Try It!

Books can give you a good overview of your subject. First do a very general keyword search for your subject. 

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Limit your results to Books using the links on the left. Click on a few titles and look at the subject headings on the right and note any useful ones. Go to Advanced Search for the catalog (under the search box) and search by subject heading(s) you found (you may have to use a less specific form to get the results you need).


You can also refine your search to find books in certain date ranges or languages like English, and select specific formats like eBook.

Who researches what at Cornell?

Use VIVO to discover new collaborators for research and to learn about on-campus events.

VIVO is designed to aid individuals in their quest for "who researches what" at Cornell University, regardless of department or college affiliation.

Google Books

Cornell has a partnership with Google and has scanned lots of books which are available to you online.

Google Book Search

Finding books & more at Cornell

Need to find a book, journal, articles or more (either a particular title or on a topic) at Cornell and beyond? Search the library from the main search box at See the tutorial for searching specific resource types!

main library search box

Looking for Books on a Topic?

Looking for books on a topic? See this tutorial on searching the library catalog to see how to do a very general keyword search for your subject in the library catalog, find a relevant book, check under Availability to see how you can access it in print (look for the library, call number [book location] and availability) or online (look for the full text link), and find the subject headings.

basic search for sustainable building design in catalog

Finding Background Sources

Encyclopedias: You can find reference sources by choosing Databases and then the Dictionaries and Encyclopedias category OR

You can search the library catalog in Advanced Search for:

encyclopedia? OR guide? OR handbook? as Subjects


YOUR TOPIC as Keywords

Books: A keyword search for the general terms or subject areas you are interested in can help you find general overviews of the subject. Once you find at least one useful resource, a look at the subject headings can give you more

Background resources on the web: These can give you quick answers understandable to laypeople and some useful context and ideas for other search terms but always verify sources and evaluate what you find! See our guides to evaluating information

Google: define:TERM (e.g. define: "theory of mind")

Wikipedia: Check references at the end to verify source and look at the Discussion page to find the article's quality rating (if it's part of WikiProject) or debates that are going on

Specialized subject portals