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Database Guides: IEEE Xplore Digital Library

Information about using the various databases in the A-Z Online Resources,



What is it?

IEEE Xplore Digital Library provides access to the IEEE/IET Electronic Library, featuring content from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) as well as IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology).

The collection covers almost one-third of the world’s current literature in electrical engineering, communications and computer science.  It provides full-text access to more than three million documents.

The Library includes access to the full text of IEEE content published since 1988 with select content published since 1872 from:


IEEE Xplore is updated daily with more than 20,000 new IEEE/IET articles added each month.


What is it for?

Use to find journal articles, conference proceedings and standards in computer science, communications and electrical engineering.


The publications cover all aspects of computing including: design & testing, knowledge data engineering, Internet, multimedia, pervasive computing, security, software, visualization, etc.


IEEE Xplore provides access to well regarded and highly cited literature: IEEE's scientific and technical articles fuel more new patents than any other publisher and are cited over 3 times more often.


Can provide useful information on research and development in industry, including:

Aerospace & Defense; Automotive; Biomedical Engineering & Medical Devices; Computer Hardware; Computer Software; Electronics; Petroleum and Natural Gas; Power and Energy; Semiconductors;  Smart Grid; Telecommunications.


How to access it


Login to the Portal and then choose IEEE Xplore Digital Library from the A-Z List of Online Resources.


How to search






See Successful Search Techniques.

Searching: Searching from the main search page allows you to search the metadata of publications, that is, article titles, authors, publication title, indexing terms and abstract. After searching for a term you can narrow your search further by using the 'Search within results' search box at the top of the 'Refine results by' section on the left hand side.


Note you can not combine searches uses OR, AND, NOT on the basic search screen.  To combine searches in this way use the Advanced Search option.  Or if you wish to include full-text in your search use the Advanced Search option.


Filtering search results: After completing a search you can use the Filter Results option on the left hand side of the results page to narrow your search further:

Use the Search within Results option to add another keyword to search within your current results and narrow your search further.

You can filter your results by: Content Type, Publication Year, Author, Affiliation (of the author), Publication Title, Publisher, Conference Country, Conference Location.


Stemming: Stemming is automatically used in searching. This means, the system looks for plural forms of most keywords.

For example: if you enter computer, this will also find computers

In addition, verb forms of keywords are searched.

For example: if you enter run, this will find run, running, etc.

if you enter oscillate, this will find oscillate, oscillated, oscillating, etc.

British and American spellings of keywords are also searched.

For example: if you enter localisation, this will find localisation and localization

If you search for colour, this will find colour or color


Truncation (wildcard) searching: The asterisk (*) represents zero, one or multiple alphanumeric characters in the position it occupies. The asterisk * can appear at the end of a word to find words with different endings, at the beginning of a word or in the middle of a word to find words containing a specified pattern of characters.

For example: comput* will find computer, computers, computing, computation, etc.

For example: *optic will find optic, fiber-optic, electrooptic, acoustooptic, etc.

Note: You cannot use the asterisk * for a full-text search.


Exact Word of Phrase searching: To search for an exact match, enter the search word or phrase in quotation marks.

For example: "computer" will find the word computer in any search field. But it does not look for computers (that is, the automatic stemming no longer works)

For example: "data mining" will find the exact phrase data mining: those exact words, together and in that order.

Note: You cannot use the asterisk * within quotation marks when specifying an exact match.


Advanced Search: The Advanced Search option is useful as it allows you to easily combine search terms and limit by publisher, content type and date. You can also limit your results to only subscribed full-text or Open Access. You can choose to search the full-text of documents:- choose to search only the bibliographic record data (Metadata Only option) or Full Text & Metadata (but note that the asterisk * will not work in a full text search).


Field searching: on the Advanced Search page you can choose to search a specific field of the record. 

For example, change the dropdown list to the right of the Advanced Search box, from Metadata Only to Document Title. Searching in the Document Title will look for your search terms only in that particular field, such as the journal article title, and so make your search results more targetted and relevant.


Combining searches: searches can be re-run or combined after they have completed by using the Search History option. You need to Sign In to IEEE to use the Search History. Searches are stored over multiple sessions for later viewing. The 50 most recent searches are displayed.  See more about signing in and using Search History.


Saving searches and Search Alerts: You can save searches to re-run at a later date and to receive alerts via email or RSS when new content is added matching your search criteria.  You will need to Sign In to IEEE to use these options. See more about signing in to IEEE to set up saved searches and alerts.


Cited Reference search: You can search to find all the papers that have cited (referred to) a publication since it was published.

Under each publication record on the results page, beneath the publication details the Cited by data is shown. The number next to Cited by shows the number of papers that have cited this publication. Click on the number to see full details of all the papers that cited the publication.

If you have a key article and wish to find all the papers that referenced this article, then use the Publication Quick Search option (available from the More Search Options link under the main search page search box). On the Publication Quick Search page, enter a few details from your key article reference (such as: author last name, year and start page).  On the results page select the matching reference, then click on the number in the Cited by data to see the list of references that cited the key article.



Full text?





Exporting records to RefWorks


IEEE Xplore holds the full-text of articles for many of the journals covered. Beneath earch record on the results' page click on the PDF or HTML icons to link to the full-text.


Where there is no PDF or HTML link, click on the Find@Stir button Find@Stir button, which provides links to the full text of the journal in other databases (if available), or to the library catalogue, to check if we have the item in paper format.



Records can be downloaded into bibliographic management software: RefWorks, BibTeX, EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager (products for managing references and formatting bibliographies). See the guide on exporting references from IEEE Xplore to RefWorks.



Further help


For help, within IEEE Xplore, click on the Resources option in the top right hand corner, then choose Resources and Help. See also their self-paced tutorial videos at:

Link to IEEE Xplore