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Find a specific book

The most effective way to find a known book is to use a combination of author name(s) and (part of) the title.

You want to find:

Williams, Julia Lloyd, and S.A.C. Dudok van Heel. 2001. Rembrandt's Women. Munich: Prestel.

Enter the name of (one of) the authors and the title, or part of the title, between quotation marks. Omit an article at the start of the title. By using the index labels for author (au:) and title (ti:) you will enhance the search results.

au: Dudok van Heel ti:"Rembrandt's women"

In many cases the correct book will be among the top results in the list. Often the results list will include articles/reviews on the book you searched. The record for the book will show the book cover or a book icon. Articles will have an article icon.

icon material type book icon material type article

You can use the filter for material type on the left hand of the screen to limit your results to just books. Other available filters to limit the number of results are year of publication and language.

                screenshot SmartCat. filter material type


By default SmartCat will search the holdings of the University of Groningen Library. If you do not find the book, it is not available in Groningen. You can expand your search to 'Libraries in the Netherlands' or to 'Libraries worldwide':

If there are no results you will see a link to expand your search.​

                screenshot SmartCat. pop-up expand scope

If there are results, but not the title you're looking for, you can expand your search to 'libraries worldwide' using the scope filter on the left of the screen.

                screenshot SmartCat. filter library scope

By clicking 'advanced search' underneath the search bar you can open an advanced search screen which allows you to execute a more refined search. You can combine keywords with AND, OR and NOT, specify which fields you want to search and use filters to limit results to a specific format or date range.




Index labels allow you to choose which indexes you want to search. In the example for quick search the labels for author (au:) and title (ti:) are used, but there are many more index labels available.

The following index labels might be useful when searching for books:

Searching... Index label Example
All words kw:

Multiple fields like author, title, publisher, subject headings and abstract are searched

Author au:


Title ti:

ti:learning extreme events  (title contains these words)

ti:"learning from single extreme events" (title contains this phrase)

Series se: se:"oxford history of the United States"  (to find all the volumes in a series)
Year of publication yr:


yr:199? (1990-1999)

Format x0: x0:book
Publisher pb: pb:brill


How do I obtain the book?

If a book is available in Groningen the results list will mention:

                screenshot SmartCat. availability UG

The results list will only show one edition of each title. The edition shown is the most recent edition held by the University of Groningen Library.

                screenshot SmartCat. item in search results            Underneath the description are links to other editions held by the UL and editions in libraries worldwide.


Clicking on the title will open a detailed description of the book.

Next to the description are the Access options.

                screenshot SmartCat. access options

Access online will lead to the ebook, or to an overview of available ebook links. (More information on e-books on the library website)

Request will open the form to borrow a print copy of the book.  You can select request 'any copy' or 'specific copy or volumes'. Use 'specific copy' only when necessary. You can also select a pick-up location. The book will be placed on the self-service shelves at that location. You will receive an e-mail notification when the book is ready. You can take the book from the shelves and borrow it at the self-service station.


A link in the access options will take you to the bottom of the title description where you will find an overview of the available copies and their locations and an overview of other editions available in Groningen or elsewhere.


How to borrow a book from the closed stacks (video)

How to borrow a book from a reading room (video)


By default SmartCat searches the holdings of the University of Groningen Library. If your search for a specific book gets no results you will see a link to expand your search to libraries worldwide.

                screenshot SmartCat. pop-up expand scope

If a book is not available in Groningen click 'Request from another library' to borrow the book.

In some cases when a book is not available there is no button for an ILL request. It is still possible to create a request in 'My account'

                screenshot SmartCat. my account. requests

In the overview of requests click 'create request'. This will open the ILL request form to request items that are not available in Groningen.


Requesting a book from another library in the Netherlands (ILL) is free for students and staff of the university.

More on ILL and its costs



Questions? Ask the experts:

Subjects: Information Literacy, SmartCat, Systematic Review, OER