The Structure of a Book

This page covers the following topics:

Title page


Title Page Screen

The cover, title, author(s), ‘About this book’, and bibliographical information are at the top of the page.

Bibliographic Information

Print Publication Date: This is when the print edition was published
Published to Oxford Reference: This is when the online edition was added to Oxford Reference
Current Online Version: This is when the title was last updated online. Please note, all titles that were on Oxford Reference Online and the Oxford Digital Reference Shelf which moved to the new Oxford Reference site will, until they are updated in forthcoming years, display the date they moved to the new site.

Table of contents

table of contents

The table of contents is a list of the A-Z entries in the book.

Browse the list using the cursor or by selecting a page number.

To move directly to titles beginning with a particular letter, click on the appropriate letter.

alphabet sequence

Alternatively, type the first few letters of the entry you want into the Starting with: box and click Go button

starting with box

All contents

To view the full table of contents (including front and end matter as well as the A-Z entries, click all contents button.

all contents list

To switch between viewing and hiding front and/or end matter sections, click on the [+]/[-] button.

front matter heading

front matter content


To move to any of the sections listed, click on it.

Subject(s) in Oxford Reference

subjects in Oxford Reference

The subject categories under which the current book is listed are displayed on the left.

To toggle between displaying and hiding this information, click upward arrow and downward arrow.

Publishing information

publishing information box

Click here for detailed publication information (ISBN, edition, copyright information, etc.) as well as general web links relevant to the book.

Searching within a book

searching within book box

To search for a term within a book:

1. Type or paste the term you want to find in the Search box.

2. Click search button or press Enter.

3. The entries containing matching results are listed.

4. Click on any entry to open it.

A note about repeated searches within a book

If a search within a book does not yield the desired result, and you wish to try another search within the same book with a different search term, use the back button on your browser to return to the page from which you launched the original search.

Find in Library, Google books, and Find at OUP.com

Oxford Reference shows ‘Find at oup.com, ‘Find in Library’, and ‘Google Preview’ buttons to any user who does not have full-text access to the content they are viewing (i.e. when a user is unauthenticated, or is authenticated to an account that does not have access to that content item).

find in library button looks up the current book in an external library search (specified by your library administrator).

To look up the title in Google Books, click Google preview button.

Use Find at OUP.com to find out more information about the book from the Oxford University Press website and to find out whether you can buy it in other formats. Please note:

  • the content of the print and online versions of the same title can differ, so the print format version of the work you are buying  does not necessarily contain the same entry content as the online version you are viewing on Oxford Reference. This is because we dynamically update our Quick Reference online content between new print editions.
  • If you get no results from the Oxford University Press website for the edition which you have access to online, then it is worth doing a search on the book title as you might find that a more recent edition is available in print or other formats.


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