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Using the Engineering Literature, Bonnie Osif, ed - A Review

.: Happy New Year everyone! I am pleased to report on a very positive review for the book, Using the Engineering Literature, edited with love and care by the amazing Bonnie Osif at Penn State. (Having a chapter in the book myself has nothing to do with my enthusiasm!) :-)

The review by Roddy MacLeod appears in the Internet Resources Newsletter, n146, December 2006. Roddy writes:

As Bonnie Osif, the editor of this impressive work, points out, quality information retrieval skills are often lacking in the engineering profession. The publication of Using the engineering literature will hopefully go some way to rectifying this situation, and will help those within, and without, the profession to discover and exploit the many information tools that exist – some of which are at present unfortunately underused.

This book is targeted at practicing engineers, engineering librarians and library school students. It consists of twenty chapters, written mostly, but not exclusively, by engineering librarians in North America, and amounts to 614 pages, including an excellent 65-page index. Each chapter covers a sub-discipline within engineering, apart from the first two (which provide an Introduction by the editor, and a chapter covering general engineering resources). The remaining chapters consist of an introduction to the sub-disciplines in question (Aeronautical and aerospace engineering, Agricultural and food engineering, Architectural engineering, Bioengineering, etc) and a full analysis of the most important information resources by format.

The basics are covered very well. There are hints on searching library catalogues (relevant Library of Congress subject headings are suggested). The main abstracting and indexing services are listed and described, as are subject specific databases, bibliographies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopaedias, handbooks, textbooks, journals, websites, search engines and portals, conference proceedings, reports, gray literature, professional associations, data compilations, standards and yearbooks.

A lot of work has gone into compiling this book, and the resulty is an extremely useful reference work which should be purchased by all libraries serving engineers of any kind.

© 2006 Heriot-Watt University

My thanks to Roddy on behalf of Bonnie, my chapter co-authors and myself for this very positive review. Roddy writes, "A lot of work has gone into compiling this book", and having experienced this first hand, I can tell you he knows of which he writes. I put more work into my chapter (on petroleum engineering and refining) than on anything else I have ever written. It was well worth the effort, however, to be able to give something back to the world of engineering libraries.

The book is also mentioned briefly in ASCE News, v31 n9 September 2006. The review suggests that "It is hoped that this publication will guide all ASCE members, whether students or practicing engineers, to resources that will enhance their work and studies."

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