What is a Discovery Search? searching multiple online library databases from a single search box

First, what is an online library database?

Library databases are online collections of information that include digital versions of magazines, journals, and other scholarly works that must be paid for to access. Fortunately, GUHSD students and staff get free access since the databases are paid for by the district and the state of California.

But, don't I get a LOT of information from Google?!?

Yes! Google provides access to a lot of information for free, but there is actually much more information on the Internet that you cannot access without a subscription or special access. Just check out the Internet iceberg model below. In the model, everything accessible via Google is part of the "visible web" above the surface. Library databases, however, are part of the "hidden web" below the surface, and they provide quality, published information to complement general web resources. Also, keep in mind that in college, many professors require students to use library online databases.

Where do I find GUHSD's online library databases?

The button below will take you directly to a page with links to all GUHSD Online Databases. This database web page is also linked to from your school's library website.

So, how does a discovery search help?

On the GUHSD Online Databases page, you will notice there are links to directly access a number of different online databases. For instance, if you need some literary criticism, you might go directly to the Literary Reference Center. Or, if you're doing research on a controversial issue, you might access the Points of View database. But, what if you want to search across multiple databases at once? A discovery search allows you to do this!

NOTE: The GUHSD databases that are NOT searchable with the discovery search are Ebook Central, Central Student, SIRS Discoverer, CultureGrams, SIRS Issues Researcher, Issues & Controversies, Britannica Escolar, PrepSTEP, Career Cruising, Research Companion, and TeachingBooks. You must go directly to these databases to search them.

How do I do a discovery search?

To do a discovery search, you may use the embedded search box at the top of the GUHSD Online Databases page. Or, on that page you may click on the GUHSD Discovery Search button. Simply enter your keywords to search and then optionally use filters to refine your results.

This is what the discovery search button looks like.

Do I need to log in to do a discovery search?

If you are on campus, you do NOT need to log in to do a discovery search since the service can recognize that you are on the GUHSD network. If you are off campus, simply log in using your @guhsd.net Google account. For more information about logging in to GUHSD online databases, click here (while logged in with your @guhsd.net Google account).

Is a discovery search always best?

Not necessarily. If you want to search across databases to see all of the different results you can find, a discovery search will do that for you.

However, if you have a particular search need, sometimes it is easier to start at a specific database that is best suited to meet that need. Knowing where to start your search can be confusing, though! Luckily, there are experts on online databases at your school library.

You are always welcome to contact your school library for help in figuring out where to start your search so that you may optimally find the information you need.

January 17, 2020 GUHSD FutureForward Libraries

See the full Resource Snack Time Archives at bit.ly/guhsd-rst.

Created By
Suzanne Sannwald


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