E-books in Smart Search

Open https://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.

If you are having problems with searching, follow these instructions to enable the content in your browser.

Fix Display Problems

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

Select the Advanced Search link below the search box.

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

Type the phrase

genetically modified foods

into the first search box and click on Search.

If you are off campus, sign in with your SRJC ID and PIN after you receive your research results.

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 top of the page and click on the PDF Full Text or EPUB Full Text link to open the book.

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

Search and Take Notes in E-Books

1 of 2

1) Searching within an e-book:

Click on the Search within link to find specific information about a topic:

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




Search and Take Notes in E-Books

2 of 22) Take notes:

You can take notes in your e-book! Click on the My Notes link.

Click on the New Note button. A text box will appear at the left side 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.

To permanently save your note, you'll need an account, which is easy to create from the Sign in to store notes link. Now you can Edit, Print List or Delete the note.

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 link at the top of the page to learn how to record the e-book in the citation styles you need.

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

You will take a brief quiz to review key points of the tutorial.

Is your instructor offering credit for taking this tutorial? Follow your instructor's directions if you are receiving credit for this assignment.


After taking the quiz, enter your full name and e-mail address to receive a copy of your quiz results. Confirm that you have received the email.


1) You can forward the certificate to your instructor if requested.

2) Use the Print / Send email button to send or display your certificate on the screen. You can also copy the results to your favorite word processing software or email editor.


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?