Western Libraries

Find Online Course Materials

This guide supports instructors in finding online course materials to support teaching and learning during the temporary suspension of in-person services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find a Specific Book (when all else fails)

  • Check to see if the book started life as a dissertation. (Caveat - the author may have substantially revised the dissertation before publishing it as a book.)
     
  • Check to see if the author of the book published any material on the same topic in a journal article prior to publishing the book (same caveat as above). To do this, search the author of the book in OMNI or in relevant discipline specific periodical indexes (databases).
    • For example, if the author is a historian, search for articles by this author in one of the history indexes, e.g. Historical Abstracts  

  • Look for scholarly book reviews of the book itself for a summary of its core ideas. (Note you can also simply choose the “Book Reviews” option in the menu on the left hand side of the page in OMNI.)
    • Note: If you use material from the book review in your essay, you must cite the book review as an indirect or secondary source, and not the book itself. 

  • Use Scopus, Web of Science or Google Scholar to find articles citing the book you need - perhaps the citing article will offer a summary of the original book’s main arguments.
    • Note: As above, if quoting this summary you should cite the article you are reading as an indirect or secondary source, and not the original item being quoted or paraphrased. 

New Strategies and Readings

A Time for Research Distancing - an article by Alan MacEachern and William Turkel on new strategies for historians and other humanists when physical libraries and archives are closed.

Find Paywalled Journal Articles (when all else fails)

  • Use Scopus, Web of Science or Google Scholar to find articles citing the article you need - perhaps the citing article will offer a summary of the original article’s main arguments. Note: If quoting this summary you should cite the article you are reading and not the original article being quoted or paraphrased.
     
  • Look to see if the author of the journal article published a book on the same topic subsequent to publishing the article. There may be a book chapter based on the original article. (Check OMNI to see if we have the book online, and/or check these online open access book repositories.)
     
  • Pre-prints are versions of scholarly or scientific articles that precede formal peer review and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The article you are looking for may have appeared online in a pre-print repository. Wikipedia has a good list of repositories by subject area.

Ask Us

If this item is absolutely vital to your course syllabus and no other source will do, email our Collections and Content Strategies team (wlccsteam@uwo.ca) and they will try and find an e-version to purchase.