Library Hub FAQ

Library Hub Discover FAQ

What is Library Hub Discover?

Library Hub Discover is a new service which will support researchers and information professionals by enabling you to search the catalogues of UK national, University and specialist libraries through a single interface. Library Hub Discover is an expansion and development of the existing Copac service, a well regarded and trusted resource which saves researchers time and avoids duplication of effort. Library Hub Discover will allow researchers and librarians to access a more complete view of the UK distributed academic and research library collection than has previously been available. You will be able to 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.

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 which is 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.

My library has sent data for the Jisc National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK), why is it not appearing in Library Hub Discover?

The catalogues supplied for the NBK are initially being used to develop two new services, for shared cataloguing and resource discovery. As a result of community feedback during the NBK development period we have separated the Cataloguing and Discover services and will be developing each service independently to allow the best support for differing user requirements. The Cataloguing pilot service has been under development for some time, so contains all but the most recently supplied catalogues. By contrast, the Discover service is a recent development so there are fewer catalogues currently available. We are continuing to add catalogues to both of the new services and all NBK contributor catalogues will be incorporated into the Discover service over coming weeks, along with data from other sources, for example Open Access resources available from the Hathi Trust.

How long will Copac and SUNCAT continue to be available?

Copac and SUNCAT will be available until the end of July 2019, at which point they will be superseded by the new Library Hub Discover service.

Can my library become a contributor to the new 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 Cataloguing and other services that are being developed out of the Jisc NBK project. 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.

Why are there no book cover images in the records?

We buy in book cover images and other record enhancements, such as abstracts and biographies, from an external supplier. This content is currently only licensed for use in Copac, however, we will be adding book covers and other enhancements to the Library Hub Discover service once a new agreement is finalised.

Will there be more search and result management options?

Yes. The Discover pilot interface is at an early stage of development and we will be adding many more search options, as well as facilities to sort and filter search results. The interface feedback that we get will help with this work.

Why are there fewer contributing libraries than in Copac and SUNCAT?

The pilot service has a sub-set of contributing libraries at the moment and we will be continuing to add new contributing libraries as we develop the pilot database. 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. Where we don't already have that agreement we will be in touch with existing Copac and SUNCAT contributors to discuss their participation.

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 is the case currently in either Copac or SUNCAT.

Does the Discover service meet accessibility guidelines?

We regret that the current pilot service does not meet the high standards of accessibility that we would usually expect to provide. We are working to address this as a matter of priority.

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

The Discover service will work with mobile devices, but we are aware that the experience needs improvement and we will be working on this in the next stage of interface development.

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.

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 item display. As we continue to develop the interface we will be adding a holdings display so you can see local location and copy details, where possible this will include live availability information so you can see whether a book or other item is on loan.

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; we will be making these 'clickable' in future. 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 library to see if you can get access.

Can I download records from Library Hub Discover?

There is no facility to download records in the initial pilot service, but we will be adding options to download records for use in reference management software. Libraries wishing to download MARC records should use the Cataloguing service.

Library Hub Cataloguing FAQ

Who can access the Library Hub Cataloguing service?

The Library Hub Cataloguing service is available to current Library Hub contributors and Jisc members.

What cataloguing interfaces are available?

The Library Hub Cataloguing pilot is available through a web interface and Z39.50 connection, both of which will require authentication.

The web interface can be accessed here:

What access control mechanism is being used?

Access is available to current Library Hub contributors and Jisc members. To request access, please complete this form.

What data is available in the Cataloguing service?

A full list of all institutions whose data is included in the pilot service may be found on the advanced search page, in the ‘institution’ drop-down. More libraries will be regularly added to the service.

Please note that due to licensing and other data reuse restrictions, an institution’s whole catalogue may not be represented on the Cataloguing service. Full catalogues can be found, in non-MARC format, on the Library Hub Discover pilot service.

What Z39.50 search attributes can be used?

Supported AT-1 values:

  • 4 Title keyword)
  • 6 (title-uniform-keyword)
  • 7 ISBN
  • 8 ISSN
  • 12 (ppn)
  • 21 Subject
  • 54 Language
  • 59 Publisher location
  • 1003 Name
  • 1004 Personal name
  • 1007 ISBN/ISSN
  • 1009 Personal name subject
  • 1016 Keyword
  • 1018 Publisher
  • 2519 (corporate-conf)
  • 5101 (corporate-conf-subject)
  • 6145 (issn-l)
  • 31 (year)*

*Note: the Date Use attribute can only be used in conjunction with an index search. The use attribute must be added to an index search with the Boolean AND in order to receive search results.

Note: Search by NBK library code eg. oxf=Oxford is not currently supported. This will be added in due course and a full list of contributing libraries and their library code will be made available on the Contributor Web site.

What deduplication and best record selection processes are used?

The data processing procedures will be documented on the Contributor web site in future. And we will be consulting on all aspects of the record deduplication and creation process so the cataloguing service can be developed to support community requirements.