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Finding books: Finding books on a topic

A guide to finding books, both online and physically within the Library.

Going beyond your reading list

Later on in your studies you will be asked to find information on a topic for your own essays, seminar presentations, and your dissertation. Follow the tips below for help on finding relevant sources.

Using the Enterprise catalogue

Search the Enterprise catalogue for one or more keywords describing your topic to find some useful books held in the Library. This will show you both printed and online books. For the best results keep your search quite simple as you are searching the titles of books not their contents.

Using the Summon discovery service

Delve into our e-books by searching Summon to find online book chapters on a topic.

Other ways of finding books on a topic

If you want to find books beyond our collections, for instance if you are researching for a PhD and need to find everything published on your topic, try the following methods to find references to books on your topic.

Look at lists of references in other publications
  • encyclopedias - there are often lists of references at the end of encyclopedia entries
  • books - look at the further reading in books you have already 
  • journal articles - look at the list of references at the end of any relevant journal articles, these often include books. Review articles are especially useful as they summarise research in a specific field - these are usually published in journals titled “Annual review of…” “Reviews in…”

Search relevant databases

There are a number of databases that give references to books and/or book chapters. Explore those relevant to your subject, in addition to searching the specific book databases suggested below.

Books not held at Reading

If you find details of a book not held in our Library we can usually get it for you from another library, or you may be able to visit another library which has a copy. 

You can also suggest a book for purchase using this form: