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DIY: Research Help

A continually evolving suite of research help content focused on helping you navigate the research process.

Video Tutorials

Review your options for beginning your research on the Fitchburg State Library's homepage. Your librarian will introduce the All Search, Articles, Books & Media, and Database tabs. You will also learn how to login to use FSU library resources when you are off campus

How to Search for Print Books Using Resource Search

From the Library's homepage (, enter your search terms in the Resource Search box. (Ex. Shakespeare AND women)

Search box with search terms: Shakespeare AND women

From the results page, limit to Books/E-books and Fitchburg State Library Catalog.

Screen shot of Summon search results page showing the book/ebook and Fitchburg State Library Catalog filters.

Click on the book title to see additional information about the book such as the table of contents, book summary, subjects and more.

Screen shot of the details page of a book from a Summon results page.

Tips for Searching E-books

Resource Search:

Resource Search checks for the keywords you entered in the search box not only in the titles and abstracts but also the full-text of the entire book. This can be helpful when trying to locate relevant passages from a book or book chapters. Sometimes your results may list titles that are not relevant to your search because one of the keywords appeared in the full-text of the book  but not in the context for what you were seeking.

Search Tips for locating e-books in Resource Search. 

  1. If looking for a specific title, put the title of the book in quotes.  (e.g. "Taming of the Shrew")
  2. To see a list of current books published on your topic, use the date facet along the left side of the screen to narrow to the last 5 or 10 years. We do not recommend sorting by date  at the top of the screen as you will lose the relevance rankings.

Within Databases:

Some databases contain only one source type such as eBooks or videos while other databases provide access to more than one source type.

  • eBook only Databases - The library subscribes to several ebook databases.  Resource Search searches all of the ebook databases simultaneously.  You can also search ebook databases individually on their native platform by going to the library's A-Z Database list, set the Database Types filter to eBooks, and click on the eBook database you want to search. 
  • Databases with More than One Source Type - When searching within a database that contains more than one source type there will usually be a limit option where it lists the type of sources available. If books or eBooks are listed as an option, you can select it to so that you only see those items. Here is an example from the Academic Search Ultimate database:

On the results page look in the left-side column, under Source Types. It displays the source types by the type that has the most number of items down to the least; click on the Show More link to get a pop-up box to see the full list of available source types. Click on a specific type to see only those items. 

Results page from the Academic Search database showing how to limit by source type.

How-to Guide