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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Media Studies: Books

Doing a Literature Review



Utrecht University Library offers you optimised access to WorldCat, including extra search and filter options, via:

Here you will find:

  • The contents of more than a thousand libraries from all over the world (and options to borrow these materials).
  • The Utrecht University Library collection.

To optimise your search read the Libguide on WorldCat.

Attention: Worldcat also has a general entry without these additional options, which can be found at

Google Books

Google BooksGoogle 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, though you can search the full text you cannot always read the full text in Google Books. It depends on copyright issues and publishers' permissions. Mainly the older books which are copyright-free are full text available in Google Books.

Though it is difficult to find there is also an advanced search form for Google Books that you can use to do a more targeted search.

In addition to the catalogue, 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), because in the catalogue that only works in the case of e-books;
  • (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 catalogue of Utrecht University Library to get access to the book. Unfortunately, Google Books does not show the UBU link as Google Scholar does.

The LibGuide Search Strategy>Where to look for books> tab:Google Books UBU LibGuide Google Books offers more information about working with Google Books.

Book Reviews

sommige bladen (zoals de New York Review of Books) bevatten heel veel boekbesprekingen

You can use a book review to:

  • Establish the quality of a book
  • Compare your opinion of the book to that of others
  • Decide if the book is worth the trouble in case you can't get hold of the book easily.

Book reviews are published in 

  • Scholarly journals
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Online

  You can find a book review by using

UBUlink: availability of digital publications

In your search for scholarly literature you may sometimes find the UBU-link. This link provides information about the availability of digital publications via the University Library.  Sometimes the UBU-link is in the form of a yellow button, but it can also be a text link.

Want to know more about all options to access digital publications? Visit our Online Access page.

The library does not have it. What to do now?

  1. Was the UBUlink wrong? Search our WorldCat (by title of the book or print journal) and/or the list of journals (seach by journal title) to be really sure it is not available.
  2. Is a book maybe online available free of charge? Check Google Books. Is a journal article maybe online available free of charge? Check Google Scholar (the links in the right hand column).
  3. Does any other Dutch library hold the publication? Material from other Dutch libraries can be requested through WorldCat by clicking on the title of the item. Under "Availability" then "Libraries Worldwide" you will find the "Interlibrary Request" button. By clicking that you will be directed to a form where you can make your request. This service is not free of charge. More information about borrowing from other libraries you can find at the library website. Borrowing from other Dutch libraries is free for Dutch students: have a library card made and pick up and return the books yourself. Or let somebody you know in that city make photocopies of your book or journal.
  4. Should this publication be in the collection of Utrecht University Library? Submit a purchase suggestion, or contact the subject specialist.
  5. Mail the author: ask the author to send you the article. On publishers' sites and in databases such as Scopus you will often find the email address of the author.
  6. Twitter to the rescue! This may work for articles from journals to which the UU does not subscribe and that are not Open Acess. Send out a tweet with the URL and add the hashtag #icanhazpdf. Chances are good you will get into contact with someone able to legally send you a (PDF ot other) version of the text.
  7. Does a foreign library hold the publication? Check WorldCat. Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request material from abroad.
  8. Buy it yourself? Online access to an article can usually be bought via the publisher's site of the journal (use your creditcard); books can be bought in an (online) bookstore.