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ELISE | Informing your studies tutorial: Books


Quiz question There may be a quiz question related to the information on this page.


Tip  Library collection

Refine My Results in the left column, helps focus your search by:
   Creator (author)
   Collection or Course Code
   Journals or Articles

You can also check item records for more information:

Get It
   Availability of print version
   Location & item number

   Place of publication
   Date of publication

Item records may also include other editions or formats of an item, e.g. an online version or a video.

Where is it?

Everything on the Library shelves has an item number. 

Search the Library collection to find the item number and location.

Learn more:
Tip  Library locations, under the
 UNSW information tab

More on your topic

Tip  To find more information on your topic, check if the author of a text on your list of course resources has written other books on the same subject:

  • search for the author in a catalogue or database
  • click on the author's name to find other works

Find a book when you know the title

 To find a book in the Library collection

  • search for the title, or author and title if the words in the title are common
  • limit your results to Books using Refine My Results in the left hand column

Books may be either:

  • in print, located on Library shelves, or
  • online. To access an ebook, click View It on the Library collection record

Tip  Locating tip for print books

  • check the item record for a Get It tab. This tells you where the print copies are located, e.g.

  Available at Level 9, Main Library (658.4/2)

  Available at High Use Collection, Main Library (363.738/37)

You may find books on your list of course resources. Some may be ebooks and some may be print:

  • access ebooks directly from the list
  • use the item number to find the print books on the shelves in the Library

Learn more:  Tip  Library collection on this page 

Learn more:  Tip  Understanding your reading list under the Discover tab

Finding books on your topic

For an assignment, you need to find information on the topic government policy regarding carbon tax.

Start by identifying the main terms in your assignment. In this case - carbon tax.

To find books, go to the Library’s home page and type the keywords carbon tax into the search box.

If you click See all results under Library collection you will notice you have retrieved a huge number of results that are a mixture of books and journal articles. To make your search results more relevant, use Refine My Results in the left hand menu.

There are many options in this menu to help focus your search. In this example, where you are looking for books, the most useful option to start with is to refine by Resource Type. Choose Books.

This narrows your search down to approximately 150 results, all books, but not all of these results look particularly relevant.

Next, try refining the search by Topic. To see the complete list of topics to choose from, click More options.

Emissions trading and Climatic changes seem relevant.

Click the box next to these topics to search for these terms within your list of search results for carbon tax. 

  Sort your results to show the most recent information first, using the sorted by drop-down list. Choose date-newest.

  Check On This Subject under Suggested New Searches in the left hand menu for alternative search terms.

What if you can't find it?

Check that the spelling is correct:

  • are there alternative spellings?
  • did you type it correctly?
  • is the spelling correct on your list of course resources?

Is the item you are looking for out on loan?

  • check to see if there is another copy at a different location
  • is there an earlier edition? Check for other versions of the item in the Library collection.
    Note - your lecturer may require you to look at a specific edition
  • try searching Google Scholar. You may be able to find the full text of some articles via the Findit @ UNSW links
    Tip  Set up Google Scholar Library Links via Scholar Settings

Check Help in the Library catalogue for tips on how to improve your searches.

Tip  If you have tried all the options above and are still unable to locate the book you can request a copy on interlibrary loan

For further assistance, visit a Library Help Zone