Discover FAQs

Discover is the library search engine. You can use it to search across most of our collections including: books, ebooks, journal articles, conference proceedings, newspapers, magazines, technical reports, standards, theses and dissertations. You can link to full text materials at the click of a button and can seamlessly export their results to reference management software such as RefWorks.

I’m getting an error message when I try to connect to the full text of an article or document - what should I do?

Please let us know by contacting your librarian, providing as much detail as possible. You may also be able to get into the article by searching the Journal A-Z for the publication title and navigating to the article by year, volume, issue and page number.

I’m looking for a GCU dissertation or thesis - what’s the best way to find these?

Please refer to our dedicated Theses page for more information on finding dissertations and theses.

I searched for an entire citation in Discover but got no results - what’s wrong?

This approach won’t return helpful results. Instead, try searching for the title of the resource combined with the author’s surname.

How do I find a book?

If you’re looking for a specific book, search Discover using the author and title. You can refine your search and make the results more relevant by selecting Books under the Resource Type menu. Click the title to find out the number of copies, location, shelf mark and availability of the book.

Some titles will be available as both print and ebooks. If there is a green Full text available link you can click this to read the ebook.

If the book you are looking for is not immediately obvious in the search results, try searching for the author and title using advanced search.

How do I find journal articles?

If you’re looking for a specific journal article, search Discover using the author and keywords from the title. You can refine your search and make the results more relevant by selecting Articles under the Resource Type menu.

Alternatively, you may also be able to find the article by searching the Journal A-Z for the publication title and navigating to the article by year, volume, issue and page number.

Some of our databases aren’t fully covered by Discover, so in some cases it’s better to search the database directly, for example Westlaw, LexisLibrary and EBSCO databases like CINAHL. 

If you need an article for your coursework, teaching or research, and we don't have it in stock, you can request it through our inter-library loan service

How does Discover rank my results?

This guide details the relevance ranking in use in Discover. Please note that this guide refers to Primo which is the generic name for Discover.

You can also opt to sort your results by date, author or title using the Sort by drop down menu.

How can I search for a module reading list?

Select the Reading Lists tab on the main Discover search box. This search only searches active reading lists for courses running during the current academic year. You can search for your reading list by lecturer, module code or title.

The book I need is out on loan - what should I do?

Use the Request option under Get It to join the queue for the next available copy. Please specify from which campus you would like to collect the book. If you’re off campus you’ll have to sign in to Discover using your domain username and password.

Remember, many of our books are available electronically so you may still be able to read the book even if all of the physical copies are out on loan.

Do I need to sign in to use Discover?

You can get more out of Discover by signing in with your domain username and password. This allows you to save useful search results, see your search history and view information about your Library account. Sign in by clicking the grey box which says Guest, English on the toolbar at the top right of the screen. Click Sign in. 

I'm getting too many results - how can I improve my searches?

There are a number of techniques you can use to improve your search results, for example:

  • Add more keywords to make your search more specific.
  • Use the options on the right hand side of the screen to refine your results. For example, you can limit your search by resource type (such as book or article) or creation date. Selecting Available in the Library restricts your search to physical items available in the Library and Full Text Online will return electronic items available on or off campus.
  • Check your use of search operators such as AND, OR and NOT. Our basic search skills page has more information.