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Journal articles can help you delve deeper into your topic than books and encyclopedias. Review articles will give you an overview of the state of a field over a period of time (pay attention to the publication date; they go out-of-date quickly). Research articles tell you exactly how a scientist performed his or her experiments and interpreted the results.
These resources will help you find journal articles in various fields related to your projects.
Office of Scientific and Technical Information
This indexing database, created by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), contains bibliographic records for energy and energy-related scientific and technical information from the DOE and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
This platform hosts a database called Compendex, that index journals and conference proceedings in all areas of engineering. Compendex employs controlled vocabulary to help you to locate a wide range of information on your topic.
Covers over 10,000 journals in all areas of science. This database can be used to discover publications via citation tracking as well as normal keyword searching.
ISI Web of Science
Covers over 8000 journals in all areas of science. Records link to bibliographies and citing references for all articles. Premier source for cited reference searching.
Google's search engine focused on scholarly literature.
Companies tend to file for patents instead of publishing in journals because a patent grants the holder exclusive use of the technology described for a set period of time (usually 20 years). 60-80% of material in the patent literature is published nowhere else. It is important for a company to understand the scope of protected technology to know in which areas they can freely operate.
These patent resources are available at Penn.
Derwent Innovations Index
Covers 44 patent issuing authorities from 1963-present. (Dates of coverage differ for the various authorities.) Derwent rewrites patent titles and abstracts to make them easier to locate and comprehend. PDF full text is linked to many records.
esp@cenet - European Patent Office
Covers patents from over 80 authorities, including Europe, the World Intellectual Patent Organization, the US, Japan, and China. Dates of coverage vary by authority. PDF full text is available for many recent patents.
Searches granted patents from the United States, Australia, and Europe, as well as published patent applications from the United States, Australia, Europe, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Allows a full-text search of many of these authorities' patents, and links to PDF where available.
More Information About Patents
These guides provide you with more in-depth information about various types of literature.
More Information About Journal Articles