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Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computer Science: Finding Books


Books ("monographs") have an important place in research.

Books record history on concepts, provide broad overviews on big topics, give thorough introductions to a new field, and provide opportunities to pull together the major works on a subject.

When should you use a book in your research?

  • Are you providing a thorough review of something?
  • Do you need to know the most important information on a topic?
  • Do you need a lot of information in a short amount of time? 

Check-out Periods & Renewals

Number of Items Allowed: All Texas State University borrowers are allowed to check out a maximum of 100 items.  Within that limit only 4 audio/visual materials, such as DVDs and CDs, may be borrowed at any one time.   

Graduate Students have a 6 month checkout period with 2 renewals.  Renewals can be done online or in person at the Circulation/Reserves Desk.   

Renewals can be done online using or in person at the 3rd floor Checkout Desk at Alkek Library. Call 512.245.3681 to renew by phone.

Book Catalog

Use the Library Catalog to search for print resources, multimedia resources, and ebooks. The Library Catalog also provides location and availability details. Use quotation marks for "phrase searching"

Each item in the library's collection has its own catalog record, like the one below.

Here you can see the item's location and call number and also its status. If it says AVAILABLE, the item should be on the shelf.

Take a look at the parts of the record that are hyperlinks. If you click on the author's name, you can see what else in the catalog he or she wrote.

The subject terms are useful not only for finding other materials that are closely related to the one you're looking at, but also for suggesting additional search keywords.

If you find a really relevant book in the catalog, look at the subject terms to see if they use different words to describe your topic than you did. Try incorporating those new words in your searches to get a different angle on your research.

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