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Board 79: Engineering Source: How Robust is the Coverage of the Engineering Literature?

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Libraries Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Amy S. Van Epps Harvard University Orcid 16x16

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Amy S. Van Epps is Director of Sciences and Engineering Services in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Libraries at Harvard University. She was recently an associate professor of Library Science and Engineering Librarian at Purdue University. She has extensive experience providing instruction for engineering and technology students, including Purdue’s first-year engineering program. Her research interests include finding effective methods for integrating information literacy knowledge into the undergraduate engineering curriculum. Ms. Van Epps has a BA in engineering science from Lafayette College, her MSLS from Catholic University of America, a M.Eng. in Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently working on her PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue.

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Robyn Rosenberg Harvard University Orcid 16x16

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Robyn Rosenberg is the Engineering Librarian at Harvard University. She has a degree in Anthropology from Penn State University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Background: In June 2013, EBSCO launched Engineering Source, a new database that is touted as the “premier collection of engineering-related content” [1]. The authors encountered this database 5 years after it was released after moving to new institutions, and investigating the engineering resources available. Upon learning about the database, the authors asked a few engineering librarian colleagues, many of whom had also not heard of the database, and none had used it.

Purpose: Given the claim of a premier collection and the lack of knowledge on the part of engineering librarians at flagship engineering schools, the authors decided to do a comparison of the indexing coverage of Engineering Source with Compendex. The goal is to determine how the breadth and depth of coverage in Engineering Source compares to the acknowledged top resource for engineering literature [3].

Scope and Method: The authors elected to use the method developed by Meier and Conkling [2] to compare relative coverage of Google Scholar with Compendex. In this case, the same searches will be completed in Compendex, and a random selection of articles from the results in Compendex will be searched for inclusion in Engineering Source.

Results: The total number of results per subject were smaller for Engineering Source than for Compendex, which is expected just from considering the number of resources included in the databases, as outlined in the indexing scope. An apparent English language bias was found in the content that is indexed by Engineering Source.

Conclusions: For very small schools offering selected engineering disciplines that match the strengths of Engineering Source, it could be a good resource. The inclusion of some full text would also be a strength for schools without the ability to purchase many of these publications. In addition, the ability to do searches across multiple databases on the EbscoHost platform could work really well if complementary information is already in an Ebsco database.

Van Epps, A. S., & Rosenberg, R. (2019, June), Board 79: Engineering Source: How Robust is the Coverage of the Engineering Literature? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32429

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