Using Discovery

What is Discovery?
Discovery is your way of finding what you need in the library. You can use it to search for books and e-books, as well as magazine and journal articles that the library has access to.

How do I search on Discovery?

  • You will find the Discovery search box at the top of every page on the Library and Learning Support website.
  • Type your search terms or keywords into the search box and click Search. If you like, you can restrict your results to just books, or just articles, by using the radio buttons.
  •  A set of results pages will appear that shows Books, E-Books, Articles, Journals, DVDs etc that are related to your keywords:

The search results page


How do I refine by results in Discovery?

  • You can narrow your results using the left-hand options. You can filter by a whole variety of options such as date, source or publication. You can quickly refine down to just ebooks using this option too!

How do I read an online article?

  • You can click on the blue button underneath the article information to open up a version to read. Often this will be a PDF of the text, or a link to the text on another page:
    Where to click for a journal article


  • You can also click on the article title and you will be taken to a page where you can see further details and where you will often find the article text available to read:

What you see when you click on an article title

Using Discovery off-campus

  • If you are off-campus and have not already logged in to any NUA services, then you may need to log in to Discovery in order to access all the resources. You will see this banner to prompt you to log in using your NUA credentials:screenshot of guest access

Using My Folder in Discovery

  • On the top toolbar, over on the right of the Discovery screen, you’ll find ‘My Folder’:

My Folder shown in top toolbar

  • The first time you open the folder you will need to sign in with your NUA credentials and agree to the data usage policy. Click here for step-by-step instructions to setting up your folder the first time you use it.
  • To save to My Folder, just click on ‘Add to Folder’ in the right hand menu: Add to Folder shown in side-bar
    Stuff you save to the folder will only be held there temporarily unless you make the folder permanent. This is a place for you to save the details of any useful books or journal articles you’ve found whilst searching on Discovery, so you can easily find them again. It’s a really useful research tool.

What is a ‘Research Starter’?

Research Starter logo

  • A Research Starter is a bit like a Wikipedia entry, it gives an explanation of an author, book or subject along with a useful bibliography of related resources which you may like to use in your research. You will see Research Starters appearing at the top of your results list when the database finds one relevant to your search.



Using the Advanced Search
This allows you to enter your keywords into three search boxes, one concept per row, so you can build up a more precise set of search terms.

  • Use the drop-down menu to the left of the search boxes to link your keywords by choosing AND, OR and NOT.
  • Use AND to narrow your search, e.g: “graphic design” AND signage
    Use OR to broaden your search, e.g: “smart textiles” OR “smart fabrics” OR “e-textiles”
    Use NOT to exclude terms, e.g: “black panthers” NOT cats
    The Advanced Search page
  • Use the ‘Select a Field’ drop-down menu to the right of a search box to choose which field to search in to help narrow your results, such as:
    Journal title
    or don’t select anything from here to search all fields