ENGINEERING INFORMATION SOURCES & ACCESS, the EISA-2 program is designed for engineering students, particularly for upper division undergraduates. In addition, the Program is well suited for beginning graduate students, practicing engineers, and anyone interested in learning how to effectively search information in engineering related disciplines.

Use EISA-2 before you go to the library; during the planning stages of your papers; to find a topic for a specialization paper; to explore job market; to get a feel for a hot topic; to see the most frequently cited authors and their works; to prepare for a research assistantship or other academic position; to better understand today's competitive market, and more.

EISA-2 can help you in several ways using:

  • Big picture (visual)
    • ATEIS-Start showing how to move through information space
    • ATEIS-Sources about bibliographic sources showing connections between primary and secondary sources. For example, to identify reports (example of primary literature), you will first use secondary sources (e.g., Compendex, Inspec) that index and abstract technical reports, conferences, and others.
    • ATEIS-Books showing main sources for books; and
    • ATEIS-Articles with main sources for articles
  • Tutorials with examples from printed and Web sources of engineering literature
  • Quick WWW access panels with URLs to main engineering and science sources on the Web. 

Apply concepts

Access sources  using a layered approach

  • Basic stock of engineering literature that every engineer should know (vs disipline-specific). EISA2 currently gives access to the basic stock.
  • Publication life cycle: an idea may be expressed in many different manifestations (e.g., an idea that would result in one's dissertation, may be expressed as an abstract, digest, proposal for funding, presentation at a seminar, conference paper, annotated demo, technical report, journal article, published monograph)


Learn about library catalogs and catalog portals

  • What they are, their contents, when and how to use them (see the ATEIS-Books visual)
  • Difference between library catalogs and union catalogs
  • What do you get when you search library catalogs
  • Difference between library catalogs and magazine databases and when to use each
  • Access to catalogs

Learn about magazine databases

  • Purpose, use, and distinction from other access mechanisms (see the ATEIS-Articles visual)
  • Access to magazine databases
  • Informal channels of publication versus formal channels
  • Publication life cycle
  • Primary engineering sources (e.g., technical report, conference paper, journal article)
  • Search strategy and modification
  • Mechanisms that lead to different types of information sources (e.g., factual, bibliographic, citation indexes)

EISA-2 interleaves sources and instructions on how to use the sources. Examples are given as well as search templates. We believe that to become an effective user of numerous sources, you need to understand structures of these sources and tools. We explain many important concepts in the introductory paragraphs.