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Social Science: Books

About searching for books

It is possible to search for both printed and electronic books in the library's search service Summon. If the book is electronic, there is a link in the title that usually takes you to the book in a database. Some e-books are free online, others require login to access. Read more about how to access material when searching in Summon from home.

If you have searched for a printed book in Summon, you will see in record if it is available and in which shelf in the library it is placed. If the book is out on a loan, it is possible to make a reservation online. You do this in My loans.

If the book is not available at the University Library, you can search for it in the swedish national catalog LIBRIS, where you can locate the book and order it as an interlibrary loan (only within Sweden). Read more about how interlibrary loans work on the page Interlibrary Loans and Purchase Suggestions.

About different kinds of books

There are several different types of academic works that can be used as good introductions to a subject.

Specialized books

College or university students often have textbooks on their course reading lists. These are introductions to a topic written with this target group in mind. There is also specialized books that is more focused on presenting the author's own theses, as well as anthologies where the different chapters are written by various often well recognized researchers.


In encyclopedias and dictionaries you will find definitions and detailed explanations of concepts. Sometimes the word-entries also contain a reference list with important works.


Handbooks are a kind of overview work that contains a number of chapters with different theoretical aspects of a subject area or branch of knowledge. Here you can, for example, see which different theories are used in the research and get a reference list of the most important works and authors in the field.


A dissertation is usually the end product of PhD education and is written by a doctoral candidate. In a dissertation, you can get an overview of a topic and a good picture of the previous research.

If you want to find a book, start by searching for it in Summon.

E-book databases


Dictionaries and handbooks