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BME 3300: Biomedical Engineering Design: Books & Technical Handbooks

Why Use Books for Research?

Books are excellent sources for information such as:

  • Broad overview of a complex topic
  • In-depth information
  • Background and contextual information, such as the history and chronology of a given topic
  • Discovering resources through bibliographies and suggested readings lists

"But I don't have time to read a whole book!" 

It's ok, you don't have to read a book cover to cover! To determine how useful a book might be, first skim through the following parts: 

  • Title Page - look at authors (credentials?), date of publication
  • Table of Contents - look at chapter titles to get an idea what the book is really about. Are any chapters relevant to your topic? You usually don't need to read every chapter, just those that are relevant!
  • Index - Look for specific terms relevant to your topic, also note any potential new terms that can be used later as search terms in a database
  • Preface/Forward/Introduction - usually highlights the author's purpose/intention for writing the book
  • Bibliography (either at the end of each chapter or end of the book) - find additional resources!​

Here are a sampling of books you can find through the Library:

Handbooks - Technical Information

Handbooks are a specific type of resource that provide technical information, including procedures, methodologies and protocols, as well as facts and background.

While similar to reference materials, they are often more detailed and use technical jargon, as they are usually written for experts in the field.

Two ways to access handbooks:

A. Search Handbook Databases:

  1. Go to the library website
  2. Click on the Databases link under the search box
  3. Click the Databases by Type button on the left side navigation menu
  4. Click on the Technical Handbooks link
  5. Click on Knovel
  6. Try searching by Subjects (Ex: Biomedical, Life Science, Medicine, etc.)

B. Search for individual handbooks through the Library Search: 

  1. Go to the library website
  2. Add the word handbook to your search terms in the WPI Library Search box
  3. In the Results page, under RESOURCE TYPE, select Books

Below are a examples of handbooks found through WPI Libtrary Search that might be useful for research in biomedical engineering and design: