    The New York Times (1851-2005) from Proquest offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.

    Full text of the New York Times 1851- also available in Scott Microtext. Current issues available in Scott Periodicals Reading Room.
  • Globe and Mail  Icon

Patent Search Engines

Patents are a license from a government to exploit an invention. When you file a patent and it is granted, you are the only one that can use that technology or method in that country. Anyone else that wants to use it must license it from you.

When you are looking to file a patent, the concept of "prior art" is very important. That means that you can't get a patent for something someone else has already invented, even if they didn't patent it.

  • Google Patents
    Google patents includes patents submitted either in the U.S. or European Patents Offices. You can search, read, and view patents using Art Finder.
  • Espacenet  
    Publication coverage: 1836 - Present.
    Espacenet is free to use and allows PDF downloads of patent documents. The database includes 60 million patent documents from over 70 countries.
  • Canadian Patents Database (CIPO)  
    Canadian patent records, 1869 to present; full-text documents, 1920 to present.
    CIPO allows you to access 93 years of patent descriptions and images and search, retrieve and study more than 2,140,000 patent documents.
  • U.S. Patent Database (UPSTO)  
    U.S. patents, 1790 to present; Published applications, 2001 to present.
    Search for download patents for free. Patents before 1976 can be retrieved by number, date and classification. A TIFF viewer is required to view/print patent documents.
  • Patent Scope (WIPO)  
    International patent applications: 1978 to present.
    Here you can search 30 million patent documents including 2.2 million published international patent applications (PCT).
  • Patent Lens
    AU, EP, US and WO patent documents: 1970s to present.
    Patent Lens is a free public resource of searchable patents worldwide.

Online Research

Online research using blogs, forums, and online communities of all kinds can be useful for understanding your customer and your market. Association websites (ie.. Canadian Diabetes Association) can also have valuable information.

  • to find blogs, google your topic + blog, i.e. diabetes blog
  • to find forums, google your topic + forum, i.e. diabetes forum
  • to find Reddit communities (aka subreddits), google your topic + reddit, i.e. diabetes reddit
  • to find association websites, google your topic + association + country, i.e. diabetes association Canada

Related Subject Guides

For more help, visit a related subject guide.

Citation Management

Use one of these citation managers to help you organize your sources. They're both free!


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