Discover is a tool that searches the Five Colleges catalog and most of our research databases at one time (ProQuest's databases, including their current and historical newspapers, are not included). It can be a great place to get started on a topic or make sure you haven't missed anything. Because it's looking for books and articles in so many different places, the search results can sometimes be overwhelming. Below are some tips to focus on materials that best support your research.

If you want more control of your search than the single box, click the link for Advanced Search.


Clicking the link for Advanced Search gives you multiple search boxes to create more specific searches.


Rather than sort through a million records, you can refine your results by focusing on scholarly journals or specifying the timeframe in which the results were published.


As you scroll through your results, you'll notice multiple ways of filtering by type of source. For example, you might want to start by looking at books on your topic (one advantage of searching for books in Discover is that it sorts results by relevance, not by date published, as is the case in the Five Colleges catalog). This can be done in the Source Types menu.

Source types

If you expand the Subjects menu, you can get ideas for other terms to use for future searches, or you can check the boxes for subject areas of interest.


The Databases menu can help you identify subject-specific databases on your topic and can show you only the results from that database.

Databases menu

Questions? Stop by the reference desk to ask a librarian, or look for the chat widget on the right in Discover. If you have any feedback on this resource, we'd love to hear it; you can chat with us, or use the feedback form on our Hours & Contact page.