Search tip: Use Roger to find books (including ebooks) available at the UC San Diego Library, Circuit to find books in other San Diego libraries, or Melvyl to at one of the ten UC campuses or to request a book from libraries around the world.
Search tip: Remember, though, that you're only searching basic cataloging information about the book (not the book contents itself) so keep your search general.
Begin with a keyword search, for example
italy and politics
ital* and elect*
(Note that the * is a truncation symbol, e.g. elect* returns results for election, elected, electing, etc. Beware of truncation, though. In this case, elect* also returns hits for electric, electricity, etc.)
When you find a record for a book that looks useful, take a look at the subject headings. In Roger, these subject headings are clickable links that run a new search. Searching by these subject headings may help find resources that don't turn up with an initial keyword search. They might also give you ideas of other search terms to use in your keyword search.
Reference works are a good place to begin your research, as they generally provide background information and often cite longer, more authoritative research works on the topic.
Tip: keep an eye out for important words and phrases to try in your keyword searches in other tools.
Bonus search tip: Having trouble finding books using the online catalog? Search the contents of books using Google Books, then do a title search in Roger, Circuit, or Melvyl!
Super bonus tip: Use Google Scholar's "intitle:" limit to search your search term within reference books like encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, etc.