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ENGL 100: Start Your Research

Search Discovery

Discovery is the Library's one-search experience. Find articles, books, films, music and more!

Learn more about Discovery with these video tutorials:

Advanced Searching

Once you enter your search terms into Discovery, three search bars will appear. For the most effective searching, do not type in your research question - instead, type each of the keywords you've identified into a separate bar. See below for an example:

If you would like to add another keyword, click on the + sign to add more search bars. 

Please watch the following videos to learn about combining your keywords and synonyms using boolean operators, phrase searching, and truncation.

Ask yourself: do you have any keywords that contain a phrase (ie. two or more words)? Do any of your keywords have multiple endings?

PHRASES: video games

  • Phrases get wrapped in "quotation marks". Ex. "video games"

KEYWORDS with MULTIPLE ENDINGS: sites/site, violent/violence, harmful/harm/harms/harmed, child/children

  • Multiple endings are captured by using * at the end of the word root. Ex. site*, violen*, harm*, child*


Using these techniques, it is possible to combine your initial keywords and related synonyms to create powerful searches. Here is an example of a revised search combining synonyms and using advanced search strategies including boolean operators, truncation, and phrases:

Quick Guide to Research

Before You Begin - A Checklist

To successfully find information you will need:

  • a well-defined topic
  • a keyword list with at least 3-4 main keywords to use in your search
  • a list of questions to answer or an "information wishlist"
  • an understanding of the kind of items you hope to find (academic? media? reports?)
  • places to search



 Use "quotation marks" for exact-phrase searching
  • "video games"
  • "British Columbia
  • "freedom of the press"
  • "needle exchange"
Search for keywords within specific fields - use the drop-down list beside the search box.
  • Title
  • Subject Terms
  • Journal Title
  • Abstract
 Use suggested topics, subjects and thesaurus terms for more refined searching  
 Use the available limiter options (left side of results page)
  • Full Text (excludes books)
  • Peer Reviewed (Scholarly) Articles (excludes books)
  • Publication Date
  • Format
  • Subject
  • Geography
Use narrower keywords
  • video games > first person shooters
  • safe-injection sites > Insite
  • Vancouver > Hastings Street, Downtown Eastside
Check "Books & Media" to find just books, ebooks and media  



 Use "OR" to look for versions of the same concept (synonyms, related words)
  • child OR youth OR teen
  • safe-injection OR "needle exchange" OR Insite
  • Vancouver OR "British Columbia" OR "Lower Mainland"
  Use * [shift+8] after a word's root to search all endings
  • Canad* = Canada, Canadian, Canadians, Canadiana
  • "video gam*" = video game, video games, video gaming
  Use broader keywords
  • video games < media < entertainment
  • safe-injection < harm reduction policies < drug addiction
Uncheck “CapU Library Collections and Subscriptions” in Discovery


If you find an item we don't have, get it via interlibrary loan.

Many CapU Library online resources (databases, electronic books) want to authenticate you to ensure you're a CapU student before giving you access. When you try to access these resources off-campus, and occasionally when you are on campus, this screen will appear:

Just enter your CapU Network ID:

username: firstnamelastname
password: CapU password

Forgot your password?

If you are asked to log in to a page that doesn't have the CapU logo, something has gone wrong. Contact us to help sort it out.

There is no charge to bring in any article or book from outside CapU Library.

Remember to plan ahead - it can take a few days or a few weeks to get your item, depending on availability.

Did you know you have borrowing privileges at other universities? 
Visit the Library Services counter to get a reciprocal borrowing card and start taking books out from UBC LIbraries, SFU Library and more!

Browse the Shelves

What are Call Numbers?

Each library book has a spine label with a call number.

The call number is not just the book's "address", it also tells you what the book is about. Books about similar topics are shelved together. For example, Canadian Literature is in the PS8000 area.

Photo by Flickr User JenWaller

Take a look at the ones shelved nearby, they may cover similar topics to the book in your hand.

Most of our graphic novels are shelved in this area:

PN 6727

Search Tips

Use AND to combine keywords

Use OR between related terms/synonyms

Use "quotation marks" for exact-phrase searching.

  • "safe-injection sites"
  • "video games"

Use * after a word's root to search all endings.

  • "video game*" = video game", video games
  • violen* = violent, violence
  • harm* = harm, harms, harmful, harmed, harming
  • child* = child, children, childish

 Yes, you can use both "quotation marks" and * together.