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EGIS (Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society): Using Discovery to Search for Books

Using Discovery to search for...

Let's assume the following book and book chapter are on your reading list:

  • Greed, C. (1996) Introducing Town Planning. 2nd ed. Harlow: Longman

  • Fishman, R. (2015) 'Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier', in Fainstein, S. S. and Defilippis, J. (eds.) Readings in Planning Theory. 4th edn. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 33-59

For the first example, search for:

["introducing town planning" greed

For the second example, search for:

[fainstein "readings in planning theory"]
– i.e. the book title, not the chapter title and the book editor, not the chapter author

You can search by general keyword, e.g. entering [civil eng*] would find all resources with civil engineering/engineers etc in the title, keywords or author.

N.B. the * is used to truncate words, so eng* finds resources with engineers, engineering, engineered etc in the title, keywords or author.

Think carefully about your keywords.  See also:

Limiting your Discovery search to only books

Discovery  cross searches many different types of resources.  Use the limiters on the left hand side of the screen to narrow your results.

To limit your results to only books:

  • Under 'Resource Type', select 'Books':


To limit your search to only eBooks:

  • Under 'Show Only', select 'Full Text Online'


To Limit your search to print books at your campus Library:

  • Under 'Library', select your campus Library

How do I know if the item I want is available in print or online?

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

Off-campus access

When off-campus, you will be prompted for your Heriot-Watt username/password.  For help with usernames/passwords, see:

Borrowing from HWU campus libraries

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.

Help with using Discovery