Library Hub Discover FAQ

What is Library Hub Discover?

Library Hub Discover enables you to search the merged catalogues of UK national, university and specialist libraries; it is is an expansion and development of the previous Copac and SUNCAT services. Whilst aimed at the UK academic and research community, and information professionals, Library Hub Discover welcomes use from anyone who may find it of value. Library Hub Discover provides a more complete view of the UK distributed academic and research library collection than has previously been available. You can use Library Hub Discover as a resource discovery tool to help you find rare and unique research material, to verify bibliographic information and to compare library collections.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on Library Hub Discover?

There has been no impact on the Library Hub Discover service itself, however, some libraries have had problems transferring their data to us during this period. This means updates have been affected in some cases, but this is now gradually returning to normal. Please check our Libraries list to see the date of the latest updates loaded, bearing in mind that some libraries have static collections so rarely supply updates.

Please note that some library services may still have additional restrictions, so if you are planning any visits make sure you check with the library in advance. If you select the name of a library in our Libraries list this will take you to our Library information page. Here you will find contact details and a link to each library’s web site for more information.

Read more on our blog.

What materials are included in Library Hub Discover?

Library Hub Discover contains the full catalogues of our contributing libraries. So the materials covered are those that are in our contributors' collections. This includes books, journals, theses, videos, sound recordings, music scores, electronic resources, and many others, for example games and art works. Library catalogues do not normally include records for individual journal articles, so whilst there are some records for journal and conference articles in Discover, it does not provide comprehensive coverage of journal and conference contents.

What is the date range of materials in Library Hub Discover?

There are no date constraints on Library Hub Discover, it contains the full catalogues of our contributing libraries from the earliest manuscript materials through to the most recent publications. The coverage is approximately 1100 to current.

How does the Library Hub Discover service relate to the Jisc National Bibiliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) project?

The National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) is the name for the aggregation of data being used to provide the Library Hub Discover, Compare, and Cataloguing services. This large data pool allows us to manage the flow of different subsets of data into each service and will support new service development in future.

What has happened to Copac and SUNCAT?

The Copac and SUNCAT services have been superseded by the Library Hub Discover service. The new service offers access to a wider range of library catalogues, with more being added on a regular basis, whilst the flexible search interface will continue to be developed with input from those using the service, to ensure it supports diverse requirements. We are aiming to include all Copac and SUNCAT contributors in the new Library Hub Discover service, but that depends on the interest and agreement of the library.

Can my library become a contributor to the Library Hub Discover service?

We are hoping that all UK University Libraries will wish to be involved in the Discover service, as well as the related Compare, and Cataloguing services that have been developed out of the Jisc NBK project. You will find information about the NBK and Library Hub development on the Library Hub blog. We will also be continuing to add new specialist research library catalogues of value to the UK academic research community.

If your library is not already contributing to the NBK database and you want more information about what is involved, please contact us at

Will materials appear in search engine results?

Yes. Data supplied for inclusion in Library Hub Discover will be visible for harvesting by search engines and we will be looking at ways of enhancing this process in future.

Will there be more search and result management options?

Yes. The Discover interface forms the foundation and we will be building on this to add new facilities, including options to filter search results. The interface feedback that we get will help with ongoing development of the interface.

How many libraries will be contributing to the Discover service?

The aim is to include all UK University libraries that would like to participate, as well as increasing the number of specialist research libraries included. So the Discover service will offer a more complete view of the UK distributed academic and research library collection than was the case in either of the preceding services, Copac and SUNCAT.

Can I use a mobile device to access the Discover service?

The Discover service will work with mobile devices. We are not aware of any particular issues in using Discover on any mobile device, but as with all aspects of the service we are always interested in feedback that can be added into our ongoing developments.

How do I access materials found on Library Hub Discover?

Library Hub Discover does not hold any of the material listed in the database. All records come from the catalogues of the contributing libraries themselves. To access materials, you may be able to visit the holding library, talk to them about providing you with a copy, or organise an inter-library loan through your local library. You should contact either the holding library or your local library to find out about these options.

Please note that some libraries may be closed for the time being, so if you are planning any visits make sure you check with the library in advance. If you select the name of a library in our Libraries list this will take you to our information page. Here you will find contact details and a link to each library’s web site for more information.

How do I find out where materials are held?

In the search results screen you will see a list of holding libraries next to each item, each holding library will have one or more copies of the item in physical or electronic form. Holdings libraries are also listed in the full record display.

If you select the name of a holding library you will see the Holdings display for that library, which shows all the available location information and any library specific notes about the document. For many university libraries we can display live circulation data, so you can see whether a document is on loan. If we're not able to do this there will be a note in the display to say live circulation data is not available, in which case we display the holdings data the library has sent us with their record for that document.

Can I access full text materials through Library Hub Discover?

Library Hub Discover doesn’t provide a full text service. If a library has included a link to a full-text document this will be shown in the record display. Some links will be to freely available materials but others will be for subscription-only resources. If you’re prompted for subscription details after trying to link to a document online, check with your own library to see if you can get access.

Can I download records from Library Hub Discover?

Yes, there are a range of download formats, including those for use in reference management software. Records cannot be downloaded from Discover in MARC format because of licensing conditions associated with many records. Libraries wishing to download MARC records should use the Library Hub Cataloguing service. Access to the Cataloguing service is restricted to Jisc member libraries and other NBK contributing libraries.