Skip to Main Content

Journal Subciting Guide: Finding a Book

Searching the catalogs and requesting items from other libraries


Book citations in academic articles are easy to distinguish from other texts because they are usually relatively spare--the author name, title of book and the year of publication--in Small and Large caps. They can be confused with white papers and reports, which often have institutional authors. If you are unsure or have trouble locating a book using any of the below steps, do a quick search online for the Title to confirm whether this was a published book or a report issued by an organization.

Book Citation:

Report Citation:

Using the Catalog to Find a Book

The new online catalog used by the library is called Primo and can be accessed here. We highly recommend you go directly to the advanced search to look for materials. 

Look at this sample citation:

Wayne R. LaFave & Austin W. Scott, Criminal Law § 5.4 (2d ed. 1986).

The easiest way to locate this book, since the title is very common, is to use the Advanced Search with the title, author name, and limit your search to 'books' as a type:

  • Use the drop-down to identify whether you are searching for a Title, Author, etc.
  • Use the "Material Type" drop-down to be more specific in your search. You can choose 'Book' or 'Article' among other types.  
  • You can search for multiple fields at once, just add lines.

Your results will list multiple versions of the book if we have different editions. Look carefully for the correct publication year from your citation.

The 1986 version of this book is available at FSU Law Library General Collection. If a book is available at the Law Library you can simply come retrieve it from the shelf.

What if the book has a different location?

For items that are available at Dirac, Strozier, or other on-campus location, use the "Request" button.

Follow the "Available at" link and select "Request."

IMPORTANT: If you do not select "Law Library" as your pickup location you will have to go pick the book up from Strozier.

What if the book says "Available Online"?

If you see this button, click on the "Available Online" Link in the catalog and follow the link available in the catalog entry. This example will lead you directly to HeinOnline. You MAY have to sign in using your FSUID and Password if you are off campus.

What if a book doesn't show up in the catalog?

This is where U-Borrow and Inter-Library Loan comes in. Be sure you are signed into the catalog when searching or you will not be able to place requests. 


There is an "Expand my Results" filter on the lefthand side of the catalog, and a "Statewide Catalog" radial button at the top of the advanced search. If you cannot locate the material in the normal catalog, try selecting the Expand My Results search. If the book is available in another State College or University in Florida, it may then appear in the catalog with a "UBorrow" request button. This is a similar form to the On-campus Request ad will initiate a U-Borrow Request. You can see the requested books in your account under "My Requests."


If after searching the catalog you are unable to locate the book and you have confirmed that the citation is accurate, email to request that we look for the book from a library outside of Florida.

Our ILL service is different from the one used by main campus.DO NOT fill out any ILL requests through Strozier's web portal, it will likely be cancelled.


Works in a collection

How to recognize a cite to a work in a collection: look for the word in :



In this example, the second source cited is the essay titled Why Lawyers Can't Just be Hired Guns, by Robert W. Gordon. The essay was published beginning on page 42 of the book Ethics in Practice: Lawyers' Roles, Responsibilities, and Regulation, edited by Deborah L. Rhode.  You would not find the essay by searching for it in the catalog; first you have to search for the book and then consult its table of contents for the essay.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.