Searching Summon

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Using Summon off-campus may limit your results. To see complete results when working off-campus, once you get to the Summon results page, log in using your NetID from the banner at the top of the library's homepage.

What is Summon?

Summon provides quick access to print and online materials from some of the library's catalog, databases, and specialized collections.

 It's great for:

  • Locating specific articles or books (even if you only know part of the citation)
  • Exploring broad topics across disciplines

Basic Summon search

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Let's use Summon to search for resources about social media.

Your Turn:

  • Enter "social media" (with quotes, because it's a phrase) in the search box.
  • Select the magnifying glass 

Basic Summon search

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How many results did you get? Hint: Look at the gray text under the search box.

Basic Summon search

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  • Scroll through and take a look at your list of results for "social media."

What is the most common format for the first 10 results?

Basic Summon search

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Take another look at the number of results you got from the "social media" search. That's a lot. To reduce that number, look to the left of the results list and find the section that says Refine Your Search.

Limit your results to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) resources by selecting that option (you should see a green check mark after you select it). Then, under Content Type, select Journal Article (again, a green check mark should appear after you select it).

How many results did that drop from your initial search?

Basic Summon search

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By default, a Summon search automatically excludes newspapers and book reviews.

Let's limit our results to Newspaper articles. Select Clear Filters and take a look at the number of results.

Clear Filters button

Select the Newspaper Article filter, and see what it does to your results list.

  image of selected newspaper filter

Using the Newspaper Article filter, how many search results do you see?


Basic Summon search

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Let's limit our results to ebooks. Select Clear Filters again.

Under Refine Your Search, select Full Text Online.

Under Content Type, select Book / ebook.

You are now seeing about 20,000 ebooks, which you have immediate access to!

image of eBook icon

Basic Summon search

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20,000 ebooks is quite a few. Let's limit that down to ebooks written in 2017.

Look to the left of your screen to locate the section for Publication Date.

Summon Date Slider

Use the slider or the calendar icon to limit your results to eBooks published since 1/1/17.

How many ebooks are in your results now?

Basic Summon search

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Summon allows you to explore results as they apply to different academic disciplines. This is helpful when researching topics with multiple meanings. For example, a search for mercury gets results related to the planet, the chemical element, the Roman god, the vehicle brand, the former lead singer of Queen, and more. Using the Discipline filter, you can focus your search.

Keeping the current results for "social media," look for the Discipline filter on the left side of the screen. Select More...

Select education from the list of options, then scroll back up and select Apply near the top of the discipline list.

Who is the first author listed for the ebook "Social Media Shaping e-Publishing and Academia"?

Basic Summon search

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Select Clear Filters again.

Summon goes beyond searching for books or articles.

Under Content Type, select More...

Which one of these content types can you limit your results to?

To close the content types, scroll up and select the X.

Saving your citations

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Perhaps you've found some articles you'd like to save.

Choose two the items in the results list and select the save this item icon to the right of each result.

Summon folder icon 
The item's folder icon should change color when you select it. 


Saving your citations

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To view your saved items, select the Saved items folder at the top of your screen.

Saved items folder in Summon

This is a temporary folder. Items saved to this folder will be deleted after 120 minutes of inactivity or if you close your browser.

You can choose the citation format to export your citations in and which citation manager you would like to export to.

If you select Export To ..., which citation managers are you able to choose from?

Close out of the saved folder by selecting X near the top-right of your screen.

Citing your results

If you want to save an individual result, you have three different options: Cite, email, or export. Icons are to the right of a result.

Look for the Cite this item icon and select it:

Citation icon in Summon

This icon will allow you to copy/paste a citation or print it.

In the Choose a Citation Format drop-down menu, can you choose the Harvard citation style?


To email an individual citation, look for the Email this item icon to the right of a result:

Email this item icon in Summon

This icon will allow you to email a result to yourself (you also have the option of selecting a citation style).


To export an individual result to a citation management tool, look for the More actions icon to the right of a result:

More actions icon in Summon

This will allow you to export an individual result to RefWorks, EasyBib, EndNote, Zotero, BibTeX, or Citavi.

Previewing an item

Select the Preview link below a result and you'll see more information about each item.

You'll typically see the item's permanent link, information about the item (e.g., publisher, date, ISBN/ISSN), subjects, call number, and sometimes a summary of it.

The subjects are hyperlinked and can help you locate related materials on that topic.

To close the preview, select the Preview link again.


Advanced searching

Now let's try an advanced search...

Select the Advanced link (to the right of the search button) or the hamburger icon image of hamburger icon (on smaller screens).

You'll see your original search term in the first search box. 

In the second search box, change the drop-down menu from All Fields to Publication Title and enter Advertising Age

Change the publication date range to begin on 1/1/14

Select Search

Which country has a social media zombie problem?


Adding results beyond the UA Libraries collection

Lastly, although Summon will provide thousands of results, you can still search beyond the UA Libraries' collection.

You can see these results by selecting the option to Add results beyond your library's collection at the top of your screen.

If you locate a resource that we don't own (for example, if it says "citation only"), select the title, then select the Request This Material button to initiate an Interlibrary Loan request for the material. This is a free service for UA students and employees.

 Request This Material button



Getting help with Summon

If you need help with Summon, look for the Help link in the upper right corner of the Summon results page. There's also a Chat button beneath the Help link. Chat will connect you to an expert at the UA Libraries (it's available whenever the library is open).

If you want to submit feedback about Summon, use the Feedback link next to the Help link.



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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