Books are useful for background information and for getting an overview of your topic. While journal articles will have the latest research and developments, they are often focused on a very narrow aspect of a topic. So start your project by looking for books on your topic. Get an overview and learn about the terminology used to describe your topic. Once you have the "big picture" you can then use the engineering databases (Find Articles tab) to find journal articles on your topic.
Handbooks can also help you get an overview or background on a topic. Here are a few of the many available for Civil Engineering topics:
Knovel is an online collection of over 600 engineering handbooks and reference sources. Search or browse individual books or search across the entire collection. Many of the handbooks in Knovel feature interactive tables and graphs and you can export data to Excel and other programs.
Our subscription includes the civil engineering & construction materials, electrical & power engineering, mechanics & mechanical engineering subject collections. Machinery's Handbook and other popular mechanical engineering references are in the Knovel collection.
Spend a few minutes with the Knovel Support Center to learn more about the product and its special features.
For best results, create your own Knovel profile. You can then easily log on from anywhere in the world, and take advantage of other features such creating your bookshelves and saving folders of information. Click My Knovel at the top of the screen. You'll be prompted to create your own username and password.
Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences is a collection of 17 electronic encyclopedias and reference works from Elsevier. Broad topics covered are atmospheric sciences, biosciences, energy and natural resources, geosciences, global change, hydrology, and oceanography.