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WorldCat Discovery: FAQs

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Please use this guide as a starting point for your research. If you need further assistance, contact us via email at


Search e-journals

WorldCat< Discovery offers quick and easy searching of Field Museum Library print and electronic journal and book holdings and many of our most popular article databases, including JSTOR, BioOne, Zootaxa, and more. A unified discovery service, WorldCat Discovery allows Field Museum Library users to quickly search, discover, and access reliable and credible library content.  Through one simple search, it provides instant access to the breadth of content found at the Field Museum Library and other libraries - digital and print, audio and video, single articles to entire e-journals, and every format in between.  Enter your terms and quickly get one relevancy-ranked list of library resources.

By default, WorldCat Discovery searches the holdings of Field Museum Library holdings. Using either the basic or the Advanced Search, patrons can expand their search to library holdings worldwide. Interested in remote access to electronic resources or resources not held by the Field Museum? Please email Gretchen Rings at to request access and/or for materials via interlibrary loan. 

What is WorldCat Discovery?

WorldCat Discovery uses a single search box on the Library’s homepage to identify: 

  • Nearly 300,000 hardcopy items available through Field Museum Library 
  • Digitized materials through Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), Google Books, Hathi Trust Digital Library and more.
  • Journal articles and conference papers from the Library's databases
  • And books and articles outside of our library 

WorldCat Discovery provides an easy-to-use interface to search across much of our Library content with just a few keywords, allowing users to find more results in less time.

In brief, how do I use WorldCat Discovery?

Enter your keywords into the single search box, and select Search. Once a search has been performed, use the options on the left to further refine your search.

How is WorldCat Discovery different than Google and Google Scholar?

Both WorldCat Discovery and Google / Google Scholar search a massive index of information. However, there are some key differences to these searching tools (adapted from the University of Wollongong's "Search Result Comparison: WorldCat Discovery versus Google"):

WorldCat Discovery

Google / Google Scholar

  • Content searched is more accessible to the Field Museum community
  • Results found are easier to refine to scholarly or peer-reviewed
  • Options for refining search (e.g. by content, format, date)
  • Many Google Scholar resources cost money to access
  • In Google, it can be difficult to identify which articles are scholarly or peer-reviewed
  • Difficult to refine your searches
  • Books found can be limited and/or cost money


What resources are available in WorldCat Discovery?

A large majority of the Field Museum Library’s collection and Hathi Trust e-books are all available through WorldCat Discovery. Many records will link to full-text content. The range of material includes:

  • Almost 3,000,000 books 
  • Journal, newspaper, and trade publication articles; conference papers; book reviews
  • Thousands of journal titles
  • Books and articles outside of our libraries when Libraries Worldwide is selected

What browsers and phones are supported by WorldCat Discovery?

WorldCat Discovery is supported by all modern web browsers and smartphones.

WorldCat Discovery's results were not relevant to my search -- What should I do?

If you are finding that WorldCat Discovery's results do not fit your search, you may need to refine or enhance your search strategies, or seek help from a library staff member. 

If you need any help in locating relevant resources, or would like assistance in searching, please contact or visit the Field Museum Library Reference Desk.  You may drop in at the Reference Desk whenever it is open (M-F from 1 - 4pm,)  email or call us at 312-665-7892 for appointments outside these hours. 

How do I access the full text of my article?

  1. Select the title.
  2. If you are taken to a page with “Access online" links, click them.  Note: Clicking these links may take you to a database where you have to re-enter the article information.  Do that, and THEN the full text should appear.
  3. If steps 1 and 2 are unsuccessful, this is an error that we need to fix. Please describe the problem to Gretchen Rings at, and it should be fixed shortly.

How do I browse a Field Museum-owned journal title?

  1. Select "Advanced Search"
  2. Select “Journals by title” from the Library Links drop-down on the right upper side of the screen.
  3. Type the name of the journal in the search box.
  4. Search

Can I use WorldCat Discovery to ONLY search books?

Yes, To search only books in WorldCat Discovery:

  1. Limit your "Format" on the left navigation panel to Book
  2. Limit your "Library" on the left navigation panel to Field Museum Library and Print book to locate books in our stacks.

How can I save and e-mail records from WorldCat Discovery?

  • Save records to a list: Select the plus icon in the top right of the record in your search result.  Remember, this is only for the current search session.
  • E-mail: Select the arrow icon in the top right of the record in your search result.  Then select e-mail record and follow the steps.

Is there a way to easily cite my WorldCat Discovery resources?

Yes! Follow the steps below, and WorldCat Discovery will format a citation for you in the style you choose (Chicago Manual, APA, etc.): 

  • Within the item's record, select the "Cite" option
  • From the drop-down menu, select a citation style 
  • A citation in the style format you choose will be generated for you

How do I find resources from other libraries?

WorldCat Discovery allows you to search for books from other libraries. Books from other libraries may be shipped to Field Museum Library for you to pick up.  There are many factors that may affect their availability, including how many libraries own the item, age/condition of the item (too new or too old), and popularity of the item. Please email for requests and more information about this service. 

Does WorldCat Discovery really search all of the library's contents at once?

Almost. It searches all of the Field's books and journals. Additionally, it searches many of our journals / eJournals, as well as many of the other resources the library owns.