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Discovery Seminar - Biodiversity - Martin - Fall 2021

This guide is a companion to the in-class library session for the Biodiversity: Library of Life Discovery Seminar.

searchicon.png   discoverE (Catalog)

Emory Libraries discoverE system is the primary tool for searching Emory Libraries' catalog and select databases including books, e-books, videos, articles, and some digital media.

  Search Tips for discoverE
  • discoverE assumes you are searching for all the words individually–unless “OR,” "AND" or “NOT” appear between words and phrases.
  • Put quotation marks around a phrase (e.g. “cloning humans”)– or discoverE will search for them as individual words.
  • By default, discoverE searches all the types of items that the Emory Libraries hold, but you can select a particular type of item to search for –books, journals, images, video, audio, scores, etc.– using the “All Items” dropdown next to the search box.

Broadening and Narrowing Your Search

AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean Operators) are used to connect and define the relationship between your search terms. Use uppercase letters for Boolean operators within searches.


Narrows the search by telling discoverE to search for all records with both keywords or phrases.

    • college AND "social mobility"–will only find records with both words/phrases.

Venn Diagram highlighing the intersection between "college" and "social mobility"


Broadens the search to include records with either keyword/phrase, or both.

    • college OR "higher education"

Venn Diagram highlighing the entire area of both "college" and "higher education"


Narrows your search. Tells database to search the first word but exclude the second word.

    • cloning NOT sheep

Venn Diagram highlighting the area of "cloning" but not where it intersects with "sheep"

Wildcard characters
Use a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search.

  • wom?n -- will find records containing the words “woman”, “women” and “womyn”.

Use an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search.

  • cultur* -- will find records containing “culture”, “cultural”, “culturally”, etc.


Group terms within a search

Use parentheses to group terms within a search.

  • shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet) -- will find records with the words “Shakespeare” and either “tragedy” or “sonnet”.