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Quick Guide to Compendex: Home

Quick Guide to Compendex

Compendex, the electronic version of Engineering Index, covers the world's technological literature in all engineering disciplines. It includes citations and abstracts for journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports from 1884 to the present. It indexes over 5,000 journals and conferences in engineering.


Compendex launches with the Quick Search screen. The default search is all words, meaning it will automatically retrieve articles that contain all your keywords anywhere within the record.

  1. Enter your search terms.
  2. Select the field to search.
  3. Sort by relevance or date.

Use limits to narrow your search. Use indexes for more precise searching. 

To override the default search, use boolean operators. Enclose exact phrases in quotation marks (" ").

AND Finds records that contain both your search terms. 
OR Finds records that contain at least one of your search terms. 
NOT Finds records that contain your first search term but not your second.


  • constructed wetlands retrieves all records with the words constructed and wetlands
  • "constructed wetlands" retrieves all records with the phrase constructed wetlands
  • "constructed wetlands" and (remediation or bioremediation) retrieves all records with the phrase constructed wetlands and at least one of the words remediation or bioremediation

Truncation and Wildcards 
You can use truncation and wildcards to find the variant endings and spellings of your search terms.

  • Use the truncation symbol (*) to replace an unlimited number of characters. 
    logarithm* = logarithm, logarithms, logarithmic, logarithmically 
    model*ing = modeling, modelling
  • Use the wildcard (?) to replace exactly one character. 
    gr?y = gray, grey

Compendex will search All Fields by default. To search within a specific field, choose it from the pull-down menu. Common fields include:

  • Abstract
  • Author
  • Author affiliation
  • Title
  • Conference information
  • ISSN
  • Publisher
  • Serial title
  • Ei classification code
  • Ei controlled term
  • Ei main heading

Title searches the article title and translated title. Conference information searches the conference name, date, location, and sponsor.Classification codesmain headings, and controlled terms come from the Ei Thesaurus.

Author Search 
To search for authors, choose Author as your search field. Enter the last name, first initial* (e.g., chen, r*) then click on the Search button. This is the easiest way to search for authors, but it often retrieves irrelevant results since many authors have similar names. For more precise searching, it is highly recommended that you browse the Author index instead.

Browsing Indexes

Use indexes for more precise searching of authors, author affiliations, controlled terms, serial titles, and publishers.

  1. Click into the index that you want to browse.
  2. Search for the first few letters of your term to move through the alphabetical index.
  3. Check up to three variations of the term to add them to your search. 
    Note: If there are more than three variations, browse the index through Expert Search instead.

Limiting Searches

To refine your searches, you can limit them based on specific criteria. Use the pull-down menus to limit by document type, treatment, language, or publication date.

Working with Search Results

Search results are displayed in reverse chronological order by default. Use the links above the search results to sort by relevance, date, author, source, or publisher (descending or ascending).

Use the Create Alert link to create an e-mail alert, notifying you when new records are added that match your search. Use the RSS button to create your alert as an RSS feed instead.

Finding Call Numbers and Full Text 
Follow the UC-eLinks option for each record in order to:

  • Link directly to the full text online when available through library subscription.
  • Check Current Melvyl to see if UCB has it.
  • Request it if UCB does not own it.