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What is Discovery good for?

Discovery is a research tool that allows you to search most of the Library’s collection through one single search box. It provides a Google-like search experience to help you discover credible and reliable library content.  Discovery is the default search box on the Library homepage (

What exactly am I searching when I use Discovery?

Discovery searches the Library’s collection for:

  • Print books and ebooks
  • Journal and magazine articles
  • Newspaper articles
  • Conference proceedings and reports
    Some government documents
  • Encyclopaedias, dictionaries and other reference materials
  • Graduating projects, theses and dissertations
  • Items in Dspace (institutional repository) and the Archives
  • Videos (DVD and streaming video)

What is excluded?*

  • Statistical information and data files
  • Financial information

*At this time, these kinds of resources cannot be integrated into the Discoevry search, and must be searched separately.

When should I use Discovery?

Discovery can be used by novice or advanced searchers alike.

Discovery is a good place to start your research as you can search the entire Library collection in one place and get a sense of what materials the Library has to offer on your research topic.

Discovery will lead you to resources you might not have otherwise found and allow you to link through to the individual databases so that you can search them more comprehensively.

How to Search Discovery

Discovery is the default search on the Library homepage

Discovery uses keyword searching similar to Google. Enter your search terms in the search box, and then click Search.


By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator.   If you are looking for a specific phrase of two or more words, use quotations (e.g. “succession planning”). To expand your search, use OR (e.g. tourism OR hospitality). Truncation can also be used (e.g. ethnog* searches for ethnography, ethnographic, etc.)

Viewing Results:

  • Results are initially ranked by relevance, but you have the option to change this if you wish.
  • Icons identify whether the result is a book, article, or other item from the Library’s collection.
  • You can alter the search parameters by using any combination of the options in the left menu.


*Note: the folder is temporary, which means it will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity!

Searching beyond Discovery

Discovery is a good place to start your research, but it should not be the only tool you use. If the results you find most useful in Discovery are coming from a particular database (or databases), then you should probably switch to searching those databases individually as they will likely have more content that is useful for your research. As well, you will be better able to refine your search and take full advantage of the individual database’s search features, something you cannot do in Discovery.