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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

UGS 302: Difficult Dialogs: Participatory Democracy / Wilson

Find Scholarly books

Finding and using books during a pandemic

Our collections are still available for you to check out, but we no longer allow you to browse the shelves. As such, we you need to request that the book you find on our library website is held for you at the desk in PCL. You may also request a scan of a chapter or section of a book if you are living away from campus. Use the Pick it Up option and Get a Scan option in the library catalog record of the book you want.

We aim to get the book to you the same day or the next day.

During the pandemic, we have temporarily turned on access to more ebooks than in the past. You'll see some search tips below.

How to search for ebooks

Not all of our books are available online as ebooks. Here is how to limit your search to only books available online.

Remember that your keyword strategy will need to be broader because books cover broader topics than do articles.

These screenshots (you can open them in a new tab to enlarge) lead you from

Step 1:

Use the Books and Media link under the search bar on


Step 2:

On the next screen, enter your search terms.


Step 3:

oN the left side, you can limit to items available online


Step 4:

Under each result, there is a link Available Online. Click that.

Step 5:

every publisher link is differently named once you are in the full record

Can books be scholarly?

When you search for scholarly books, there are never any tidy buttons to press and limit your search. That's because they don't undergo the same peer review process as a journal does (though it's similar). So how do you know if it is scholarly?

  1. is it written by a scholar? This would be an academic in most cases. Someone who works at a research institution.
  2. Are they using research for evidence to make their claims? Are they joining the scholarly conversation around the topic (you can check the references in the back of the book to get an idea quickly. No references? well, it's probably not scholarly.)
  3. is it on a university press? Ok,it doesn't have to be and university presses also publish non-scholarly stuff, but for many disciplines, this is a helpful clue. There are a handful of scientific publishers - such as Elsevier or Springer that also publish scientific scholarship and are not affiliated with a university.

Want more information about Ebooks?

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