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EG 501: Research Integrity and Seminar: Finding Books


To find books and government documents in USA Libraries' collections, use SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog.

  • Catalog tips and tricks:
    • Keyword searches – use quotation marks to hold phrases together ("dissertations academic")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (comput? finds computer, computers, computing...)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "biofuels," (without the quotes) then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term is "biomass energy." Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
  • Revise and refine your searches.
  • Watch for repeating call numbers and browse stacks in that area.
  • Pay attention to the Location and Status fields. You will need this information to locate the item in the library.


USA students and faculty have free access to the full-text of USA dissertations. Choose "Dissertations & Theses @ University of South Alabama" from the ProQuest database list or type "south alabama" in the School name/code search box on the Dissertations Abstracts search screen.

Engineering Encyclopedias & Handbooks

Subject encyclopedias and handbooks have a wealth of background information that can provide you with a strong foundation upon which to build your research. To find a subject encyclopedia or handbook, search SOUTHcat for your keyword(s) and  "handbook" or "encyclopedia".

Ex.: "chemical engineering" handbook

Search Google Books

Part of Google's library-scanning project. Only books in the public domain are shown in full text. Others may have just a citation or show selected pages from the book. Remember, you can check SOUTHcat to see if we have a book you find in Google Books if the full text is not available.

Google Book Search

More SOUTHcat Resources

Interlibrary Loan

If the USA Libraries don't have the book or article you're looking for, you can place a request for it via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The link below will take you to the ILL page.