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Ebooks: Searching for Ebooks @ UC San Diego

Using and finding ebooks at UC San Diego

There are two ways to look for ebooks at UC San Diego: search for ebooks in UC Library Search, or search the ebook publishers' websites.
There are some tradeoffs with each, as noted in the table below. Use VPN with group: 2-Step Secured - allthruucsd to access the ebooks from off campus.

Please contact Ask Us for assistance on tracking down ebooks, whether you need a specific title or are looking for books on a particular topic.

Searching UC Library Search vs. Publisher Websites

  How to Search Advantages Disadvantages

Search for Ebooks in UC Library Search


UC Library Search

  • Use UC Library Search to search for ebooks held by UC San Diego. Look for records in the results that say Available Online, then click the title to bring up the full record with the actual link to get to the ebook.
  • Unless otherwise noted, the books allow for unlimited simultaneous usage. Other titles may be limited to 1 or 3 users at one time.
  • Limit your UC Library Search results changing the search from Articles, Books and More to Library Catalog.
  • Results can also be limited to books and/or book chapters, using the Resource Type facet.
  • Can limit results to ebooks we have have access to.
  • Search results include our print books as well, unless you filter the search to Available Online
  • Search across most of our licensed ebook collections, including ebook platforms covering multiple publishers, like ProQuest Ebook Central, EBSCO, Knovel, and JSTOR.
  • Some ebook collections may be discoverable down to the full text.
  • Instead of filtering by books, you can also filter by book chapters, discovering titles that didn't come up before.
  • UC Library Search was launched in July 2021, so it is still quite new. Some older ebook collections have not yet been fully cataloged.
  • There may be multiple records for the same title, since this catalog also includes the holdings of the other UC Libraries.
  • There may be a cataloging lag where the most recent titles will not yet be in UCLS.
  • Some older e-books may also not yet be cataloged so Ask Us if you want an e-book and cannot find it.

Search for Ebooks on the Publishers' Websites.
For example:

  • Start your search at the publisher website. You should be able to go right to the book as long as it's one we've licensed or purchased. Most websites use an icon to denote this, such as an open lock  or something green like   or .
  • Many of our key ebook publishers are listed on this guide (including publishers by subject).
  • Search the full text of the ebooks, as well as journal articles if we license journals from that publisher.
  • Includes available ebooks that are not yet cataloged in UC Library Search.
  • Flexibility to create more complex and specific searches than you can in UC Library Search.
  • You'll only see ebooks and journals from that one publisher (or publishers, in the case of the aggregator platforms like JSTOR and Knovel), so you have to know which publisher or platform to search. You can also search Google or Google Books, but there may be multiple links to an ebook that may not work for us because we have it on another platform.
  • Full-text searching often retrieves too many results compared with UC Library Search, so you'll have to refine your searches to narrow the results.
  • We may not license every ebook and journal from that publisher. If you come across something we don't have online, check UC Library Search for print or online through another provider,  Ask Us for help, then request via interlibrary loan (physical books only).