UNM-Valencia Library Engineering Literature Sources


Finding Aids/Tools

Definitions and Use



  • are single or multi-volume substantial written texts by one or more authors or editors.
  • usually have one publication date.
  • may be print or electronic.
  • may be an overview or very specific and in-depth and will vary based on audience.
  • will not be as current as articles in current journals.
  • include specialize formats such as handbooks, encyclopedias, or dictionaries
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
  • Perry's chemical engineers' handbook
  • Fundamentals of wireless communication engineering technologies

Popular Journals

Popular Journals
  • are also called magazines.
  • occur regularly (weekly, monthly).
  • have anyone as an audience.
  • may be print or electronic.
  • have content current and "newsworthy.
  • contain many illustrations and advertisements.
  • have articles that are short and simple in format with no bibliography.
  • Time
  • People Magazine
  • Nation
  • National Geographic
  • Science News

Trade Journals

Trade Journals
  • are also called "professional," "industry-specific," or "special interest" periodicals.
  • published for working professionals in a particular industry.
  • Purpose is to disseminate info in an industry or business.
  • have advertisements specific to industry.
  • have articles that fall between popular and scholarly and may or may not contain a bibliography.
  • have articles are short to medium in length, and use industry jargon.
  • may be published by an association or trade organization.
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electronic design
  • Aerospace America
  • Packaging
  • Nuclear news

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly Journals
  • contain results of original research by scholars and experts.
  • have articles that are in-depth, use jargon, and have bibliographies.
  • have articles that are peer reviewed.
  • published for other scholars and experts.
  • have limited advertisements and illustrations.
  • IEEE Transactions on Computer Engineering
  • Modern Applied Science
  • Australian Journal of Structural Engineering
  • International Journal of Energy Research


  • may also be called "databases."
  • are collections of citations, and abstracts of popular, trade, and scholarly articles.
  • may include additional subjects applied by database/index producer.
  • may include fulltext of article
  • Allow one to search multiple journals for articles on same topic at the same time.


Best source

  • are copy of paper or article prior to formal publication.
  • are usually the most current info available.

Conference Papers

Best source

  • The Author
  • Catalog if book
  • Index if article
Conference Papers
  • Summary or text of presentation at meeting
  • May or may not be formally published.
  • if published may be a traditional book or journal article.

Standards and Specifications

Typical Finding Aids

Standards and specifications
  • describe an established norm for manufacturing or performance.
  • codify specific guidelines for design or management of a process.
  • lists specific formulas, definitions, or regulations.

Technical Reports

Technical reports
  • are detailed lengthy reporting of research or study.
  • are usually produced by companies, organizations or government agencies.
  • may not be available from other sources.
  • may be classified or proprietary and not available to public.


  • are legal document granting person or company exclusive rights to an invention for limited time.
  • cover inventions that may be mechanical, chemical or biological.
  • are not a trademark or copyright.

Maps, Charts, Diagrams

Maps, charts, diagrams
  • are produced to show spatial relationships.
  • are visual summaries of extensive data.
  • may be proprietary to producer.

Other helpful sites

Some of the Informaton on this page was found at Engineering Gateway at TUFTS and modified for use by UNM Valencia Campus Library.