Document Type


Publication Title

portal: Libraries & the Academy

Publication Date



research, academic disciplines, scholarly communication, academic libraries, discovery


This study reports faculty experiences regarding the discovery of scholarly content, highlighting similarities and differences across a range of academic disciplines. The authors interviewed twenty-five faculty members at a public, high-research university in the Midwest to explore the intersections of discovery, browsing, and format from diverse disciplinary perspectives. Although most participants rely on similar discovery tools such as library catalogs and databases and Google Scholar, their discovery techniques varied according to the discipline and type of research being done. Browsing is not a standard method for discovery, but it is still done selectively and strategically by some scholars. Journal articles are the most important format across disciplines, but books, chapters, and conference proceedings are core for some scholars and should be considered when facilitating discovery. The findings detail several ways in which disciplinary and personal experiences shape scholars’ practices. The authors discuss the perceived disconnect between browsability, discovery, and access of scholarly literature and explore solutions that make the library central to discovery and browsing.

Funding Source

This research benefitted from a University Research Grant funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Illinois State University.


This is the accepted (post-peer review, pre-copyedited) version of a manuscript which has been accepted for publication in portal: Libraries & the Academy (accepted: November 20, 2023; expected publication: October 2024).



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