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Science for Nonmajors -- General Guide: Background with Books

Science topics are everywhere, and this is where a nonmajor can learn more to make his/her research effective and fun.

Searching Science Books with GIL-Find

Where to Go

Finding Your Way Around

Introduction: -- Is this guide for you?

And Finding a Topic that Works

Research with Background from Books

Research with Databases for Articles

And don't forget to Cite your Sources.

And of Course...

Search GIL-Find.

Other Guides and Handouts

For a more general approach: Quick Searching with GIL-Find.

Return to Step by Step finding books and using Popular Databases.

Return to Handouts for You.

Help with Chemistry

Try the Chemistry Glossary.

Science Books with GIL-Find

Fancy GIL-Find linked logo GIL-Find, Georgia State University Library's catalog, is the gateway to science books that provide background on a topic and that sometimes have the intelligent public rather than experts as their audience.

Keep in mind: Books are AT LEAST A YEAR OLD when published. Many also only have a chapter about your topic.

1) On any library web page, click the GIL-Find/Library Catalog link, or type http://gilfind.gsu.edu in your browser's locator bar. GIL-Find does NOT require a password, though you need the your Campus ID and password to read eBooks off campus.

2) Type in a few words that describe your topic and click the big, bright red Search button.

GIL Find search ready to go!

Some examples of science topics are:

  • Fracking
  • Geoengineering
  • Plastics from Plants
  • Organ Transplants from Animals
  • Genetically Engineered Drugs

3) GIL-Find presents results in groups of twenty-five. Use the options in the window's right column to restrict to newer books (less than five to fifteen years old), because science changes quickly.

This is how you get rid of old books in GIL-Find


4) Look careafully at the titles. Not all of them will cover your topic.

5) To see the full entry for a book, click on its blue title.


Happy with your results If an item fits your topic, click on its title and look at its blue subject heading link(s). This will improve your search results.

Less than happy with my results If there are no items about your topic, rephrase your search, for example biotechnology instead of genetic engineering.


GIL-Find book showing subject headings and more


7) To find a print book, look for its call number and campus near the top of the page.

To find/read an eBook, log in to GIL-Find with your campusID and password. Then click the blue link in the middle of the page. You may have to scroll down to reach it.

Close up of the eBook link in GIL-Find

8) To return to the list of results click the white X on the left side of the page.

9) To print, your reference, click the Cite icon in the bread crumb trail near the top of the page, and copy your favorite format to a document for printing. You can also copy and paste the call number to the same document.

10) To save the book for later, click the pale turquoise pushpin in the top right corner of the page.

11) To start a new search, simply type it into the search box at the top of the page.