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Technical Information: Conferences

Key collections including Patents, Standards, Science & Engineering Data, Conferences and Technical Reports.

Why use Conferences?

Conferences are useful ways for academics to present and discuss their work. They can be published formally: sometimes as a book (series), sometimes more like a journal or informally online.

We have a good collection from the ACM, IEEE & IEE/IET (mostly online), and from the European Space Agency (print/CD). We have a number of other engineering and science conferences, mostly in print.

Key Databases

Key Conference Collections

Support for Technical Information

If you have any queries about technical information, the resources mentioned or wish to make any comments about these pages, please contact us (

Understanding a Conference Article Reference

A correctly formatted reference will tell you exactly where to find the full article:

Pennie, D.J. et al (2007). Human factors guidance for maintenance, International Conference - Human Factors in Ship Design, Safety and Operation, March 21-22. London: Royal Institution of Naval Architects, 145-154.

This article was written by D.J. Pennie & colleagues, and the article's title is "Human factors guidance for maintenance". It was published in 2007 in the conference called "International Conference - Human Factors in Ship Design, Safety and Operation". It was published by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in London and the article ran from page 145 to 154.

How Do I Know If You Have It?

Found a good conference article? Now you need to know whether you can get the full text.

If you've run a database search, the article's record may have a "Full Text" or "PDF" link - that's great: click to get the full text. If not,look out for the Full Text Finder icon and any links that will search the library catalogue for you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

These links tend to be less reliable for conferences than journals. It's always worth doing a manual search of Library Search.

Searching Library Search for Conferences

Search WebCat for the conference title not the article title.

  • A keyword search is probably best for a broad search and to find conferences treated as books
  • It is best to leave out the year (sometimes there is a single record for a series)
  • It's best to leave out the number (2nd, 3rd, etc.) - sometimes references abbreviate these replacing a number expressed as words (second) with a numeral (2nd)

Not Available?

If we don't have the conference (paper) or technical report you need it's worth a searching Google to see if there's a free/open access version somewhere.

If not you can request it via our Inter-Library Loans service.

Off-Campus Access

Very few of our resources are freely available to any web user. If you're at home, the easiest way around this problem is to sign into the University's SVE service.

Another option is to set up VPN on your device. iSolutions provide guidance on how to set up VPN in this article

Alternatively, some resources may have an "institutional" or "Shibboleth" login option. Use this and log in with your University username and password.