Getting Started
Finding Resources
Journal Articles
ERIC Documents
Statistical Information
Legal Information
Evaluating Resources
Citing Your Sources
ERIC Thesaurus
Research Databases
Database Tutorials
Writing Dissertations
Library Services

University Libraries


Finding Books

Why use books for research?

Books are important for research because they

  • provide in-depth coverage on a topic
  • usually give background information on a topic
  • may present various viewpoints and interpretations on a topic
  • include extensive reference sources

How to find books on a topic?

To find books relevant to your research topic, you may use

  • Minerva, the University at Albany Libraries' online catalog
  • SUNY Union Catalog, the online union catalog of the libraries in the SUNY system
  • WorldCat, the online union catalog that is both national and international in scope

Search Tips

When you do not have an exact title, author name, or subject, do a search using keywords.

Use truncation * to find all words with similar root.

For example, the search for child* retrieves records containing any of the following words: child, child's, childhood, children, and children's.

Use Boolean operators "or" to add synonyms to your search.

For example, the search for gender or sex retrieves records with either of those two words.

To search keywords as a two-word phrase, enclose keywords with " ".

For example, the search for "language acquisition" retrieves records with those two words appearing next to each other and in that order. The system will search those two words separately if they are not enclosed in " ".

A Word of Caution:
Use the online catalogs to find books, videos, research databases, journal titles, magazines and newspapers. To locate individual articles published in journals, magazines and newspapers, use databases.