Engineering Village Takes Environmental Researchers Further, Faster
Environmental engineering applies earth science and engineering research principles to develop tools and processes to improve the environment and make the planet a safer and healthier place for humans and all life.
Using databases hosted on Engineering Village and including Compendex, Geobase and Patents, environmental engineers can conduct research and find the latest peer-reviewed journal articles published worldwide as well as conference proceedings and European and US patents. Each database on Engineering Village provides a specialized focus, and when taken together these foci provide a 360° view of a subject.
Fighting Global Warming with Alternative Energy Sources
To understand the power of Engineering Village, let’s look at the subject of developing alternative energy sources to fight global warming. As we explore this subject, we look for these findings:
- What are the latest advances in alternative energy research?
- Who are the leading researchers in this area?
- What products have been developed in this area and by whom?
Selecting Compendex and Geobase on Engineering Village, we use this search strategy: The term “global warming” is a controlled vocabulary term found in Compendex and Geobase. We select this term from the controlled vocabulary index. For further focus, we add to our search the term “alternative energy*” with an “AND” operator and limit this term to “subject/key word/abstract" in the search field. To retrieve the latest articles, we limit the search to the years 2000-2007.
Engineering Village presents faceted search results (see image). From the database facet, we learn that both databases searched address the subject of global warming and alternative energy. Hence we expect an engineering-focused treatment of the subject in Compendex and a geology-focused treatment in Geobase.
Faceted search results from Compendex reveal alternative energies developed in the past seven years. From the controlled vocabulary facet we can zoom in on energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass, and look at recent research results. We can also identify areas such as transportation and building automation in which these sources are being utilized. Geobase results reveal studies evaluating these technologies and predicting their short- and long-term effects as well as offering strategy and policy recommendations. While Compendex reveals the research and development of alternative energy sources and the design of products based on them, Geobase reveals research evaluating their usage and impacts on the planet.
By examining the author and author affiliation facets, we see the names of the most prolific researchers and active research institutions in the area of alternative energy. These facets help us gain insights pertinent to competitive and technical intelligence.
When we include the US and European patents databases in our search and then zoom in on “solar energy,” we can see the number of patents and names of assignees and inventors. Patents reveal products and processes developed in the field. Full-text patents — accessed via the records — include drawings and technical specifications fundamental for competitive and technical intelligence.
Visualization tools make reporting of research findings easy, yet powerful. For example, clicking the chart icon produces a bar graph depicting a particular facet. The graph can be saved and inserted in a report.
EV Has Environmental Research Covered
Engineering Village’s integration of comprehensive content and user-friendly tools makes it easy to perform research in environmental engineering and analyze the findings. In 2006, the Software & Information Industry Association’s 21st annual Codie Awards recognized Engineering Village as the “Best Content Aggregation Service.” I trust environmental engineers using Engineering Village can see why the platform received such recognition.
Librarians and researchers aiming to get the maximum value from Engineering Village are welcome to participate in our complimentary online seminars featuring live, expert instruction.