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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Workshop research and information skills GEO1-2208 (Innovation Systems): 4B: e-books and books


Time estimate: 15 minutes

  1. Have a look at the information on the right.
  2. Perform a search in Google Books. You can use very specific terms and it is wise to use 4-6 terms to get the more relevant titles appear at the top. When you have found relevant books (or a chapter in a book) copy/paste the title of the full book into the library catalogue to check availability.
  3. Search books in the library catalogue just using one or two of your main search terms (in English). Make sure not to use very specific terms and make sure to truncate your terms (Truncation = searching with the stem of a word with an * directly attached to it to find all variants of that word in one go. E.g. innovat* for innovation, innovating, innovated, innovator. This does not work in Google.) Export details of at one or two books to Zotero. Probably most of the books you will find will be e-books.

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 (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 searchable with their table of contents as well, meaning that you will also find chapters within books. In all geoscience subject over 90% of modern (>2014) 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. However, to discover a book that might have just one interesting chapter, first try Google Books to find that book and then search with the full book title in our catalogue to see whether you have access to it.

You get the best result by just searching. 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!

Dissertations from Dutch universities: Netherlands Research Portal

In the Netherlands Research Portal 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 Netherlands Research Portal are full text and open access available. Netherlands Research Portal is the place where you will find 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.

Google Books (EN)

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.

In the LibGuide Search Strategy>Where to look for books UBU LibGuide Google Books you can find more information on working with Google Books.