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Summon FAQ and Help

Brief video tutorial

Summon Look and Features

3 columns: facets, results, and Topic Explorer

Summon results screen with 3 columns

The facets pane

  • This pane contains filters/refinements and facets that can be used to refine your search.
  • Available refinement options are always the same.
  • Facets allow you to narrow your search by publication date, content type, subject terms,discipline, language, and database. Available options depend on your search.
  • You can apply multiple refinement options
  • Each time you turn a facet on or off, your search is repeated and you'll see a new set of results.
  • Most facets will reduce the number of search results with the exception of "Include results from outside your library's collection," which will always increase the number of results.

The results pane

  • By default your results are sorted by relevance. Click on the "Relevance" link to choose a different sorting option.
  • If your original search statement is pretty general (example: presidential election), Summon may suggest additional suggested search terms. These suggestions are listed after result #10. They are provided through use of controlled vocabularies from a variety of sources, including some index and abstract services

Suggested searches

See How Do I Work With Search Results? for illustrations and additional information.

The topic explorer pane

  • This pane displays related databases, topics and guides.
  • For selected (more general) topics his pane may display information from a reference source.

Saving and exporting search results

Summon results with save, cite, and email options

For each result the following options are available:

  • "Save this item" allows you to to save the item to a temporary folder, where you can select a citation style, email your items, or export them to a bibliographic management program. See How Long Do Saved items Stay in the Folder?
  • "Permanent link" allows you to access a persistent link to the item. The link provides an easy way to access the Summon record at a later date via places such as a browser bookmark.
  • "Cite this item" allows you to select a citation style.
  • "Email this item" allows you to email the item citation in one of the supported citation styles. If the item is available online, the link will be included along with the citation.
  • "More actions" allows you to choose a citation manager into which you want to export the citation.

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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