Finding Scholarly Literature for Electrical Engineers

We must first evaluate the terms 'Scholarly Literature' to gain better insight into the meaning of the terms.
"Scholar" is an English word for "learned individual; an academic". Literature is an English word for "published writings in a particular style on a particular subject".


  1. Introduction
  2. Importance
  3. Method of Searching
    1. Google Scholar 3.1
    2. IEEE 3.2
    3. Google Books 3.3
    4. The Google Library Project 3.4
    5. Net Libraries 3.5
    6. Online Book Stores 3.6
    7. Online File Sharing 3.7
  4. References

The 'Internet' is currently the most efficient and easily available source of information available to man. This global network of interconnected computers offers all kinds of information, illustrations, videos, e-books and countless other resources. Search engines such as “Google”, "Yahoo! Search", "Live Search", "Ask Jeeves" and "Cuil" in particular, have made our lives so much easier by doing the tedious task of finding specific data for us. However, the drawback of using such search engines is the extensive amount of irrelevant information we frequently encounter. Therefore, the search must be filtered by narrowing down the search criteria and knowing where to look in particular.

Frequently, scholars face difficulty in getting the relevant information on a particular topic. With specific guidelines, the search for such literature can be made easy, quick and enjoyable. Methods of searching have been discussed, for cheap (mostly free) online literature. When scholars can find such information easily with the resources to discuss the material with scholars all over the world, this ensures that they are as up-to-date as possible, and allows them to share their work with other scholars online and thus solve their queries. This not only saves money but also valuable time.

Method of Searching
Many methods of collecting scholarly literature are available. These include Google Scholar, IEEE, Google Books, e-Libraries, The Google Library Project, Net Libraries, Online Book Stores and Online File Sharing. These are discussed below. Moreover, there are some ways to make our search more effective, which include being specific in your search, using only the key words to broaden the spectrum of results, using Boolean (+,-) to add subtract results from the search and using ‘and’ and ‘or’.

Google Scholar
The most widely used resource for scholarly literature online is the ‘Google Scholar.’ It is a free search engine that offers a vast array of scholarly material in different formats and disciplines. The motto of the web-site is: "Stand on the shoulders of giants". This is a tribute to all the scholars who have made contributions to their respective fields and lead the way to help others achieve greater heights for the benefit of mankind. It can be used for finding various articles, theses, books and research papers whether they are online or in libraries from around the world. It offers free viewing of many articles and provides links to others which are not allowed to be displayed openly. Google scholar has a very special ability: Google has designed a mechanism which can rank the articles by comparing their text, publications, authors and articles and also by checking how many times the article has been published on different forums, making it very convenient for its users.

IEEE stands for “Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.” It is an international non-profit, international organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity. It is the biggest professional technical organization in the world with a staggering 365,000 members in 150 countries. The IEEE publishes an estimated 30% of the world literature in electrical, electronics and computer science field, publishing well over 100 peer-reviewed journals. IEEE is a premier, personalized web portal providing its members convenient access to IEEE's member practices. It provides the best online resource to its members and a huge database of technical and scholarly materials. It has special discounts for engineering students and also advertises good Scholarship and Internship opportunities to the users. Its forums provide access to discussion and help before publishing of any Research Papers.

Google Books
Google Books is a search tool by Google which searches it's digital database for the books Google scans and stores using optical character recognition. When users search the web-site, it allows them to view some pages from the books, some content-related advertisements and links to the publisher’s web-site and booksellers.
It can be used to find books of all types, languages, publishers and editions. In the case of some books where the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has granted partial permission, only 'some' of the text of the book is viewable and very rarely can the whole book be read. However, this project is still under the phase of development. Currently, users are being connected to books in two ways: The Partner Program and The Library Project.

Libraries or Online Digital Libraries are a growing trend of today. They are libraries that store data in digital formats and then make it accessible through the Internet all over the world. These web-sites usually require paid memberships, while some others are completely free. Two of these are given below:

The Google Library Project
The newest project of Google is still under the stage of development and when finished, will be the biggest digital library in the world. This web-site will show part and in some cases the whole books to the user. This will help in giving the users, easy access to books from all around the world; perhaps even those not available in the market anymore.

Net Library
This is an online library that offers e-content for the publishers, researchers and scholars of today. The web-site requires an account so that its material can be accessed. Many libraries around the world have a membership to this huge database and you can use that library to access this web-site. It makes it worthwhile by providing over 180,000 e-Books, almost 10,000 audio books, free databases, subject centers and a vast college of development resources.

Online Book Stores
Online shopping is swiftly gaining popularity in modern times. Not all scholarly material is available online directly you still have to buy books. Online book stores are a very good place to visit if you are in need of a specific book or collection of books. They are not only easily accessible, but they offer a wide variety of publications i.e. written, audio and video. These stores sell both new and used book on sale. All different editions, special editions, limited editions are available and they are a good place to search for books no longer available in the market. They also offer special discounts on purchases and shipping making online book shopping more worthwhile.

Online File Sharing
The Internet has many web-sites that have the facility of sharing scholarly material with other people online. These web-sites allow us to not only read other people’s research work and journals but also allow us to start our own online journals. They are sometimes free but sometimes require a sign-up fee. 'Scholarly exchange' is good source for published scholarly articles. It emerged in 2002 as a source to promote innovative, cost-efficient electronic first approaches to scholarly publishing. It is a non-profit entity and all one has to do is to sign up by sending an e-mail. It is also the first to offer a software-as-a-service e-publishing model and experiment with alternative revenue models for open access journals.
Other commonly used file sharing softwares include Kazaa, LimeWire and Ares.


  1.; (For the introduction and history of google books, google scholar, IEEE and digital libraries);
  2. Yahoo! Directory (For the links provided with digital libraries, torrent search engines, online bookstores and sharing networks);
  3. (For giving tips about making a technical report);
  4. (Google image search for the logos of the different websites);
  5. (For the names of p2p file sharing softwares);
  6. (For some of the features of google books);
  8. (For some features about google scholar).
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