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What is Discovery?: Worldcat Discovery

Worldcat Discovery Intro

 WorldCat Discovery offers quick and easy searching of the Mount St. Mary's University Library's print and electronic book, media, and journal collections and many of our most popular articles and  databases, including JSTOR, Project Muse and more. 

By default, Worldcat Discovery searches the holdings of libraries worldwide. Using the Advanced Search patrons can limit their search to only Mount Library holdings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is WorldCat Discovery?

WorldCat Discovery is a single search box on the Library’s homepage that searches:

  • Over 200,000 hardcopy items available through Mount St. Mary University's Phillips Library
  • Millions of e-books through EBSCO,  Google Books, Hathi Trust Digital Library and more.
  • Journal articles, conference papers and newspaper articles from most of the Library's databases
  • And books and articles outside of our library by default Libraries Worldwide

WorldCat Discovery provides an easy-to-use discovery interface to search across much of our Library's content with just a few keywords, allowing users to find more results in less time.  Items held by the Mount will be at the top of the list.

In brief, how do I use WorldCat Discovery?

Enter your keywords into the single search box, and select Search. Use the options on the left to refine your search.

How is WorldCat Discovery different than a library catalog search?

Most library catalogs were built primarily for searching print resources owned by libraries. They used controlled vocabulary to search for titles, authors, subjects, and main contents of the resources, but usually did not include searches for individual articles, chapters, and the contents within the resources themselves.

WorldCat Discovery, on the other hand, searches through the contents of resources to find individual articles, e-Book chapters, newspaper articles, etc. to provide the user with a Google-like searching experience of the library's resources. WorldCat Discovery incorporates this material along with all the information found in the Phillips Library's catalog, as well as e-books from Google Books and the Hathi Trust Digital Library and others.

How is WorldCat Discovery different than Google and Google Scholar?

Both WorldCat Discovery and Google / Google Scholar search a massive index of information. However, there are some key differences to these searching tools (adapted from the University of Wollongong's "Search Result Comparison: WorldCat Discovery versus Google"):

WorldCat Discovery

Google / Google Scholar

  • Content searched is more accessible to the Mount community
  • Results found are easier to refine to scholarly or peer-reviewed
  • Options for refining search (e.g. by content, format, date)
  • eBooks found and owned by the Mount can be viewed in their entirety by Mount users
  • Many Google Scholar resources cost money to access
  • In Google, it can be difficult to identify which articles are scholarly or peer-reviewed
  • Difficult to refine your searches
  • Books found can be limited and/or cost money

What resources are available in WorldCat Discovery?

A large majority of Phillips Library’s collection, and Hathi Trust e-books are all available through WorldCat Discovery. The range of material includes:

  • Almost 3,000,000 books and ebooks
  • Journal, newspaper, and trade publication articles; conference papers; book reviews; multimedia resources
  • Thousands of journal titles
  • Books and articles outside of our libraries when Libraries Worldwide is selected
  • And much more

Many records should link to full text content.

Why should I use WorldCat Discovery for research?

WorldCat Discovery is a unified discovery service that allows Phillips Library users to quickly search, discover and access reliable and credible library content.  Through one simple search, it provides instant access to the breadth of content found at the Phillips Library and other libraries - digital and print, audio and video, single articles to entire e-journals, and every format in between.  Enter your terms and quickly get one relevancy-ranked list of library resources.

What browsers and phones are supported by WorldCat Discovery?

WorldCat Local is supported by all modern web browsers and phones.

WorldCat Discovery's results were not relevant to my search -- What should I do?

If you are finding that WorldCat Discovery's results do not fit your search, you may need to refine or enhance your search strategies, or you may occasionally need to search specialized databases to access library resources not yet available through WorldCat Discovery.

If you need any help in locating relevant resources, or would like assistance in searching, please contact or visit a Phillips Library research librarian.  You may drop in at the Librarians' desks  from 8 am to 4 pm, email or call us  at 301-447-5422.   You may also request an appointment for a research librarian by using the Chat button.

How do I access the full text of my article?

  1. Select the Title.
  2. If you are taken to a page with “Access online" links, click them.  Note: Clicking these links may take you to a database where you have to re-enter the article information.  Do that, and THEN the full text should appear.
  3. If steps 1 and 2 are unsuccessful, this is an error that we need to fix.  Please describe the problem to any librarian and it will be addressed.

How do I browse a Mount owned journal title?

  1. Select "Advanced Search"
  2. Select “Journals by title” from the Library Links drop down on the right upper-side of the screen.
  3. Type the name of the journal in the search box.
  4. Search
  5. Or, you may go to the Databases A to Z tab and click on  Journal Finder on the dropdown menu.

Can I use WorldCat Discovery to ONLY search books?

Yes, in fact WorldCat Discovery replaces the library catalog for a book search.

To search ONLY books in WorldCat Discovery:

  1. Limit your "Format" on the left navigation panel to Book, (if you want only eBooks, be sure to check that)
  2. Limit your "Library" on the left navigation panel to Mount St. Mary's University Library and Print book to locate books in our stacks.
  3. You can also choose only scholarly or "peer reviewed" articles.

Is there a way to easily cite, share and save my WorldCat Discovery resources?

Yes.  When you find a result in your search, note the bar in the lower right of the results box.

  1. If you click on the Cite box, you will be asked to choose a citation style from the drop down menu. When you choose, you can copy the citation that appears in the box.  Make sure you check this against the style manual your professor requires.  You will not be able to use the export function.  Instead, copy and paste your citation in another document.
  2. The Link option will produce a permanent link to the item that you can  copy or share.
  3. The Email option is self-evident.
  4. The Save option will create a a list that you can retrieve from the my list button on the top right above the results box. This list will disappear at the end of your session.



How do I find resources from other libraries?

WorldCat Discovery allows you to search for books from other libraries. Books from other libraries may be shipped to the Mount for you to pick up.  There are many factors that may affect their availability including, how many libraries own the item, age/condition of the item (too new or too old), and popularity of the item. See our InterLibrary Loan page for more information.

Does WorldCat Discovery really search all of the library's contents at once?

Almost.  It searches all of the Mount's books and eBooks.  Additionally, it searches many of our journals / eJournals, as well as many of the other resources the library owns.  Also, it searches all cataloged material in other libraries.

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