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Summon FAQ and Help

Brief video tutorial

Summon Look and Features

3 columns: facets, results, and additional information

Summon serach results: 3 columns

The topic explorer pane

  • This pane may display information from a reference source.
  • It also displays related topics.

Reference panel in Summon

The facets pane

  • You can apply multiple facets at one time.

Facets pane

  • To include/exclude the options listed under "Content type"  and "Discipline" click on "More."
Content type options with the "More..." link Content type results with options to include or exclude

The results pane

  • The option to sort by relevance/date is displayed next to search results counts. The option to add results beyond your library collection is also above the results list.

Results count with the option to sort by relevance or date

  • If your original search statement is pretty general (example: presidentail election), Summon may suggest additional suggested search terms. They are provided through use of controlled vocabularies from a variety of sources, including some index and abstract services

Suggested searches

Cite, Email, and Add to Folder

arrow showing email and citation links in results page

Content spotlighting

For some topics Summon may visually distinguish newspaper articles and/or display image content.

News results display

Image results display


Summon Search Tips

Phrase Searching: use quotation marks to search the words together. Example: “Chief Executive Officer”.

Boolean operators: type OR, NOT and AND  in ALL CAPS. Example: "Chief Executive Officer" OR CEO.

Nesting: use parentheses to OR concepts, then AND them with another concept. Example:
(CEO OR "Chief Executive Officer") AND (salaries OR wages).

Searching Specific Fields: use the following formula to search for the word in a specific field, such as author or abstract: 
field:(search words).
Example: Author:(Michael Porter).
Searchable fields:  Title; SubjectTerms; Author; Publisher; PublicationTitle; Volume; Issue; Language; Notes; ISBN; DEWEY.

Wildcards: use “?” and “*” to match, respectively, one character or multiple characters. Examples:

  • Organi?ation will find either "organization" or "organisation"
  • translat* will find "translate", "translation," "translator," etc.

Proximity: use the tilde (~) character and number at the end of multiple words to to find instances where those terms occur within that number of words of one another (regardless of order). Enclose multiple terms in quotation marks. Examples:

  • "recycling tires"~10 will find instances where the terms are 10 words apart or less.
  • "economic development oil prices"~20 will find sources where these words appear within 20 words of each other.

Date range search: add  { } characters with years to indicate a range. Example: {2009 TO 2011}.

Advanced search

Use the Advanced search form to specify the date range, field selection and other preferences more easily.

Summon advanced search form

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