Finding tables of contents for BOOKS

It can be challenging to find a table of contents for a book that you can't physically interact with. Here are some options you can try:

WorldCat Discovery

If you look up a book in WorldCat Discovery, you can often find its table of contents.

  1. Search for the book as you normally would
  2. When you've selected a book and can see its record on the right hand side of your screen, click the arrow symbol next to View Description.
  3. If there is a section labeled Contents, it should contain the table of contents for that book. 

Screenshot of a WorldCat Discovery record with the contents section highlighted.

Google Books

Some items in Google Books also have visible tables of contents.

  1. Search for the book as you normally would.
  2. Check to see if there is a Preview available; books that lack this functionality will usually have a label on the page indicating that a preview is unavailable.
  3. If there is a preview available, access it by clicking the Preview button.
  4. Use the and > symbols at the top of the page to navigate through the preview to look for the table of contents.

Screenshot of a Google Books record with the Preview button highlighted.


If you follow a similar procedure as with Google Books, you can often find a table of contents for books listed on Amazon.

  1. Search for the book on Amazon as you normally would.
  2. Check to see if the Look Inside functionality is available. If it is, click on the image of the book's cover to access it.
  3. Use the arrow symbols at the sides of the preview to navigate through and look for the table of contents.

Publisher's websites

If you know the publisher of a book, you can also search for the book on their website and see if they include a table of contents. Availability can vary tremendously, but if no other options get you the information you need, it's worth investigating.

Table of contents alerts for JOURNALS

Table of Contents alerts allow you to be automatically notified when the new issue of a journal is published.


The JournalTOCs Tables of Contents service allows you to keep up-to-date with newly published scholarly material by enabling you to browse, view, save, and search across thousands of journal tables of contents from hundreds of publishers. Free registration allow you to create a customized list of your most important and favorite journals, and includes export options such as email alerts, RSS feeds, formats for bibliographic managers, and customizable API for web pages. JournalTOCs will be replacing ticTOCs and existing ticTOCs users must re-register with the JournalTOCs service. Note: there is a limit of 30 journal titles that can be followed.

E-mail (or RSS) alerts from databases subscribed to by the Cornell University Library

Examples of vendor databases that include journals from multiple publishers and provide table of contents e-mail alerts include:

  • EBSCO databases - click on "Publications" link from the toolbar. Browse for journal title and select. Click "Alert/Save/Share" link on publications page.
  • ProQuest databases - click "Publications" tab. Browse for journal title and select. Click "set up alert" or "create RSS feed" from publication page.
  • ISI's Web of Science - conduct a "publication name" search. Click on "Search History". Click "Save History/Create Alert" button and choose frequency of alert (options are weekly or monthly).
  • Publisher-provided table of contents alerts - Another option is to sign up for table of contents alerts sent directly from publishers of journals or article databases to which Cornell University subscribes. This usually requires creating an individual profile at a publisher's Web site.

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