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Getting the most from discoverE’s Combined tab

Learn how the discoverE Combined tab could be your research friend.


1. What’s searchable in the Combined Tab?

  • Central Discovery Index (CDI) – a database of over 4 billion items, most available electronically:
    • Online Access Available:
      • Full text online articles – free or subscribed to by the library 
      • E-books and e-book chapters
      • Video and audio 
      • Entries from reference works, datasets, patents, government documents, some archives and manuscripts, and many other types of content 
    • No Online Access:
      • Citations to articles or other content which may be requestable through ILL or may be available in print  
  • Everything in the Catalog tab including the following:
    • Physical (on-site) and online electronic materials - books, videos, audio recordings, and other resources indexed and managed by Emory
    • Material in the Emory Digital Repositories (digitized books, Electronic Theses and Dissertations, OpenEmory, and other collections)
    • Material available for requesting through Emory’s cooperative agreement with Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology)

2. How are these sources combined?

  • The index of local Emory material and the CDI are searched separately – then the results are blended together into one list. The records aren’t “de-duplicated”, so multiple records for the same content can appear in the result.
  • The filters on the left, such as Subject and Author, may differ between Emory local collections and CDI (which uses multiple vocabularies). For example, Emory Libraries mainly use Library of Congress Subject Headings for subjects, but most CDI records don’t. The Classification LCC filter will probably cover only Emory local material.

3. I want to find all versions available to me – electronic as well as print – of something specific. Do I need to use the Combined tab?

Yes! The Combined tab may contain an electronic version of something that is only available in print under the Catalog tab, or is not available in the Catalog tab.

4. I want to find a specific item, but I’m not seeing it in the top results – what can I do?

  • First, check that you didn’t make a typo or spelling mistake in your search.
  • If you know additional words you’re sure would be in the results (for example, author last name as well as a title), add them.
  • If you know or can find out an identifier such as the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), DOI (Document Object Identifier, useful for most recent online articles), PMID (PubMed ID) or other unique ID, search on just that as a keyword.
  • If your search terms are several mostly common words, try entering a phrase inside quote marks (for example, the title or part of the title). This should boost search results that contain the whole phrase in order.
  • If you’re searching for a book title, for example, try using Advanced search and selecting “Title” as the field to search.
  • Use the filters on the left to narrow the number of results if you can. Filtering by date of publication, author name, and/or subject can be useful.

5. I want to research a subject, but I’m getting millions of results – how can I cut that down to what’s useful for me?

  • If you only want to see online results, click the “Full Access Online” choice under the “Show Only” filter.
  • Using the "Resource Type" filter can remove results that aren’t the kind of material you are looking for. For example, if all you want is articles, just select that. You can also select “More options” underneath the listed types to select or remove several resource types at once.
  • Use as many of the filters as you can (i.e. Subject, Language, Creation Date). You may want to show “more” of a filter list, and include check boxes for multiple terms for a subject, or multiple forms for an author name to filter. 
  • If you find your results flooded with a certain type of results, see if you can use the "Exclude" column of boxes in a filter to remove them from your results.
  • If you’re mainly looking for the latest publications on a topic, try sorting your result by “Date newest”.

6. What else is useful to know about the Combined Tab?

  • Some CDI result records, mostly for articles, have a “Cites” or “Cited by” link, or both, above the tabs for Description, etc. on the right.   Click on these links and you’ll get a list of CDI results that match citations in the article or that cite the article.
  • CDI provides “Reference Entry” results for some topical searches that provide definitions, biographical or general information about the topic from reference sources.  If you don’t want to see Reference Entries, you can use the Resource Type filter to exclude them.