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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Training scholarly information handling for geoscience faculty & PhDs: 2D: searching for e-books and books


This page has information on options for search books and e-books. E-books are the norm for new acquisition. They are bought from publishers in packages and from smaller publishers on a one by one basis on the EBL platform. They are all included in the library catalogue. Send your acquisition requests for books to Jeroen Bosman. If available on our e-book supplier's platform they can be accessible in a matter of minutes.

On this page you'll find:

  1. Library catalogue for books, e-books and print journals
  2. Google Books for book discovery
  3. Narcis for dissertations from the Netherlands
  4. Worldcat for bibliographical verification and easy export to RefWorks

And you might try:

  1. Checking how many and which e-books we have available in your field
  2. Checking the use of Google Books for finding content hidden deep in some book where you would not expect it
  3. Using Worldcat to check which libraries have holdings of a book you published

Did you know that Scopus now also indexes tens of thousands of books at the chapter level? Give it a try!

Catalogue UBU

All books and (>90,000) modern e-books in the library collections can be found with the library catalogue. Many of those books are also listed elsewhere (Google Books, Amazon etc.) but there you won't find the links or place numbers needed to get the book for lending, downloading, printing or online reading.

If you wish to cast your net more widely you can search national and international catalogues (Picarta and Worldcat). Using the UBUlink, you can easily check whether a title is available in Utrecht.

Most print books have very short description in the catalogue, often just the author, title and a few keywords. It's different for e-books: in most cases they are searchbale with their table of contents as well, meaning that you will also find chapters within books. In all geoscience subject over 70% of modern (>2004) books in our catalogue is an e-book. Currently the catalogue is the best search engine for e-books in the Utrecht University library collections.

You get the best result by just searching 'all fields'. Of course you can also perform an author search.

For the best result make sure to trruncate almost all your terms: just enter the stem of the word with an asterisk attached to it. E.g. search for innovat* to find innovation, innovate, innovator, innovated, innovative, innovating etc. in one go. If you fail to do this, you will miss a lot of relevant books!

Google Books

Google Books is a search engine in which you will find (data on) more than 20 million books. Books are included in Google Books via the scan programme that Google executes at >20 large libraries and via publishers taking care of their own uploads. That is why Google Books often contains the searchable full text of books. However, full text version are not always available. It depends on copyright issues and publishers' permissions. Mainly the older books which are copyright-free are full text available in Google Books.

In addition to the custom Utrecht interface of WorldCat, use Google Books for:

  • trying to find the title/author of books in which your subject is only a small part of the content (chapter, paragraph);
  • (if you are lucky) reading the full text of (parts of) books which the library does not hold (but you can also make a purchase suggestion with sometimes very quick results;
  • Finding more books on the same subject via the extra data that Google Books adds to a title (citations, related titles).

If you have found relevant titles in Google Books, you can look for the title in the custom Utrecht interface of WorldCat to get access to the book. Unfortunately, Google Books does not show the UBU link as Google Scholar does.

The special LibGuide Google Books UBU LibGuide Google Books offers more information on the pros and cons of working with Google Books.

Dissertations from Dutch universities: Narcis!

Dutch dissertations in NarcisIn Narcis all online dissertations from Dutch universities are listed with searchable abstracts. Dissertations are a very rich source of quality references on many subjects. If you can find a recent dissertation on your subject it welll be of tremendous help in discovering relevant literature.

Allmost all dissertations in Narcis are full text and open access available. Narcis is the national collected repository of the Dutch research output. You can also use it to find ongoing research, datasets and researchers.

Recent Dutch dissertations are not listed in the UU library catalogue.