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About the Research Process

Finding Material Not at BU

It should be noted that the BU Libraries do not own all of the books or articles you may find listed somewhere. We may have more than you think, however. For instance, to see if an article really is available to Boston University, librarians often start with a journal title search. Keep in mind that one needs to search for the journal name in this case, not the article title. There are other, similar tricks that are sometimes necessary to expose our full range of resources.

If we do not own a book you want, the fastest way to get it is to search WorldCat Discovery.  If you see that it’s available within the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) libraries, you can click on the request button to have it delivered to BU. It usually takes only 2 to 3 days to retrieve a book through this system.

Another option is to request the book or article you need through Interlibrary Loan. This service is invaluable! Articles typically become available in pdf format in just 2-3 days; books typically take a week or two depending on where the item is held. We do not order items we already own and it is not a service intended for last minute research projects. Interlibrary Loan requests can be filled out online.