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How to find Library materials

Journal articles

Look up journal articles on a topic by using a library database.

A database is a collection of information sources (usually journal articles) with a search engine that allows you to search for the articles. The Library subscribes to a number of databases that will retrieve citations to journal articles (e.g., title of article, author, title of journal, volume number, page numbers, etc.). Some citations include abstracts (summaries) of the journal article that will help you determine if the articles fits your topic. In addition, some databases provide the full-text of the articles. If the full-text article is not available in the database you searched, see below for further information.

There are two basic types of databases:

  1. There are some general periodical databases that have articles on many subjects. They cover a range of periodical types from popular magazines to scholarly journals.
  2. Other databases focus on specific subject areas and will lead you to scholarly articles in that field. They also often identify books, dissertations, conference papers, and other sources of information in that field. Many databases include foreign language sources.

To search these databases either on or off campus, you will need to input your ASU network login information.

Search for journal articles

  1. From the Library homepage, click on the Databases A-Z List if you already know the name of the database you want, or use the subject pull-down list to choose your database by subject.
  2. Click on the title of the database you want to use.
  3. Use the search features of the database you chose to look for articles

If you are not finding what you want, look at the “Help” screens which most databases offer for suggestions on refining your search. If that does not work, try another database in your subject area. If that does not work, then use the “Ask A Librarian” service to ask for more help.


Angelo State University students, faculty, and staff have access to a growing list of eBooks. The Library subscribes to the following major ebook collections:

  • ebrary eBook collection: offers carefully curated eBooks spanning coverage in all academic subject areas with exceptional strength in computers and IT, engineering, life and physical sciences, and math.
  • EBSCO eBook Collection: Provides access to over 32,000 full-text scholarly, reference and professional eBooks from leading university, academic and professional publishers. These eBooks are digital versions of print books from a broad range of subject areas and topics.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: Provides the full text of over 200 subject encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and directories.

In addition to these collections the Library has purchased a number of individual eBook titles. The following collections of electronic books are freely available to all on the web.

  • Internet Archive - eBooks and Texts. Offers over 10,000,000 fully accessible books and texts, ranging from popular fiction and children’s books, to historical texts and academic books.
  • Online Books Page. Listing over 2 million free books on the web. This website facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the internet. Major parts of the site include:
    • an index of over two million online books freely readable on the internet
    • pointers to significant directories and archives of online texts
    • special exhibits of particularly interesting classes of online books
  • Project Gutenberg. Offers over 50,000 free eBooks to download to your PC, Kindle, Android, iOS or other portable device, or to read online.

To locate eBooks from the Library collections/subscriptions

  • Search RamCat by title, author, subject or keyword - any matching eBook titles will be included with other items in your search results. Look for the location Online Books in the record display.
  • Add “AND electronic books” after search words when doing an Advanced keyword search in RamCat. For example: report writing and electronic books.

Course Reserves

  • Electronic Reserves
    ASU faculty may choose to utilize the Library’s E-Reserves to make materials available to their students via a link from within Blackboard. You may need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer in order to view items on E-Reserve – you can download it from For assistance, please contact the Library Circulation/Reserves Desk at 325-942-2051, or by email at
  • Hard Copy Reserves
    Books and photocopies that your instructor has put on reserve are held at the Circulation Desk. Audiovisual items that your instructor has put on reserve are held at the Media Desk.
    To search for physical Course Reserve materials in RamCat select any of the options available from one of the three pull-down menus: Instructor, Department, Course, then click on the “search” button.
    Within a reserve list, the titles of the materials are listed in alphabetical order. If the title you want is listed as AVAILABLE, write the call number down and present it to the staff at the Circulation or Media Desks.

Government Documents

Search our catalog, RamCat and use the Quick limit “Government Documents” in your search.

If you are conducting a comprehensive search or just haven’t quite identified the right resources yet, try broadening your search by using the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to documents that are available online. Most titles date from 1976 forward. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general keyword, or click on “Advanced Search” for more options. The catalog offers the option to nd a nearby Federal Depository Library that has a particular publication or that can provide expert assistance in finding and using related U.S. government information. Click on the title of interest from our search results list. Then click on the “Locate in a Library” link within the displayed record. Searches can be limited by telephone area code to find a conveniently located depository library.

Most print government documents may be checked out at the Circulation Desk. Campus users (students, faculty, and staff) may check out most print government documents. Items may be renewed. Please see Circulation Policies Grid for more details.

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