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Mechanical Engineering

Key Resources

If you have a specific article you're searching for, Summon is a good place to start.  Summon lets you simultaneously search the Library's book collection and many full text journal articles.

If you're searching for articles on a topic, you'll probably want to search a database which is more focused on engineering than Summon. Here are some starting points for finding engineering journal articles or conference proceedings. Look for the UBC eLink icons to check for full text articles.

Can't find an article? Contact your librarian; you might need to use our Interlibrary Loan service to get the article from another library (usually quickly and in PDF format).

  • The Lens combines both global patent and scholarly knowledge into a public resource. It serves over 200 million scholarly records and links to ORCID. All Lens data is fully open, shareable, and reusable. offers robust discovery, analytics and management tools, including APIs for scholarly works, patents, and patent sequence data, Create/save queries, create collections, customize data analysis and visualizations, create interactive reports and download up to 50,000 records at a time. 

More Databases

You may also want to search the following databases. Please note that not all of the articles you find in these databases will be available full text. You can check in Summon or the UBC Library Catalogue - or ask a librarian - to see if older articles are available in print at the Library. If UBC does not have an article, you can usually request it through Interlibrary Loan at no charge.

Database Operators and Tools

There are search operators you can use throughout most databases, which help to include and exclude results.

  • The word OR
    • Broadens your search by capturing synonyms or variant spellings of a concept. It means you’re looking for results that have either of the terms.
    • Example: wireless communication OR mobile communication will find results that have either term present
  • The word AND
    • Narrows a search by capturing two or more ideas or concepts. It means you’re looking for results that have both or all of the concepts.
    • Example: bridge AND earthquake will find results that have both terms present
  • Brackets/Parentheses ( ) gather OR’d synonyms of a concept together, while combining them with another concept
    • Example: (earthquake OR seismic) AND liquefaction
  • Quotation marks “ ” narrow your search by finding words together as a phrase, instead of separately
    • Example: “British Columbia” will make sure you find the province of British Columbia, and won’t find other results where the words appear separately
  • In many databases, an asterisk (*) will act as a truncation symbol, which expands your search results to find various endings of a word stem.
    • Example: structur* will find structure, structures, structural, structured…

A good way to brainstorm relevant keywords is through controlled vocabulary or subject headings. They describe what the article is about, and can be found in the detailed view of an article record. The vocabulary or headings make up a list in the database known as a thesaurus. The thesaurus contains synonyms, as well as broader and narrower terms.