Assistance Searching for Literature

  table of books Copyright: © Peter Winandy


  • Always pay attention to the period of time which is covered by the online catalog. Older titles may not be catalogued online yet.
  • "Stichwortsuche" or keyword search generally means a search for an exact term in the title. "Schlagwortsuche" or subject headings search is used for a contents search.


  • The holdings of the Physics Library are included in the KatalogPlus of the University Library.
  • The DigiBib, which uses a form to pass on search inquiries to multiple library catalogues and databases, offers a comprehensive transregional search. You can select which catalogues are included in the search. Available titles can be ordered through the University Library's interlibrary loan service.


  • All print subscriptions as well as the Physics Library journals that are no longer currently subscribed to are listed on a separate page. A number of these titles can also be used online; in these cases a link has been provided.
  • Another important source for electronic use of journals with the complete text is the Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek Regensburg (EZB). It offers a collaborative service from a lot of libraries throughout whole Germany, who offer their users access to electronic journals.
    Data from institutions and user libraries is collected and offered under different licenses. Access within the RWTH network is possible through the University Library, which is an involved user library.
  • For journals or certain years of publication that are only available in print, it is recommended that you use the University Library's holdings aside from the Physics Library. KatalogPlus provides information about the titles in the University Library, Medical Library, and medical institutes.
    Some journal volumes are shelved at the University Library and some are in the external archive. Members of the institute can order them through the delivery service.
    Electronic copies of journal articles are made and delivered from the holdings above for university members.
  • Exact journal names and holding information (no article titles!) can be found in the Zeitschriftendatenbank or ZDB, which contains more than one million titles from approximately 4000 German libraries.
    RWTH institutes also register their journal holdings with the ZDB. If you cannot find a jornal in the Physics Library or the University Library, it is worth a look to see if it is available at one of the Aachen institutes before using interlibrary loan.

Delivery Services

  • The Physics Insitutes are served by the University Library's delivery service. Books and journal volumes from the University Library's holdings can be ordered online and delivered to the Physics Library.
    Books can be directly ordered from the OPAC search. You must manually order books, if they are not listed in OPAC; journal volumes can be requested through the manual journal order service.
    Borrowing books through the delivery service is only possible with a delivery service number, which can be requested from the University Library's delivery service officer. Registration forms are available at the Physics Library.
  • The University Library delivers copies of journal articles from journals available in the University Library or the Natural Science and Technology Journal Library to members of the university (library card required for RWTH personnel). Delivery takes place through the user's personal email or personally created webpages. The form for an electronic order can be found on the OPAC homepage under "Angebote - Aufsatzbestellsystem für RWTH-Personal."
  • You can also find links for the electronic interlibrary loan order options on the RWTH catalogue mainpage under "weitere Angebote."
  • Here is an overview of the University Library's document delivery services.
  • SUBITO is a national and state initiative, which offers a country-wide delivery service for books and journals at a cost.
    Delivery takes only a few business days; the costs varies depending on the type of delivery, user group, and size of the order. A bill is sent separately.

Digital Library

  • The project Digitale Bibliothek is the result of an initiative of the NRW Ministry of Science and Research and aims at making different resources available for searching for and delivering documents on a unified platform. You log in either as a guest or registered user and after authentication, are offered a so-called "local view" with the services available this account.

    Important search options are available under the "E-Ressourcen" with links to the INSPEC Database (Physics Abstracts, Electrical & Electronics Abstracts, Computer & Control Abstracts) and ISI/Web of Science.