Scholarly books can be an important source of information for your literature review. Although the most recent research tends to be published as peer-reviewed journal articles, scholarly books often expand on and synthesize this research and can present important conclusions about it. In addition to the book-length study, important dissertations may be published as books. Another popular format is a book of essays by various contributors, built around a common theme or as conference proceedings. Identifying scholarly books is not as easy as checking off a "peer-reviewed" box in an article database. Look for the credentials of the author(s), the publisher (usually, but not invariably, an academic or university press), and the general academic style of writing and documentation.
|USC Upstate Library Catalog|
Subject Headings are a predetermined vocabulary (in this case, by the Library of Congress) assigned to books during the cataloging process. Each book receives three or more subject headings based on its content. Finding relevant subject headings is a good way of finding the books that are most relevant for a particular topic. To find subject heading links, click on the title of a book in the results list and look under Subject. Note that
1. Subject headings are hyperlinked in the library catalog to enable you to find other books sharing that heading. This is a good way to refine your keyword searches.
2. Subject headings are organized in hierarchies. The dashes following the main part of the heading usually separate narrower aspects of the subject.
3. There may be more than one subject heading relevant to your topic.
A similar predetermined vocabulary exists in most of our article databases, variously called Subject Terms or Descriptors.
E-books are fully cataloged and will appear in searches of the Library Catalog. Occasionally, however, you may want to search an e-book collection directly. Here are the library's principal e-book collections with links to tutorials.
For more information on strategies for using the Library Catalog, consult the following videos:
If you don't find what you want at USC Upstate, try these other resources.