Getting Started with Summon


Getting Started with Summon

What is Summon Search?


A brief introduction to basic searching in Summon, a library search engine that includes records for books, articles, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, videos, music, images, manuscripts, maps, and more.

Video: (Running time: 00:02:39)


Hello! Welcome to the Theodore Sedgwick Wright Library. Today, we’ll take a brief tour of Summon, the powerful tool behind the large search box on the library website. It’s a great place to start exploring a research topic, because it searches many library resources at once.

Let's get started with a quick, basic search.

We enter our search term, click the Search button or press the 'Enter' key, and Summon is now searching for materials relevant to this term, including online resources, items in the library's online catalog, and more.

And here are the results, right down the middle. This was a pretty broad search, so over on the left side there are facets. These can show us at a glance more detail about what kinds of things are in the results list. We can also use them refine and filter the results.

We could choose, for example to limit for certain content types, but I'd rather keep that broad for now. Instead, let's filter for particular disciplines. We click the More link to see a list of disciplines, including how many results match to each discipline. Let's choose "anthropology” and “religion," apply them to the search and see which resources about polity match to those disciplines.

The results list is sorted by relevancy, and the most relevant result is a book. Clicking the Preview link reveals more information about this item, for example the source, date of publication, subjects, and so on.

If we are looking for journal articles on this topic, we can filter the results further by clicking on Journal Article under Content Type on the left.

If we want to read an article that has the “online” marker, we just click on the title and the full text of the article will open up, because the journal is available online.

If we want to refer to this article later, or keep it as a reference for our research, we can click the folder icon and Summon will save the citation in a temporary folder. We can then export our citations to EndNote, or email them to ourselves, or several other options.

There are a lot more things you can do with Summon, which you'll find out as you start using it. But that's a good, basic introduction to get you started.