OISE is home to the Ontario Historical Education Collection (OHEC), which includes old curriculum documents, primarily from the Ontario Ministry of Education, as well as textbooks, photographs and other archival material. Access to the collection is by appointment only, and items cannot leave the library. To book an appointment, please contact oise.library@utoronto.ca

If Toronto is not accessible to you, request photocopies through your home institution's Interlibrary Loan services.

If your instructor has made your course readings available through the Library Reading List module on your Quercus course page, follow these steps:

  • Look for the LIBRARY READING LIST app in your Quercus course navigation
  • The courses in 1) which you are enrolled and 2) which have Library Reading Lists, will be listed
  • To launch a course reading list, select the the specific course you want

Still having trouble finding or accessing your online course readings? Visit this help page for more information or to fill out a form to report the issue. 

You can add funds (TBucks) to your TCard online 24/7 at: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/tcardplus/.

Newly issued TCards will be enabled in the TCard+ system by 8 am the following day, at which time funds may be loaded online or at a Guest Card & Cash Loading station at Robarts Library or the Gerstein Science Information Centre. In the interim, library staff, upon verification that the TCard was issued that day, will print or photocopy documents for users at no cost. Please visit the print station on the first floor of Robarts Library for assistance. 

Robarts Library

Complete the online application form or stop by the Carrel Office and someone can assist you in completing the form. 

New applications are accepted all year round, and carrels and lockers may be allocated, or names added to the waiting list, at any time. However, all unsuccessful applications for a given academic year are cleared by April 30th, and only those applications submitted from May 1st onward are considered for the subsequent year’s assignments. So, all those applicants who did not obtain a carrel by April 30th but still desire a carrel for the subsequent academic year must submit a new application as of May 1st.

All current carrel occupants must submit an application between May 1st and August 30th in order to renew their occupancy for the subsequent academic year.

Most carrel assignments and renewals are completed during the early portion of the fall session.

Gerstein Science Information Centre

Eligible Physical and Life Sciences graduate students can complete the online application form. Any application received later than the end of August will be treated as a late application.

Kelly Library (St. Michael's College)

Eligible Faculty of Theology Advanced Degree students can complete the application form and submit it to the Student Services Officer (Rm 307 Muzzo Alumni Hall) by the second Friday of September.

Maintaining your academic integrity is crucial for success at the University of Toronto.  The library and other campus bodies are here to help you:

If you've placed a request for intercampus delivery, you can track your request using our RACER service. To learn more about RACER, click here: http://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/ill?source=quicklinks.

Once the item has been sent from the owning library, it will be checked out to you. To see if this has been done, you can check your library account here: https://toroprod.library.utoronto.ca/uhtbin/cgisirsi/?ps=zGJSHljRDO/ROBARTS/0/1/488/X/BLASTOFF

Please note: direct borrowers do not have access to RACER.

Once you have located the books that you want to check out, take the elevator down to the first floor and have your TCard ready.  

You can either use the self serve machines just outside the elevators...

...or visit the loans desk by the main entrance.

Remember, to avoid late fines, you should return items to the library that you borrowed them from.

Searching for scholarly sources is different from searching through Google.  It's not efficient to type in full sentences, so you'll need to distil yout essay question, topic, or thesis into keywords. 

1. Write out your essay question, topic, or thesis as a sentence

How do campaign promises sway voters?

2. Cross out the words that aren't concepts or proper names

Avoid searching with adjectives, adverbs, articles, pronouns, qualifiers, punctuation, and (most of the time) verbs. Basically, the smaller words in a sentence.

How do campaign promises sway voters?

3. Come up with synonyms for the keywords you have

Google your concepts to come up with synonyms. Keep a running list of possible keywords.  As you start to find scholarly sources, make a note of any new relevant keywords you can add to your search.

  • Campaign promises
    • party platforms
  • Voters
    • electorate
    • public

Concept maps can help you visualize the different aspects of your topic and come up with keywords you might not have thought of originally. Not all of the words in your map will be good keywords like in the map below where "effects" and "causes" as listed, but they'll help advance your thinking.

concept map of desert storm


4. Combine your synonyms with AND and OR

If you have more than one concept, you'll have to use separate rows of an advanced search form for each concept.  

You can also use parenthesis to create a keyword search string.

(Campaign promises OR party platforms) AND (voters OR electorate OR public)

5. Add truncation and quotation marks around multi-word phrases

Quotation marks ensure that any keywords that are more than one word will be treated as a unit instead of separate words.  Truncation ensures that you get several versions of the root word.

You can also type it in a single search box if you use parenthesis.

("campaign promises" OR "party platform") AND (vot* OR elector* OR public)

Final thought

It might take a few tries to get the right mix of keywords and ways of combining them.  The library is here to help you figure it out. Don't hesitate to ask for advice.

--Updated February 28, 2022

To create an account in Covidence, a current utoronto email address is required (e.g. @mail.utoronto.ca or @utoronto.ca). 

  1.  Go to the Covidence Signup
  2.  Enter your information (using your UTORONTO email address) and click "Request Invitation" link
  3.  Accept the invitation in your email
  4.  Log in to your existing Covidence account or sign up for a new account.

UTORid Management can tell you what your utoronto.ca email address is if you aren't sure.

book cover with borrowing information

If you see "Borrow this E-Book" above the cover image of a Scholars Portal Books book, you must follow this process to download it onto a personal computer or device.  It will not work on a public computer.

  1. Download a program that supports Adobe IDs.
  2. Create an AdobeID if you don't already have one.
  3. On the Scholars Portal page for the book, click the orange "Borrow this E-Book" text then the blue "Download your book here" button.
  4. A file ending in the extension .acsm will download. This file should automatically open in Adobe Digital Editions, but if it doesn’t, right click on the file and choose "Open with…" then Adobe Digital Editions.

Your book will now open in Adobe Digital Editions. After 72 hours, it will be returned automatically.


Students, staff and faculty can download 3 different mobile apps:

  • Micromedex® Drug Information – free to everyone, no password required.
  • Micromedex® Drug Interactions – free to U of T people, password required.
  • Micromedex® IV Compatibility – free to U of T people, password required.

NOTE: The password changes quarterly and must be updated so if you are not on campus to be able to access the Micromedex webpage, you will lose mobile access.


To find more information:

You can improve the quantity and quality of publicly accessible knowledge by editing Wikipedia. These three slide decks cover the basics of Wikipedia and editing.

The basics

What is Wikipedia? How does editing work? Do I need an account? Here’s what you need to know before you edit Wikipedia.

Improve old stuff

Here are some easy ways to improve existing Wikipedia pages:

Write new stuff

Here’s an overview of how to create a new Wikipedia page:

To find a book by its title

There are multiple ways to find a book by its title.

From the Library homepage:

Type the title of the book in double quotation marks into the LibrarySearch search box on the UTL homepage.

image of a library search for a book title

From the LibrarySearch NEW SEARCH page:

  • Type the title of the book in double quotes to look for it as a phrase
  • Choose to search in EVERYTHING

image of search for the book 'between the world and me' in simple mode

From a search results page:

  • You don't need to go to the NEW SEARCH page to do a new search, because a search box always appears at the top of the results page
  • Type the title of the book in double quotes to look for it as a phrase
  • Choose to search everything, then click on search
  • We recommend that you sign in before a search so that you can view e-books and articles right away

image of book title search

From the advanced search mode:

Use the following settings:

  • Select TITLE from the first drop-down menu
  • Choose IS (EXACT) from the next drop-down menu
  • Enter the book title without quotations

search for book title in advanced mode

For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.

You can enter the journal title in double quotes into the LibrarySearch search box on the U of T Libraries homepage.

Journal search

A more direct way is to use the journal search function available from the LibrarySearch interface. 

  • Click on the JOURNALS link on the top navigation bar
  • This brings up the journal search box where you can enter the journal title
  • Search results will include both the electronic and the paper version of the journal if we have both
  • For electronic journals, you will be able to browse through different years, volumes, and issues of a journal
  • If you sign in, you will be able to get to full-text online content if we have it

screen capture showing a search by title for 'chronicle of higher education'

Other ways

You can also find journals by searching as you would for books, that is, by choosing to search the CATALOGUE, or EVERYTHING.

For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.

To find an article by its title, type the title in double quotes into the search box on the UTL homepage. This will search for the title as a phrase.You can also go straight to LibrarySearch and type the article title in double quotation marks. Make sure to select ARTICLES and click on the magnifying glass icon to search.

See also:  Find articles & books by DOI

screen capture of a search for the article 'Tracing the spiral structure of the milky way'

The individual article record contains many features and functions as shown below.  Click on the ellipsis (the three dots ... to the upper right) to bring them up.

  • Email
  • Permalink
  • Create a citation
  • Print
  • Export to a citation manager such as Zotero or Refworks
  • You can also pin the record to save it as one of your favourites.

screen capture of an article record, showing functions like get link, cite, send to a citation manager, etc.

Other helpful features in the article record:

  • Click on the PDF icon to download the full-text article right from within the record!  
  • If the source is licensed, you will need to login with your UTORid to view it.
  • In this example, the source is identified as an Open Access, so it is freely available to anyone – no login required.
  • If something is not working, you can report it as a problem

For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.

Search for your title or topic in the LibrarySearch search box, leaving it set to EVERYTHING.

Click ONLINE in the SHOW ONLY filter, then click BOOKS in the FORMAT filter.

You can select more than one filter at once. Then click on APPLY FILTERS.

image of a search for items about black russian terriers

From the resulting list, you can see e-books that mention this breed of dogs.

image of search results for e-books about black russian terriers


Three good ways to find books by author are: 

1) Type author name directly into LibrarySearch search box on the UTL homepage
2) Use the ADVANCED SEARCH mode
3) Use the BROWSE feature.

Advanced search mode

  • You can click into Advanced Search mode once you are already in the LibrarySearch interface
  • Choose Author/Creator, then CONTAINS, then enter the name of the author, i.e., Richard Wagamese
  • Leave the search set to EVERYTHING
  • Click on the search button to get a list of books as well as articles by Richard Wagamese

image of an advanced search for author equals Richard Wagamese

Browse feature

  • LibrarySearch lets you browse lists of Author/Creators, or Titles, or Subject Headings, or Library of Congress call numbers.
  • Click on BROWSE SEARCH, which is located in the ellipsis (...) on the upper right of the top bar
  • Drop down the menu to choose BROWSE BY AUTHOR
  • Enter the name in Last name, First name format and click on search
  • Click on the number appearing next to the author's name to get to the list of their publications

image of browsing to find an author (richard wagamese)

For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.

You can search for newspapers by article title, newspaper title, or by topic.

Search for newspaper article titles

  • Click on the NEWSPAPERS link on the top navigation bar
  • Enter the article title in the newspapers search box
  • Click on the green AVAILABLE ONLINE link for access to the article 

image of a search for a newspaper article

Search for newspaper titles

  • Click on the JOURNALS link on the top navigation bar 
  • Type the newspaper title in double quotation marks in the search box 
  • Click ONLINE in the SHOW ONLY filter on the left side of the page 

image of a journal search for globe and mail

Search for newspapers articles on a topic

  • From the library home page, enter your topic into the search box
  • Newspaper articles will not automatically be included in your results 
  • Click NEWSPAPERS SEARCH in the FORMAT filter on the left side of the page

image with arrow pointing to newspapers search filter

Your results will now be limited to newspapers. 

 image of filtered newspapers search results for topic sea turtles

For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.

For further help with searching newspapers, check out our Newspapers Guide

Robarts Library

Carrels are assigned to new applicants as soon as possible in September.  You will be contacted by the Carrel Office, via email, to come in and claim the carrel.  You may also visit the Carrel Office, after mid-September, to inquire about your position on the waiting list, which is generated by lottery.

Gerstein Science Information Centre 

Currently there is no access to carrels/lockers at Gerstein, but renewals and new applications are being accepted, and filed for future consideration.

Carrels are assigned to new applicants as soon as possible in September. You will be contacted either by phone or email to come in and claim the carrel/locker. You may inquire about your position on the waiting list (to Catherine Duff) if you do not receive a carrel assignment after September 15th.

Generally, the more times an article has been cited, the most important it is in the literature. 

Many databases--including Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar--tell you how many times an article has been cited by other articles in the database. You'll usually find this information in either the search results screen or in the detailed view of the article (examples below)

Not all databases have this feature.  Also, this feature only tells you how many times the article has been cited within the database you're using.  It won't be able to tell how many times the article has been cited in articles or books that aren't in that database.

Google Scholar

screenshot of google scholar search results screen

Web of Science

screenshot of Web of Science search results screen

ProQuest Databases

screenshot of psycinfo search results screen


screenshot of scopus search results screen

OVID Databases 

screenshot of a MEDLINE search results screen

Primary Sources are:

  • Researchers reporting first-hand about their new research
  • Includes some Journal articles and some Books (monographs)

In contrast, Secondary Sources summarize, analyze or report the work of other researchers.

The most common type of journal article you will find in the sciences deals with primary research. These articles describe an original experiment or analysis that adds to current knowledge a particular topic. 

Typically, Primary journal articles will have a common structure that includes:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction 
  • Methods/Methods & Materials 
  • Results 
  • Discussion 
  • Conclusion. 

Look for a Methods or Methods and Materials Section as a quick check to see if an article may be primary. Read this section to see if the researchers are talking about their new research.

"A primary source...was created at the time of the event...or by people who were observers of, or participants in, that event. ... The medium of the primary source can be anything, including written texts, objects, buildings, films, paintings, cartoons, etc."

Source: Professor Elspeth H. Brown, Dept. of History, University of Toronto

For help finding primary sources, explore the following research guides:

For books

1. Find your book by looking in the catalogue part of LibrarySearch, then look for the link icon in the book's catalogue record.

2. Click on the link icon to open up the window that contains a permanent link to the catalogue record for this book.  A permanent link is also known as a permalink, or a durable link.

screen capture of a book record showing the permanent link

3. Cut and paste the link into your email or other document.

For articles

1. Find your article in LibrarySearch, remembering to choose Articles.

screen capture of article on the impact of covid lockdowns on mental health

2. Click on the link icon to open up the window that contains a permanent link to the article record

screen capture of the permanent link to the article "COVID 19: Impact of lock-down on mental health and tips to overcome."

3. Cut and paste the link into your email or other document.

For more information on using all the many features and functions of LibrarySearch, have a look at this guide on using the new system.

Student library jobs for the Central Library system are posted and applied for online. The bulk of the hiring for each academic year is done in August, but positions may be posted at any time.  Check the website regularly for new postings.

Access Pubmed from a link found on a University of Toronto library website to get to all the full text that University of Toronto affiliated individuals are entitled to.  You should see myaccess.library.utoronto.ca in the PubMed URL once you have arrived.

The commonly used link to PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) only gives access to a small number of freely available full text journals while the links to PubMed found on University of Toronto library websites give access to thousands of journals.