There once was a time, not long ago, when the first action an engineering editor took when researching a story was to reach for the phone. Some of us still reach for the phone first today. But, increasingly, editors reach for the keyboard instead. Their objective: mine the Internet for information, and save the phone calls for later, after they've narrowed the leads.
If that's true for editors, how much truer must it be for engineers, who as a class are juggling more projects at one time than most professionals? Independent research sponsored by Design News shows that almost 75% of engineers have access to the Internet. Nearly a third of them use the Internet to find suppliers, more than a quarter use it for technical research and a fifth browse for ideas.
The Internet obviously is a valuable and important source of information. That's why we've beefed up www.designnews.com . It's the electronic version of the magazine, but it contains more than the printed page can hold.
You can search back issues of Design News on our Web site to read stories on a variety of technologies. You'll find issues going back to 1995.
You can also use the "Channels" section of the site to get additional information on one or more of the 16 market (automotive, aerospace, medical, etc.) and technology (electronics, fluid power, motion control, power transmission, computer productivity tools, etc.) channels we cover.
Now we've added two new features we hope you will find useful. One is "Ask the expert." Using this feature, you can ask questions of gurus in all the technologies important to design engineers, and get an e-mail response within 48 hours. You can also read what the experts have written to other readers asking their technical advice. The experts are applications engineers in the major companies supplying tools, materials and components, and incidentally, are the same ones Design News editors consult on stories.
Another new service: a quick way to get information from supplier companies mentioned in the magazine. Go to www.designnews.com/info and enter the reader service number, product description or company name you're interested in. Up will pop a request form that you can use to get information right away. We are inaugurating that service with this issue.
It's one more way we are strengthening the print/electronic partnership for you. Let us know what you think.