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Getting Started: Information Research Tips

Introductory help in learning how to identify, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically for research assignments.

Interlibrary Loan

If you need a book or journal article that the UCLA Library does not own or is lost or missing, you can make an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request and we will try to get it for you. Use the form linked on this page. There is no cost for making an ILL request, but you should allow one or two weeks for the item to arrive. Journal articles will most often be sent to you as a link to a pdf scan in your email.

Tips for Book Searching

When searching for books in the UC Library Search catalog, here are a few strategies to start with:

  1. If you are not sure of where to start, do a Keyword search for relevant terms or phrases (put the phrases in "quotation marks")
  2. If you find a useful title, click on the Subject(s): to get a list of subject headings that will lead to other books on the same topic
  3. If you already have a relevant book or article in hand, use its bibliography to find other sources on the same topic
  4. If you have the title of the book you want, do a Title (start of) search to find the call number
  5. Use quotation marks if you want to search a phrase
  6. Use * to truncate a word, e.g., america* will retrieve american and americans

Powell Library Map Check to see where your call number is located.

Young Research Library Map Check to see where your call number is located.

Online Catalog for Finding Books at UCLA and Other Libraries

 

  • Search UCLA's local library collection as well as the collections from all 10 UC libraries, two regional library facilities and the California Digital Library

  • Locate the full text of millions of print and online books, journal articles, and other content

  • Get up-to-the-minute status information on what's checked out, do things like renew your books, recall books checked out to other people or request items stored in the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF)

Tips

Select the scope most appropriate for what you are looking for:

  • Articles, books, and more searches all 10 UC campus libraries, the electronic resources subscribed to, as well as electronic resources that may not be in the UC libraries, but that can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Course Reserves searches material put on reserve by your professor. Search by course number, title or instructor.
  • UCLA Library Catalog searches just material in the UCLA Libraries, with the exception of journal articles.
  • UC Libraries Catalog searches all 10 UC campus libraries, with the exception of journal articles.
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive searches only the holdings of the Film & Television Archive.
  • WorldCat Global Catalog searches material in libraries throughout the United States and some foreign countries.

. You can request materials from anywhere in the world using the Interlibrary Loan service—you don't even have to specify where it's coming from—but it may take weeks or months to get here, and extremely rare materials may not be available for loan.

Dissertations

The UCLA Library provides access to the full-text of many dissertations through our subscription to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. The link to full-text does not always appear in the UCLA Library Catalog or on the                              page. If you find a reference to a dissertation (often in an article database), the best strategy is to go to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses website and search for the Document title. If the full-text is available, there will be a  link to click on.

Master's theses are usually only available at the institution where they were written. They may be requested on interlibrary loan.

Selected E-book Collections