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Literature search made easy - Weldasearch

User Guide


One of the benefits of TWI membership is easy access to the largest and most comprehensive welding database in the world. Managed by TWI Weldasearch expert, Sheila Thomas, the system is based on a simple but clearly defined lexicon of key terms defined by the International Welding Thesaurus from the International Institute of Welding.

Taking a typical sample enquiry:

What is the most appropriate manual metal arc covered electrode for welding carbon steels in shipbuilding using the overhead position?

Sheila Thomas provides a step-by-step guide to finding the answer (you may wish to print this page or open a new window):

  • To begin your search click here. This brings you to the Information Services page.

  • Click on Weldasearch.

  • To start a search, click on the header Search the Weldasearch database.

  • At this point you need to identify yourself. The service is only available to Industrial Members, Professional/WJS Members, and TWI staff. Log in using your TWI website ID and password.

  • Once on the gateway page, click on Search Weldasearch - bringing you to the Weldasearch interface page.

  • Identify the Search option you require . . . Easy, Advanced or Expert.

  • For this sort of search. . . with several different criteria, the Easy Search option would not be adequate. This search is far more specific so you should select Advanced Search to examine the keywords.

  • You know you want to find a manual metal arc process, which is sufficiently common that it is likely to be a keyword, so from the first drop down box select the Keywords option. If you're not sure about the acceptable terms, look at the orange word Index next to the drop-down box.

  • After clicking on Index, type MMA into the box labelled Index Stem, and hit Enter. You can see that MMA alone doesn't appear, so it is not a valid keyword, but MMA WELDING and MMA SURFACING are displayed.

  • In this instance, the keyword you need is MMA WELDING and by clicking on it you add it to the search box. This will show up over 14,000 items so to narrow it  down you will need to look at other terms. 

  • You know you want COVERED ELECTRODES, so enter this below MMA WELDING. The search has narrowed to 3643 references, still unmanageably large.
  • The enquiry covers welding in the overhead position, so go to Keywords, Index again and type OVERHEAD. The search results narrows hugely when you select all three terms relevant to the search: OVERHEAD POSITION and MMA WELDING and COVERED ELECTRODES.
  • Now you will see just nine references, which is easily manageable. Up to 20 references can be displayed at a time. Of course the success of the search is related to the specificity of the keywords. If instead of entering OVERHEAD POSITION you enter CARBON STEELS, the search identifies considerably more than nine references. 
  • Similarly CARBON STEELS limits the materials to steels with more than 0.25% carbon. If you use the less specific STRUCTURAL STEELS this will embrace mild steel, namely low carbon steels, and carbon manganese steels, incidentally very relevant to shipbuilding, the application specified in the original enquiry.
  • Go to View: Marked l Unmarked l All, in the menu towards the top of the screen and click on All.

  • Weldasearch now presents the abstract, Weldasearch record number, title, authors, bibliographic reference, any notes about translations or where the paper was presented, and availability from TWI's library.

  • You can then click on the basket to request a photocopy or an electronic copy. (Please note, there are complex copyright issues governing what we can and can’t provide as photocopies.)

Finally, one of the most useful aspects of Weldasearch is the Alerting Service. Sheila Thomas explains, 'If you want to be kept up to date in a particular subject area, the Alerting Service is invaluable. You can access it from the Weldasearch front page. Here you can set up a search which identifies your topic of interest, and every month all the items added about your topic will be e-mailed to you. Of course, we are very happy to advise you about how to set up the search or any other aspects of Weldasearch.'

For more information, please contact us.