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What is Worldcat Discovery?

Worldcat Discovery Intro

Worldcat Discovery  offers quick and easy searching of the Goucher College Library print and electronic book, media, and journal collections and many of our most popular article and e-book databases, including JSTOR, Project MUSE, ebrary, and more. 

By default, Worldcat Discovery searches the holdings of libraries worldwide. Using the Advanced Search users can limit their search to only Goucher 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 Goucher College Library
  • Millions of ebooks through eBrary, eBook Academic, 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 content with just a few keywords, allowing users to find more results in less time.

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 Goucher College Library 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 Goucher 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 Goucher can  be viewed in their entirety by Goucher College 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 Goucher College 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 Goucher College 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 Goucher College 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 specialist 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 Goucher College Library research librarian.  You may drop in at the Research Desk whenever it is open (during class session most M-TH from 10am - 10pm, non-class sessions typically 10am - 5pm), email or call us at 410-337-6212.   You may also request an appointment for a Research appointment by using this link.

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, and it should be fixed shortly.

How do I browse a Goucher 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

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 or...
  2. Limit your "Library" on the left navigation panel to Goucher College Library and Print book to locate books in our stacks.

How can I save and e-mail records from WorldCat Discovery?

  • Save records to a list: Select the plus icon in the top right of the record in your search result.  Remember, this is only for the current search session.
  • E-mail: Select the arrow icon in the top right of the record in your search result.  Then select e-mail record and follow the steps.

Is there a way to easily cite my WorldCat Discovery resources?

Yes.  The library encourages and supports RefWorks as a citation organizer and generator. You must have an active RefWorks account to do this.  See our Citing Sources Help page for information on RefWorks.

  • Select the arrow icon in the top right of the record in your search result.
  • Select the Cite Record option
  • Select Cite with RefWorks

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 Goucher College 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 Goucher's books and eBooks.  Additionally, it searches many of our journals / eJournals, as well as many of the other resources the library owns.

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