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What is science and engineering data?
Data is the product of research and is often found in data files or data sets. Data can be interpreted or analysed to answer a specific question.
- Scientific and engineering data is usually collected through controlled experiments (e.g. in a lab), observation or use of instruments in the field, or via computer simulations
- Statistics are based on data and usually appear in tables or in more visual formats such as graphs or charts. They may appear as numbers or percentages and are used to answer questions based on the data, or to summarise or interpret it
Approved data or research data sets?
This guide is primarily intended to help you find approved data and data sets, i.e. data collected and confirmed by other engineers and scientists, published in books, found via databases or on the internet. The main focus is a detailed exploration of Knovel Library, a powerful database for finding scientific and engineering data.
Finding and reusing existing research datasets
Examples of traditional data books
Finding data using Knovel Library
Knovel is our major subscription database for scientific and engineering data. This guide focuses on the main search features and functionality.
Knovel This link opens in a new window
Searchable full text access to over 4,000 leading handbooks, databases, encyclopedia and reference books across all engineering disciplines. Knovel also provides tools to analyse and display data found.
Finding data using Knovel: a self-paced interactive tutorial. A c15 minute tutorial and quiz covering the following:
- Searching for content using topic keywords
- Searching for specific data
- Manipulating interactive data
- Materials Property tool
Our second quiz will test your ability to find data in Knovel. Make sure to complete the above introductory tutorial first!
Advanced Knovel quiz for scientitst and engineers. c15-20 minutes.
- Test your ability to browse and search for data
- Test your ability to manipulate interactive data
Official Knovel video introduction (4min 35s)
Additional databases for scientific and engineering data
This guide focuses on Knovel Library which is a powerful tool for finding scientific and engineering data. The following databases and website also contain data but are not explored in depth in this guide:
Engineering Sciences Data Unit (ESDU) This link opens in a new window
Validated data and design guides and software tools in a range of engineering disciplines including Aerospace, Automotive, Mechanical, Structural and Process Engineering.
Online database of engineering material properties. Contains 130,000 datasheets, covering polymers, metals, ceramics, fibers and more.
US government data
UK Data Service homepage
Key data repository for UK and international social science datasets.