UCB Libraries

Subject Guide for Materials Science

A multidisciplinary field concerned with the generation and application of knowledge relating to the composition, structure, and processing of materials to their properties and uses. The field encompasses the complete knowledge spectrum for materials ranging from the basic end (materials science) to the applied end (materials engineering). It forms a bridge of knowledge from the basic sciences (and mathematics) to various engineering disciplines. New materials with special properties are constantly being discovered and developed, and thus materials science and engineering is a continually expanding field. Main areas of study include: metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and biomaterials. (Adapted from Access Science).


  • Starting Your Research
  • Find Articles
  • Find Books
  • Online Resources
  • Citing

Start your research with reference resources like dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and manuals.


+ Dictionaries

These publications provide background information, definitions and explanations of terms.

ASM Materials Engineering Dictionary
Engineering Library Reference TA402 .A86 1992


CU Scientific and Technical Acronyms, Symbols, and Abbreviations


Technological Dictionary of Plastics Materials
Engineering Library Reference TP1110 .T57 1998


Search Chinook to find additional dictionaries:


Library of Congress Subject

Materials Science Dictionaries

Library of Congress Subject

Materials -- Dictionaries


+ Directories
+ Encyclopedias

These publications provide background information, definitions and explanations of terms.

CU Access Science: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia Of Science & Technology


Encyclopedia of Advanced Materials
Engineering Library Reference TA 404.8 E53 1994


CU Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology


Search Chinook to find additional encyclopedias:
Library of Congress Subject

Materials Encyclopedias



+ Handbooks and Manuals


ASM Engineering Materials Reference Book, 2nd ed.
Engineering Library Reference TA403.4 .A84 1994


ASM Handbook
Engineering Library Reference TA459 .A5


CU ChemNetBase--CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and other tools available online.


CU CRC Materials Science and Engineering Handbook, 3rd ed.

Full-text available in ENGnetBASE

Also available in print: Engineering Library Stacks TA 403.4 C74 2001


CU EngNetBase--over 400 CRC handbooks online.


Handbook of Thin Film Materials
Engineering Library Reference TA418.9 T45 H35 2002


CU Knovel Library --Combines essential and authoritative reference books and databases from more than 30 Sci-Tech publishers and professional societies including, McGraw Hill, John Wiley, Elsevier, Springer, Industrial Press, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Covers 17 industrially important subject areas in the fields of Chemistry and the Life Sciences; Materials; and Engineering.

Video Video Tutorial: Using Knovel

Materials Handbook
Engineering Library Reference TA 403 B73 2002


MatWeb: the Online Materials Information Resource
(Data for Thermoplastic and thermoset polymers, alloys, superalloys, cast irons, ceramics, copper & lead alloys, semiconductors and fibers for composites: physical, mechanical, thermal, electrical)

Search Chinook to find additional handbooks and manuals:
Library of Congress Subject

Materials Handbooks Manuals Etc

Library of Congress Subject

Materials Science Textbooks

Library of Congress Subject Materials Standards
Library of Congress Subject Materials Testing Handbooks Manuals Etc





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Find Articles & More Article Finder Find it at CU Find Journals in Chinook


Find Articles and More--When you need to find articles on a topic


Article Finder--When you know the article you need

Author's Last Name: *
Year: *
ISSN: * Click here to find ISSN by entering journal title
Article Title:
Journal Title:


Find it at CU

Find it at CU


In some article databases, you will see a "Find it at CU" link. Find it at CU will link you from citations to the full text of the desired item in another article database. For more information about Find it at CU, please see the Find it at CU FAQ. Not all databases can be set up to work with Find it at CU.


Video Video Tutorial: Using Find it at CU (Finding full-text from a citation)


If you do not see a link to Find it at CU, note the name of the publication where the article was published and then check Chinook (the library catalog) to see where the publication is available. [More information on deciphering citations]

Video Video Tutorial: Finding journals in Chinook




Search Chinook to find additional journals and other periodicals:


Library of Congress Subject

Materials Science Periodicals



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Library of Congress Classification Search Chinook Prospector Interlibrary Loan


Library of Congress Classification

Books in the University Libraries are organized according to the Library of Congress Classification system. This system assigns a call number with letters and numbers to each book based on the book's subject. Once you find a good book on your subject, browse the books in that call number range to find books with similar subjects.



Call Numbers

Materials of engineering and construction. Mechanics of materials



Chinook is the catalog for materials owned by the CU Libraries. You can do a title search for a specific book, or a keyword search if you are looking for books on a particular topic. You can also use MyChinook to manage your library account (including renewals, holds, recalls, saved searches, etc.)  

Chinook Catalog


Video Video Tutorial: Searching for books in Chinook


Video Video Tutorial: Chinook Keyword Search

For Tips on developing keywords for your topic go to: How do I Choose Keywords for my search

Video Video Tutorial: How to recall/request books that are checked out or at PASCAL


Video Video Tutorial: Accessing online books


If you search Chinook and find that the CU Libraries do not have the item you are looking for (or if the item you are looking for is checked out), you can search Prospector, which is a combined library catalog of 23 libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. CU students, staff and faculty can request materials through Prospector, and the items will generally be delivered to Norlin within a few business days.

Video Video Tutorial: Search Prospector

Search Prospector


Request through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) - http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/ill/

If the item you are looking for is not in Chinook or Prospector, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Generally, an ILL request will take longer to be delivered than material requested through Prospector.

Video Video Tutorial: Request through ILL



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These are relevant resources that are freely available on the Web.

Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology


InfoMine Scholarly Internet Resource Collections: Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computing and Math




TechXtra: Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing

Search these websites using the Google Custom Search:





Engineering Library Home Subject Guides Ask Us How Do I?



Citation Styles and Manuals RefWorks Tips & Strategies


Citation Styles and Manuals



Turabian (Chicago)

  • Turabian: a form of Chicago Style (PDF document)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
    16th edition, chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003
    Sections 16 and 17.
    Call number: Z253 .C57 2003


A personal online database and bibliography creator that allows users to create a personal database online, import references automatically from multiple databases, organize references, and quickly format bibliographies and manuscripts. You will need to create a login and password. Provided by the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries.


How do I use RefWorks?


Video RefWorks Video Tutorials

Tips & Strategies

Pick an Interesting Topic It is easier to express your own opinions and thoughts if you are interested in the topic.


Manage Your Time

Many students are tempted to plagiarize because they do not start researching and writing far enough in advance. Start your paper at least 3 weeks before the due date. Plagiarism could compromise your entire academic career. Speak to your professor if you have run out of time.


Create a Bibliography as you Research

Record the sources you consult. Include all the bibliographic information needed in your works cited (Author, Title, Pages, Publisher, Year, Volume, Issue).This will help you to cite correctly and to compile your works cited.


Take Clear Notes

Designate all direct quotes with quotation marks.

Designate when you are paraphrasing.

Electronic Research and Note taking is the same: Use quotation marks when you cut and paste.

Always note the source/ author.


Be Careful with Paraphrasing

Be sure you understand the text.

Do not look at the original source when writing your paraphrase.

Reorganize the information in your own words and in your own style.

Check to be sure you have not used the vocabulary or structure of the original work.

Mention the author near or in your paraphrase.


And Remember to Cite:

Any information that was not originally created by you:
  • Quotations
  • Key terms or phrases
  • Ideas
  • Facts not broadly known
  • Images and Sounds
Any material from another source regardless of where you found it:
  • Printed sources
  • Electronic sources
  • Conversation or email
  • Recorded sources
  • Images


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