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How do I search for books or ebooks on a topic?

When searching for books, try to use fewer keywords than you would for journal articles. The search tools do not search through the full text of books. They often only search the title, and in a few cases, the table of contents. Since most book titles are short and general, keep your search simple. In fact, you may find books with titles that cover only one of your main ideas. However, your exact topic may be covered in one of the chapters within the book.

Searching for books in Discovery Search vs the Library Catalogue

Discovery Search

The Discovery Search is a search tool which allows you to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more in the Library Catalogue and many of our databases.

Library Catalogue

The Library Catalogue is a search tool that allows you to search for ebooks, print books, and other material at Concordia Library. It is a better tool than the Discovery Search for when you need to do more precise searching such as searching by subject or call number.

take note Take note!

Make sure to check out the section "What do I need to know before I start searching".

definition Library Catalogue

A search tool that allows you to search for material available in the Library's collection. It includes:

  • books
  • encyclopedias & dictionaries
  • journals, magazines & newspapers (but not individual articles)
  • streaming videos & DVDs
  • government publications
  • theses
  • maps
  • musical scores
  • engineering standards
  • and more!
take note Take note!

The Library Catalogue does not contain individual articles from journals or newspapers. You will find these in the Discovery Search or article databases.

example Example: Comparison search in the Discovery Search and the Library Catalogue
Comparison Search: Discovery Search vs. Library Catalogue [3:00 minutes].
more See also

Looking for your course textbooks? Visit our "Course readings and textbooks for students" page.

page last updated on: Friday 5 July 2019
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