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Senior Design Research Guide

Finding Books, Journals, and Articles
Data Sources and Material Properties

Product & Company Information
Proprietary Information
Additional Library Resources
Further Assistance

This research guide will list some library resources that may be useful for completing Senior Design projects.

Find more information about the projects from your advisor or from your department's web site:

Finding Books, Journals, and Articles


  • Search the Library Catalog to see if we own a particular journal (i.e. Nature), either in print or electronic format.

  • Search Find a Journal to see if particular journal is available in electronic format. You can also browse journal titles by category (i.e. Material Science and Metallurgy).


Links to the following recommended databases and indexes are available through the Find Articles using Databases web site.

For additional suggestions go to Databases by Subject.

  • Compendex - Contains more than 11 million citations with abstracts from more than 4,500 journals, reports and conference proceedings covering fields of engineering and technology.

  • IEEE Xplore - indexing and full-text of IEEE publications.

  • Academic Search Complete - A comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full text database.

  • Web of Science -Covers more than 8,400 journals in all subject area.

  • INSPEC - indexes scholarly literature in physics, electronics, and electrical and computer engineering.

  • Business Source Complete - A scholarly business database providing a collection of bibliographic and full text content in all disciplines of business.

  • Aerospace Database - Provides bibliographic coverage of basic and applied research in aeronautics, and space sciences.


Data Sources and Material Properties

Your project may require some research into material properties. Data on specific materials can be found in:

  • handbooks
  • encyclopedias
  • manufacturer catalogs and Web pages

For additional information check out the Chemistry Library's guides on:

UT Databases



Patents are a great source of information. Patents provide design information (including drawings) that describe in detail how a machine, device, process, or method works.

  • Patents and Trademarks - An Engineering Library research guide to finding information about patents and trademarks.

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - The U.S. government's official patents and trademarks portal. Here you can find links to the patent and trademark databases, information about applying for patents and trademarks, legal details, and more.

  • European Patent Office - Search the database of European patents.



Industry standards determine how materials are measured, defined, tested and manufactured and how techniques and methods are practiced. Standards are developed and often sold by societies, groups and individual companies.


Product & Company Information

Product information is available through a number of sources.

1. Company Web pages - use Google to find company, manufacturing, and supplier Web pages.

2. Supply catalogs:

  • Grainger - Industrial products and supplies.

  • McMaster-Carr - Industrial materials and supplies.

  • Sigma-Aldrich Catalog  - Searchable product catalog from a major research chemical supplier. Search by catalog number, name, formula, CAS registry number. Chemical/physical information, structure image, and MSDS are displayable.

  • ThomasNet - Index of products, services, and suppliers.

The University Libraries subscribe to a number of indexes where you can find company information including company profiles, contact information, estimated sales volume, brand information, etc. Go to the Business Information Center for more information.

Proprietary Information

Proprietary Information describes the level of confidentiality given to a document or information by the owner. Generally, a document classified by the owner as "proprietary" limits who can view it or know about its contents. The term proprietary information is often used interchangeably with the term trade secret.

Some examples of proprietary information include:

  • Financial information such as: production and overhead costs, profit margins, sales and order volumes prior to quarterly release, budgets, quotas and targets, information on a particular product's sales, orders or projections.

  • Marketing information such as: product-introduction plans and dates, market share and competitive position, short- and long-term market strategy or customers.

  • Research and Development information such as: technical and performance specifications, technical reports, product plans, projects in progress, project problems or product code names.

  • Manufacturing information such as: vendor names/relationships, production and inventory levels, future plans and sites, material cost, product failure rates, chemical formulas, or manufacturing processes.

For more information go to the Engineering Library guide on Proprietary Information & Competitive Intelligence.

Additional Library Resources

Further Assistance

If you need further assistance don't hesitate to ask a librarian!

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