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These are the key databases that index the materials science literature: journals as well as (in some cases) conference proceedings and patents. To get full-text articles (or request articles we don't have, via interlibrary loan), click the next to the article record (or "Link to Other Sources" in SciFinder).
Databases for Journal Articles and Conference Papers
Web of Science
Indexes 18,000+ journals and 180,000 conference proceedings, heavily in the sciences and engineering. Easy interface for building and/or searches to include alternative keywords. Article records include cited and citing references, with related articles identified based on common citations. Good place to being your search.
Essential index to the chemical literature and related sciences, including chemical engineering, materials science, & nanotechnology. Searches 50 million article and patent references, with additional databases covering millions of chemical substances and reactions. Searchable by keywords/topics (which map to related words for improved results), as well as chemical substance by name/number, structure and substructure, and by chemical reaction. More information about SciFinder, including registration instructions.
For chemical substance and reaction searching, you may also want to try Reaxys
Compendex + Inspec on Engineering Village
Combined search for the Compendex and Inspec engineering databases. Indexes millions of articles, conference papers, standards and other documents in all engineering disciplines, including nanotechnology, materials science and related subjects. Duplicate references between the two databases can be removed.
Core index to the biomedical literature, covering 5,500 journals in medicine and related sciences. Excellent for bio- topics like bionano-, biomaterials, biomedical engineering, and biochemistry. Search results are "mapped" to the database's subject headings to retrieve additional articles, For these topics, you may also want to search Embase
Materials Science & Engineering Database
Database for materials science and engineering research, indexing journals, magazines and grey literature (patents, conference proceedings, technical reports) for topics in metals, polymers, ceramics, composites, and biomaterials. Includes Earthquake Engineering Abstracts, Engineered Materials Abstracts, METADEX, Corrosion Abstracts, and Ceramic Abstracts. Includes full text access to more than 2,000 journals.
Like Google, but focused on the scholarly literature. Under Settings, go to Library Links to activate UC-eLinks.
**Pros: Full-text article searching can retrieve articles that may not come up in the other databases, so good for interdisciplinary topics. Also indexes faster than the other databases, so you may get very recent articles. Can also view citing articles and related articles, set up search alerts, etc.
**Cons: Full-text article searching that brings up thousands of articles, with very limited tools to refine search results. Through the Advanced Search, you can exclude words, do some boolean "OR" searching, and limit results to articles where search terms are found in the article titles only.
Academic Search Complete
Multidisciplinary database that indexes articles in more than 11,000 journals, with full-text available for over 5,300 journals. Indexes popular and scholarly sources, but you can limit results to scholarly journals.
Databases for Patents
If you're looking for patents, try:
Recent UCSD Materials Science Publications
Recent materials science articles from UCSD faculty and graduate students.