Finding Background Information in Materials Science
Encyclopedias and handbooks are a good way to get a broad overview and context for a subject and helpful for deciphering research articles. References at the ends of articles lead you to further relevant information.
Other helpful sources of background information are review articles and trade magazines. You can find those using databases like SciFinder-n and Compendex and limiting by Document Type or Treatment Type.
Finding Materials Property Data
Finding Research Articles in Materials Science
Articles are the primary way scientists communicate research results. Use an article index or database to find articles on your topic; the citation includes article information like article title, author, journal name, issue, year, and the abstract.
When you are starting to delve into a new subject, review articles are your best friends. Most article databases will allow you to limit your search just to this type of publication or document. The long reference lists in review articles are also a good way to identify key articles.