Compendex (Microsoft Word Version of this guide)

Compendex is a database for finding articles in engineering topics. Articles are from 1884 to the present. The Quick Search (default):  

Screen shot of the compendex Database

1.      Enter Terms
Linking multiple terms or keywords

For relating two terms, enter them into multiple search windows and select the relationship you want between them. Or, enter them in the same line with the connector between them. On the same line, and is assumed.




For records with both term1 and term2 —  narrows the search and you will retrieve fewer records


For records with either term1 or term2 —  broadens the search and you will retrieve more records


Returns records that contain term1 and not term2 – narrows the search



The asterisk (*) is the wildcard.  It is used for variable endings (i.e. fuel* = fuel or fuels or fueling).

Browse Indexes to automatically enter terms –
For Author, Author affiliation, Controlled term, Serial Title or publisher
  1. 1.       Select the index you would like to browse
  2. 2.       Browse through the index by entering the first few letters of your term.
  3. 3.       Check the desired terms to enter them in the search box.
  4. EiVillage inserts or between terms if you choose multiple terms; you may change to and or not if you wish. 
2. Select Fields
Default is “All Fields.” This is the simplest and most general way to search.  If you want to be more specific:
Title Search

This will guarantee that the terms you enter are in the article title.  This is a quick and easy way to narrow your search, but might remove some potentially interesting articles.

Author Search

It might be easiest to use the index to perform an author search, because author names often vary. Quick search allows only 3 variant author names from the index.  You might try the expert search if this is a problem.

If you choose to search manually, enter the author's name in "last name, first name" format.  Search by initials as well as full names. Always use truncation (*). Example:

roosevelt, franklin d*
roosevelt, f. d*
roosevelt, f*

Author Affiliation Search

Ei includes the affiliation of only the first author of each article. There is great variability in the way authors cite their own organization names. Enter keywords from the name of the organization, using the asterisk (*) as necessary to truncate. Example: univ* California. You can also use the index for author affiliation searches.

Subject Search

Ei Subject Terms are selected from the Ei Thesaurus by indexers to describe the content of a document. You can use the index to perform a Subject search, or, if you are familiar with Ei Thesaurus terms, you can type them directly into the search window. You might also try the Subject/Title/Abstract search option for subjects.

Serial Title Search

You might want to use the index to perform a Serial Title search.

3. Limiting Searches

There are many limiting options (e.g. date, document type); they can be very useful in narrowing your search.

4. Sorting Options
  • Relevance ranks by the proximity and frequency of the search terms.
  • Publication Date sorts the records with the most recent publications at the top of the list.
5. Autostemming –

If the box is unchecked the results will include words that are similar to the words you entered. i.e. "manager" will also retrieve "managers", "management" and "managerial.”

6. Search - Displaying the results


Results are given in groups of 500 and display on pages of 25 records each. Navigate between groups of 25 by clicking on the Next Page and Previous Page buttons located at the top and bottom of each page. Go to the next group of 500 by clicking “next” on the record range drop-down menu at top of results page.  If you have too many records, click on “refine search” to narrow your search to fewer records.

Managing Results

Check the box next to a record to select it for further processing.  Use the Results Manager near the top and bottom of the page to select multiple records and to view, e-mail, print, download or save your selections to a folder stored at EIVillage.  If you would like to use this option, you will be prompted to create an account.  Choose Download if you would like to export your records to a reference manager.

As always, click   to get the location of your item.

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Last modified: 2/24/2015 10:21 AM by M. Potter

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