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EGIS (Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society): Books, eBooks and Book chapters

Books and eBooks

Heriot-Watt Libraries have over 164,000 print items on the shelves and over 483,000 eBooks that you can access from anywhere with an internet connection. This page has guidance on searching for books and book chapters, as well as borrowing and accessing books.

What does a book reference look like?

Finding Books (Discovery)

Use the search box below to search for print and eBooks that match your keywords:

or, go to:


  • This searches Edinburgh, SBC, Orkney, Dubai and Malaysia campuses and our online collections
    • use the left hand limiters to view only your local library and/or eBooks
  • This does not search books in info4education or iSurv

For help with Discovery see:

For further information about eBooks, see:

Searching inside the book/finding book chapters

Discovery searches at the book title level, and chapter level for some eBooks.

Our eBooks are provided by many different suppliers, each with their own eBook platform.  You can go directly to their platform to search within their books.  See our eBook Guide for further information:

This allows you to search ‘within the book’ i.e. at the chapter level

Although you may not get the full-text of the book (this will depend on various factors), it will allow you to identify useful books, which you can then search for in Discovery (i.e. ‘you know what you are looking for’)

Google Book Search

EGIS Books

Resources not searched by Discovery

Other resources that search for books

Further help with books

Discovery searches for both print and eBooks. 

  • Print books show an ‘Available from’ link with a classmark e.g. 338.47624 OFO
  • eBooks show a ‘Full text available’ link

In Discovery you will see a 'map it' button, click on this to see where the item is in the Library.

Dewey classification mean that library materials are shelved in subject groupings. Both books and journals:

First, numerically

  • 000 comes before 500
  • 004 comes before 005
  • 004.6 comes before 004.68

Then alphabetically, by the first three letters of the author’s name/journal title

  • 004.6 Bac comes before 004.6 Yua
  • 511.8 Har comes before 511.8 Tra

Generally speaking:​​

  • Animals
  • Architecture
    = 720s
  • Beverage technology
  • Biology
  • Buildings & Construction
    = 690s
    • Construction Project Management
      = 692.65
  • Civil & Structural Engineering
    = 624s
  • Earth sciences and geology
  • Food technology
  • Geography
  • Medincine and health
  • Planning & Urban Design
    = 711s
  • Plants

Not sure where things are in the Library? Use our floor plans to help you.


You can also use our floor plans to help you:

Borrowing is available if you are within traveling distance form the library (i.e. you can collect and return books).  We do not offer a postal service.

There are a number of ways of getting hold of books or chapters we don't have in stock, see: