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Irvine Information: Finding Books, Articles & More

Information for students and faculty about using Alliant Library resources both online and at the Irvine Information Resource Center

Doing Research

We understand research can be overwhelming.  We’re here to ease your load and show you various tips and tricks to efficiently locate the information you need.  Whether you need assistance using the Library’s online catalog, Encore, research databases or even requesting books from other Alliant Library locations and LINK+, we are here to help!

Consultations with a librarian are available via appointment, drop-in, email, or phone. You can also receive reference and research consultation through Ask-A-Librarian.


Library Assistance/Ask a Librarian

During most library staffed hours a reference librarian is available on-call either through the “Ask a Librarian” box on the home page or in the building. If you'd like to schedule a specific time for a one-on-one appointment, please email


My Library Account – Activate your library account by contacting your home library or fill out the online “Activate Account” form. Log into “My Library Account” to monitor activity on your account, check due dates and status of requested items, and to renew materials


Searching the Catalog

The Alliant Library website is your gateway to information and resources available to help with your research.

Searching for books, videos, and dissertations: Use the purple search box on the library homepage to search by title, author or subject for items held at the six campuses’ libraries. Circulating items available at any Alliant campus library can be sent to Irvine. Books from several other libraries are also available through the LINK+ catalog. See the Search Guides page for more information.

Classic Catalog vs ENCORE: Both options search for the same materials but allow you different ways to refine results to better focus in on your topic. Try both and see which work better for you. Talk to a librarian to find out more about the features of each one.

Alliant Theses – Search Alliant-owned dissertations & theses by chairperson, methodology, tests, or statistics used. Dissertations and some theses published since 1997 should also be available in the Dissertations & Theses database (available from the list of databases). New dissertations may not be available for 3-6 months after submission date.



Research DatabasesFirst stop for locating research materials. Some databases have links to full-text journal articles and online books.  Remember if the item is not full-text in the database or you are having problems with the full-text links search the journal or book title in the Encore catalog. The library purchases several journal packages to supplement the databases that do not offer full-text access, especially for recently published issues. For book titles (not chapter titles) don't forget to also search the LINK+ catalog. If we don't have the article you want in full-text, you can request it using Inter-Library Loan.

Mobile/iPhone Apps – Download database apps to access library resources from your smart phone.

Types of Resources


Books are located in the Main Collection and are organized by the Library of Congress classification system, an alphanumeric system which groups books by subject categories, or classes.  These books are available for check out with your Alliant ID. 


Reference Books

Reference books are held in a separate section within the main collection.  These items are available for a 2 hour loan period and cannot leave the library.  Reference books include encyclopedias, directories, handbooks, etc. 



eBooks are electronic books, regular and reference, available on the library’s website and are accessible online on and off campus.  To access an eBook from off campus, you must login into ‘My Library Account’ using your username (full name) and 6-digit Library ID or 14-digit barcode (located on your Alliant ID).  You can locate eBooks by conducting a catalog search or by searching the available databases listed on the library’s website.  eBooks are listed within the catalog as ‘E-Resource.’  Electronic books are a great way to access research material quickly and from home.

Link to eBook databases:  


Journals & Periodicals

The Irvine Campus has access to the library’s vast collection of electronic and online journals and periodicals.  These items are accessible through the library’s ‘List of Research Databases’ webpage as well as through the ‘List of Online Journals.’  Database guides are available online and within the library to assist you with your research needs.  For further assistance, contact the librarian to set up a time for reference and/or research consultation.  Walk-ins are also welcome.   

Link to List of Research Databases:

Link to List of Online Journals:

Try our Citation Finder!


Dissertations and Doctoral Projects

While most Irvine dissertations and doctoral projects are housed in San Diego, the IRC holds a small collection of dissertations, Doctoral projects, and Masters projects.  These are categorized alphabetically by author’s last name.  The Alliant Library provides online access to electronic copies of full-text dissertations through the ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database.  To access this database, connect to the library’s main page, click on the ‘Databases’ link located under the ‘Research’ section.  Databases are listed in alphabetical order.  Click on the ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database link for access.  For additional information, see ProQuest Dissertation and Theses: Quick Guide available at the library.

Alliant Dissertations are also available at the other campus libraries.  To search for and request these dissertations, first check availability by searching the Alliant Library’s online catalog.  Once you have determined that a dissertation is available at one of the campus libraries, click the Request link to request to have the hard copy sent to Irvine.


Audio & Visual Material

The IRC holds a small collection of audio & visual material.  These items are mainly intended for use in class, but see a librarian for more information.  You may also find media materials available at other campuses or through Link+ -- use the library catalog to find and request these items.


Assessment & Testing Material

Assessment material is primarily available for students taking assessment courses. A limited number of test kits are available for students to use at the internship or practicum sites, or for dissertation research. All testing material must be used under the guidance of a licensed practitioner. For more information about using kits, ask at the library.


Course Reserves

Course reserves are items reserved by faculty for the current semester’s courses.  Course reserves are most often available online through Electronic Reserves, or e-Reserves.  Passwords to access e-Reserve items will be distributed by your instructor; the library does not know these passwords and can't give them out. Some reserves may be in hard copy form. These items are held within the library behind the Circulation Desk, and are available for a 2 hour loan period.  These items cannot leave the library. Course reserves vary each semester.  Items on reserve may be identified in the online catalog by searching either course name or instructor.  When requesting items on course reserves please identify the item by title and/or call number.