1. Technical innovation, information, and research can be in a variety of formats e.g. pre-print, patent, standards, scholarly article (literature review, scoping review, systematic review, simple article, etc.), book chapter, book, website, government technical report, encyclopedia, specialized encyclopedia, brochure, fact sheet, etc. etc.
2. There isn’t a single database that includes every single resource type listed above. As a result, you will need to search a variety of different databases, tools, metasearch engine, etc. I’ve included 15 different research sessions I conducted in my first 3 years at Wake Forest. Notice, there are 3 that are end-of-life eg either no longer exist or are no longer supported at Wake Forest and 5 are completely new.
3. You cannot be complacent and only learn a handful of databases and tools in order to achieve the necessary breadth and depth in your research area. Don’t be one tool/database Teresa or Danny!
4. As a life longer learner, be aware that most software development companies now use Agile development where the interface and/or functionality of the tool may change month to month or even week to week. I was on LinkedIn the evening of Wednesday, September 21, 2022 and learned that scite.ai was working on integrating functionality similar to elicit.org AND Concensus app.
5. Data and information can be presented in a variety of different ways. If you are researching a new field or topic of interest, you can used the ScienceDirect topic index https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics or even find a specialized encyclopedia on Google books. Google books will allow you to preview a book (for most books). Literally, you can search for encyclop* topic where topic is the controlled vocabulary for your engineering system. For example, my current research (Fall 2022) focuses on digital information literacy. As a result, I searched for encyclop* information literacy and the results were https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&q=Encyclo*+information+literacy.
6. Whenever you hit a wall, ask a librarian.