Welcome to a tutorial for MNCAT Discovery - this tool serves as an introduction to finding books and articles at the UMD Library.    To begin, let's start at the libraries main page at d.umn.edu/lib.

To Navigate to the next screen, use the arrows below.

This is our 24/7 service page that gives the UMD community access to all of our digital resources.  

To begin our exercise, click in the text box 

MNCAT DISCOVERY Search interface

Type "Social Networks" and click on search.

We use the "Social Networks" search because the topic is exceeding broad and unfocused, resulting in a lot results. 

We can refine our searches in many ways, but for this exercise, lets enhance our search by only searching for items on the shelf.  Look on the left hand side of the screen and click on "Available on Shelf."

We really reduced our search down from hundreds of thousands to a very limited range of titles only available on the UMD campus for checkout.

Let's say we really want titles that are are about social media and only were published in the last five years. What would you do? 

Select the method that would allow you to see resources that were published in the last 5 years only.

To change the date range, slide the slider up from 2009 or just type in 2009.  

Let's next narrow down the field by Subject.  

Look on the left hand side for a box that looks similar to the following to:



Shows the exclude and include checkboxes for limiting a search engine

2.   window pops up.

Lets check limit our search to materials about Online Social Networks, but not no results about Facebook.  What would be the correct choice?

Once you have chosen your answer, do the same in the More Options pop-up.

You've reduced the number of results available in the search, which makes finding articles easier.  Now, let's expand our search again by removing our AVAILABLE ON SHELF limiter.  

Click on the X to change the limiters. 

Based on that action, can we:

By removing the Shelf only items, what conclusion can you come to?


We know that UMD has a lot of books and resources, but let's look at how we can view a full text article.  

In your results list, look for any title that has a 

Click on that title and you will see the library record which give important information about document like the author, date of publication, number of pages, and journal title. It should look very similar to the image below. 

There are four tabs in the record, and we default to the 2nd tab about details of the record.  Click on the 1st Tab "View It" and the 4th tab "Get it."


If you answered, View It will allow you to see and view an item, and Get It will begin the process to Inter-Library Loan an item, then you figured it out.  There are materials that we have readily available online, 24/7 and other materials that can be retrieved by library staff, then mailed to the UMD library.

Let's focus on just finding digital items while narrowing a search.

For our exercise, go back to the search results page and do the following:

a. Limit the search to ARTICLES only.

b. Remove any results that are not English language.

c. Only bring back results from OneFile.


 If you answered "this dramatically reduces the number of sources.." then you are on the right track.  Limiting the type, language and source are 3 more ways to refine searches. 

Let's try one more search.  Click on the results page in the search bar again and type in "Social Media Policy"

Note the number of results that you get from this search.

Notice the dropdown that says "That contain my query words".  Click on that menu and change to "With my exact phrase".   

If you responded to the last question by talking about the difference between exact phrasing and any term in search, then you were correct.  When you search you can be very exact and focused and seeking a specific phrase or series or words, you would use the exact phrase.  If you are looking for a much more generalized results, then a "contains my query words" would be more appropriate.

Congratulations! You've made significant progress in learning about the libraries physical and digital resources. Keep searching and good luck!


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.

What did you think of this tutorial?

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