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Mechanical Engineering

How to find journal articles

Do you want to find journal articles on a topic or look for a specific article?

Use Discovery - input your topic or the details of a journal article to search across most of the Library's resources


If you have a journal title use Journal Finder to check if the Library has access to full text.

Journal Finder

If you know the name of a Journal, enter the title here to check if it's available in the Library



To link through to a complete list of e-journals: A-Z list

What are journals?

They are:Journals

  • like magazines but of a scholarly nature
  • published at regular intervals with no predetermined end
  • contain articles on a variety of topics
  • the articles are written by different authors
  • sometimes they also contain reviews and other information
  • in printed and electronic formats

Why Should I use them?

  • journal time is much quicker than for a book
  • using information from journals will keep you up to date and informed of new developments in your subject
  • journals articles are more specific than books.  They give you more detailed information in a more scholarly and concise format
  • subject may not yet (or may never) be covered in books
  • quality research - academic reputation - peer reviewed.

What is scholarly/peer reviewed?

  • Written by an academic, who is a specialist in the subject
  • Submitted to an editor, who then passes the work to other professionals or 'peers' for a critiques, the work is then passed back to the original writer for changes to be made before being published
  • Longer articles, heavily text based
  • Charts, tables, statistics and images
  • Properly referenced with a list of references at the end of the article.

Using databases for your subject

For more specialist searching use an online database

What are online databases?

Databases are specialist search engines that search for quality information, such as journals articles, in specific subject areas.

The databases below are listed in order of relevance for your subject.  Hover over the title for a description and the icons to see what help is available.

For help searching the databases contact your librarians. Details on the Home page.

Please note that all databases are provided for educational use only




Did you know that as students you can use our Online Library and other resources for free?

Our Online Library is a great supplement to the university library, giving your engineering students another tool in their belt. They can become an IMechE affiliate member for free, and receive excellent benefits including:

 • Free postal loan service for books and other library materials

• Study spaces in the library

• Access to the full text of 75,000 ebooks and ejournals

As a students all you need to do is:

1. Join the IMechE for free as an Affiliate member: Affiliate member:

2. Create a free account here

How to search the library

From one search, your students can find and access titles from a wide range of publishers.

 View our video tutorial on how to use the Library Search:


The library includes access to these databases


Access and download all ASME journal papers published from 2000 onwards, plus all conference papers published since 2008

McGraw-Hill Access Engineering

700 of the world's best-known and most authoritative engineering handbooks


Great for automotive and aerospace material. Access all SAE papers from 1906 onwards (over 100,000 in total) and all SAE ground vehicle standards


Over 37,000 ebooks and 3,800 ejournals from Elsevier – some available directly (PDF download) and others on request

How to evaluate an article

"How do I know if the information I have found is relevant and/or appropriate?"

Basic evaluation takes into consideration an article's:

  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Currency

Examine the article and consider the following points:

  • Is the journal the article appears in of significant academic standing for this level? Where did you find the article? (Database, references etc.)
  • Who wrote the paper and what is their expertise. Are the authors experts in the field (Academics, industry professional) and have they written other published articles?
  • Is the article current, does the date of the article matter for this subject area?


Help - journal articles

The following guides will help you to develop your skills in finding journal articles:

Finding Journals

Critical thinking - what it is and why it matters.

Doing a Literature Search

Developing Keywords

Inter Library Loans

Have you found a useful resource that we do not have access to?  Undergraduate students doing their final assessment projects/dissertations, postgraduate students and staff are eligible for inter library loans. See the Inter Library Loan Guide for more information.