E-books in Smart Search

Open http://www.santarosa.edu/library/#discovery in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

How to Use this Tutorial

Smart Search is a discovery tool that searches all of the library’s collections and databases at the same time.

This tutorial shows you how to:

  • Find e-books on a particular topic
  • Target results more quickly by narrowing and limiting your search
  • Explore tools that help you locate and use the information within each e-book


Tips for this Tutorial

1) Keep your focus. Click on the "What's the point?" links to get more information. Try the one below:

What's the point?

2) Move through the tutorial. Click on the Next arrow to move forward. Click on the Previous arrow to review earlier page

3) Answer the questions along the way.

4) Maximize your screen to fully see the tutorial. Watch for scroll bars and use them to see all information.

5) If you are working off campus you will need to sign in with your student ID and PIN to complete this tutorial.

Start Your Search

We'll begin by looking for information on genetically modified foods. 

Type the phrase

genetically modified foods

into the Smart Search search box on the right and click Go.

Evaluate Search Results

1) How Many Search Results?

Look at the top of the search results screen for the number of search results.

2) What Type of Information Sources?

Scroll down to the Source Types box.

View the different types of information sources. Notice how many each type has on our topic.

Source Types

What's the point?

Limiting Search Results

There is a lot of information on this topic. To save time, let's pinpoint the results with two strategies.

1) Use quotation marks to focus results and increase precision.

Try the search again, but this time put it in quotes:

"genetically modified foods"

Look at the search results. Much lower than before but more on target.

QuestionHow many results did your search return?

What's the point?

 2) Limit search results by Source Type.

Look at the Source Types box on the left side of the screen. Limit the search results to "eBooks".

Show More

Click on the Show More option to find the "eBooks" limiter.

Source Types

Select eBooks as a limiter and click Update.

The search results are limited to e-books that contain "genetically modified foods" 

What's the point?


E-Book Features

Click on the title of one of the e-books to view detailed information about the book.

Quickly investigate whether the book is useful for your research topic with these features. 

  • Click on the minus (-) to collapse the content or
  • Click the plus (+) to quickly locate the pages that cover your topic.

E-Book Features Show Content at a Quick Glance

What's the point?

Click anywhere in the Table of Contents to open the e-book. Or, return to the brief list of search results and click on the eBook Full Text option to open the e-book. 


Now you can read the e-book. Navigation options are at the bottom of your screen. 

Search, Bookmark, and Take Notes in E-Books

1 of 2

1) Searching within an e-book:

Click on the search button to find specific information about a topic:

Use the Search Tool

Type in one aspect of the topic from the list below. For example, you might search one of these terms:




Search, Bookmark, and Take Notes in E-Books

2 of 22) Bookmark and Annotate:

You can take notes in your e-book! Click on the the Bookmark and Annotate button:

Bookmark and Annotate Button

Space appears at the top of the e-book for you to take notes.

  • Type notes that you want to include in your research paper.
  • Each note will have the page number of the book.
  • Page numbers are needed when citing information.

You'll need an account, which is easy to create from the Sign In link.

What's the point?


Cite E-Books

If you use an e-book for a research paper, speech, or project, you will  need to cite it. 

Click on the Cite button to learn how to record the e-book in seven citation styles.

Find Ways to Cite an E-Book

Double check the citations: they aren't always correct, but they can help you find the pieces needed to build a citation for your bibliography.

Now you're ready to start your own e-book searches in Smart Search!

QuestionClick on the Cite button. How many ways does Smart Search show you how to cite?

Get Credit for Your Work

Is your instructor offering credit for taking this tutorial?

Take this brief quiz to review key points of the tutorial.

At the end of the quiz, enter your full name and e-mail address to receive a copy of your completed quiz.

You must enter your instructor's e-mail address to send your instructor a copy of your quiz results. Make sure it is correct!

Separate the two email addresses with a comma. For example:




Quiz: Let's Review:

Select the best answer to complete this sentence: "Smart Search allows you to search for..."

What happens when you put quotation marks around a search phrase?

What do the "Most Relevant Pages from the eBook" and "Table of Contents" preview features do?

What tool will help you keep track of the key points you've discovered in an e-book so that you can quickly revisit important information when writing your paper?

Not sure how to capture the information about the e-book for your paper's list of works cited or references? What tool will help you with the citation process?

Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.

What did you think of this tutorial?