In December 1996, UC signed a favorable 6-year (6 years limited to CPI-based price increases) contract with Engineering Index (EI) to license the Compendex Plus database and to mount it locally within 27 months.  Interim access was provided by EI subcontracting with SilverPlatter for 27 months’ access on UC’s behalf.  The 27 months ended in March 1999.

Many changes occurred during the intervening period.  The CDL was created; digital content mushroomed; and the pace of technical and organizational change led to an indefinite hold on local mounting of additional databases.  Also during this period EI refined its own Web site as a platform to deliver access to its databases (including Compendex Plus), and other engineering information.  Discussions with EI of migrating off SilverPlatter began in the fall of 1998.  Because the EI interface had not been satisfactory, EI offered to work with UC engineering librarians on improving it.

The STIC Task Force identified two UC librarians to evaluate the Compendex Web and advise EI on desired improvements to interfaces for both Compendex Web and EI Village.  The report, written by Sharon Shaffer (LA) and Christy Hightower (SD) was distributed to the STIC Contacts in March, 1999. EI has been eager for and responsive to our comments and suggestions.

Access 2000

Because the CDL did not mount Compendex in the first 27 months of the continuing contract and the ability of EI to provide access via SilverPlatter is not indefinite, access to Compendex will be through the improved EI interface beginning in January 2000.

To begin the transition to EI’s product, EI has made both Compendex Web and EI Village available now to IP addresses for all campuses.  They will be added to the Directory starting on Wednesday, November 3, 1999.

The URL for EI Village is:

The URL for Compendex Web is:

There are advantages to migrating to EI’s platform.  They include:

  1. Access to licensed full content such as Elsevier’s ScienceDirect journals via Engineering Direct (links to approximately 600 Elsevier journals available via EI Village).
  2. Access to abstracting and indexing for hundreds of additional titles via EI Page One, which was merged with the Compendex Web database.  EI Page One is a table-of-contents database with approximately 2,800 additional titles indexed cover-to-cover.  There is some overlap with INSPEC, but INSPEC is not cover-to-cover.) Compendex Web is now the world’s largest multidisciplinary engineering database with 5,000,000 records, growing at 500,000 new records each year.
  3. Online access to one of the world’s largest collections of industry standards, specifications, and technical books via the CSSINFO Web site, which organizes an immense collection of industry standards from over 300 standards publishers, many of which are downloadable in PDF format.

EI will continue to work with UC librarians to enhance the interface.  As you use the EI interface and EI Village, please direct comments to the EI Resource Liaison, Michele Potter (