We are forever recommending the big databases for finding journal articles and conference proceedings but do you ever wonder how much overlap there is between the databases in science and engineering? You can compare databases using the Academic Database Assessment Tool from the Center for Research Libraries.
Compare the journal coverage of the two major multidisciplinary databases, Web of Science and Scopus, or see how the content overlaps with Compendex (engineering), Inspec (physics) and Geobase (geosciences). According to this tool, there are 11377 overlapping journal titles between Web of Science and Scopus – not a small number.
The redundancy in the search results from searching multiple databases is why we also recommend using citation management software. You can send all of your records to EndNote, for example, from the different databases and then remove the duplicates before you look through them to delete ones you don’t like and select papers of interest you’d like to read. EndNote can also check the McGill Library holdings and attach full text PDFs to records (just fyi).