Monday, March 9, 2009

Online Resources for Engineers

Diane reporting today, and here to share some great information compiled recently by our friends at Design World magazine. They came up with a list of the best sites for engineers who are searching both for products and for technical information. I thought I’d share some highlights, along with my own recommendations.

Google - Of course this is the search engine we all use most often, and while it doesn’t index everything available via the Web, it is comprehensive and reliable. It’s also the online source most engineers use when looking for component sources.

Google Scholar - This specialized version of Google indexes scholarly works, and therefore can find abstracts, articles, and papers with technical information.

Scirus – This engine is considered by many to be the most comprehensive science search engine on the Internet. Use it to find reports, articles and journals.

Intute – This is the science section of a UK-developed search site that includes pages organized by topic and ranked by human subject experts.

Turbo10 – Turbo10’s claim to fame is that it searches specialist databases that are not indexed by traditional crawler-based engines like Google.

TechXtra – Like Turbo 10, this search engine has access to the “hidden Web,” and specializes in engineering, math and computing.

Scitopia – This is a vertical search portal created by 21 technological societies. It will lead you to research and scholarly data, journal content, and conference papers.

Open J-Gate – This site allows you to search the contents of 4,000 scientific journals.

Google Blog Search – Often you can find the answer you seek in the experience of others, and blogs are a great resource for that. This engine specifically searches blog content.

Google Books – With 7 million books and growing, this is a massive library! You can search the actual text of those books with this tool.

Engineering Village – This site is fee-based rather than free, but is a highly recommended resource for engineers. It combines search tools and content sources, including key engineering databases. Also a good source for finding parts suppliers.

ThomasNet – This site is the top clearinghouse for information on sources of components and other industrial providers. Search the database for a supplier, find catalogs, or download CAD models here.

Of course, the key test of the value of a Web site is if it can find J.W. Winco as a search result, and most of these can! ;-)

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