The Library is increasingly purchasing books in electronic format rather than traditional print format. These books are listed in our catalog just like other books, and you can even limit your catalog search results to find just the books that are available full text online.
To do this, after your search results load in UC Library Search, click "available online" under the "availability" option on the left.
In addition to using the UC Library Search catalog to limit to electronic materials (as described above), you might want to check some of our ebook collections. See the library's ebooks guide for:
UC Library Search is the first stop for finding books, journals, documents, maps and all other material located physically in the UCSD libraries, as well as online resources purchased for your use. It also contains a limited number of online journal and newspaper articles.
You can also use UC Library Search to find materials at other UC libraries.
Note that if you have a specific title, author, or call number that you want to search, it's easiest to use the Browse Search option.
If you want to search only the library catalog (and exclude journal articles, course reserves, etc.), go to the Advanced Search screen and click the "Library Catalog" bubble at top.
Circuit is a shared library catalog that searches the holdings of all San Diego university libraries (except Cal State San Marcos) and the San Diego County Public Library. If a book you need is already checked out at UCSD, or if or we don't own a book that you need, check in Circuit. If it’s available at another San Diego Circuit library, it can be delivered to UCSD in 1-3 days.
Search tip: If you have trouble finding books using a library catalog like UC Library Search (which don't search the full text of books, but only the basic bibliographic information, subject headings, table of contents, etc.), try a search using your keywords in Google Books - which does search the full text of thousands of books.
While you won't be able to read the full text via Google for most books, this is a great way to identify books of possible interest. When you find a book you like, paste the title into UC Library Search or the HathiTrust catalog to see if the Library has access to the full text.
HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research organizations offering a collection of millions of digitized materials from libraries around the world, include the UCSD Library. Full text is available for many but not all items - you can restrict your search to full text items.
Because of copyright limitations for more recent material, HathiTrust is best used for historical volumes and government publications.
To expand your search even further, you can use the Worldcat catalog to search for materials held in libraries around the world.
Use UC Library Search to find books available at the UC San Diego Library and/or other UC libraries, and try Circuit to find books in other San Diego-area libraries. You can request books in Circuit to be delivered to UCSD Library.
Remember, though, that you're only searching basic cataloging information about the book (e.g. title/author/table of contents, not the book contents itself) so it may be best to keep your initial search somewhat general.
Begin with a keyword search, for example
sustainab* AND transportation (the * is a truncation symbol, e.g. sustainab* returns results for sustainable, sustainability, etc.)
(pollution OR emissions) AND (cars OR vehicles)
When you find a record for a book that looks useful, take a look at the subject headings. In UC Library Search, 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.
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 UC Library Search.
Super bonus tip: Use Google Scholar's "intitle:" limit to search your search term within reference books like encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, etc.