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Search & Find

Help with Summon

Getting Started


screenshot showing location of Summon refinement toolsUse Summon's filters to refine your search and get better results.

You can filter by:

  • Full Text Online
  • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)
  • Library Catalog
  • Content Type (books, journal articles, newspapers, video recording, etc.)
  • Publication Date
  • Discipline
  • Library Location
  • Language

Selecting "More..." below one of the refining options opens a pane to view additional options. Be sure to close this pane using the circled X at the top when you have made your selection.

Get to Full Text

Different items in Summon will display different availability information:

  • For print books, the availability, call number, and location will show in the results list
  • For online articles, you might see Full Text Online, Check Availability, or Citation Only (if no full text is available)
  • For an ebook, the display might read Full Text Online or Citation Only


To save a result, select its folder icon.

To view saved items, select the folder icon to the right of the search box.

This is only a temporary folder. When you leave Summon, folder contents will disappear. It will also timeout and be emptied after 20 minutes of inactivity. You will need to export or email items in order to keep them.

Cite, Export and Email

For a single item:

  1. Hover over the title of your item (or on smaller screens select the triangle icon next to the item).
  2. From the preview panel on the right side, select email to send yourself a link back to the item.
  3. Choose Cite and then a citation format if you want to print, export or email yourself a formatted reference for the item. (Do not select a citation format if you want a link to the result to be included.)

If you have a list of citations you want to export, print, or email, you need to save the items to your folder first. From the folder of saved items you can then email, print, or export the records. (Note: No more than 50 citations can be emailed or exported at a time.)

Using Summon Off Campus

You can use Summon from off-campus computers, but may see limited results. To get the most complete results, log in using your UA NetID from the yellow banner at the top of the page. UA faculty, staff, and students also can authenticate off campus using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client, which they can get as a free download from UITS.

Summon & Accessibility

An accessible version of Summon is now available for those with visual disabilities. Additional accessibility enhancements are expected in late August 2014. The library and the UA’s Disability Resource Center will continue working with Summon’s vendor to ensure that Summon fully complies with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d) and that it meets Level A of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. If you have any questions about Summon's accessibility, please call Summon Implementation Manager Cheryl Cuillier at (520) 310-9874. 

Known Issues in Summon

Summon is an evolving product and some features are still in development. If you run into issues that aren't included on this list, please send us feedback.

  • When typing new search terms on the search results page, Summon sometimes overwrites those terms. If this happens, try selecting the Search button rather than using Enter/Return to start the search.
  • Newspaper results may not be current. To get the most recent newspaper articles, use newspaper databases directly, such as ProQuest Newsstand, Access World News and LexisNexis Academic.
  • Sorting results by date (rather than relevance) may give off-topic results. To limit searches to recent items, it’s better to use the Publication Date filter and sort by relevance.
  • Citations may have incorrect elements so be sure to double-check their accuracy (for example, Summon isn’t italicizing titles in APA style; sometimes Summon inserts the author’s year of birth, which shouldn’t be included).
  • If you select a specific citation format when you email items from your saved folder, the email won’t include links to the items. In order to get the links, don’t select a citation format from the drop-down menu before hitting the Email button. (This will also cause HTML codes to show up in the citation.)
  • No more than 50 citations can be emailed or exported from the folder at a time. (If the folder contains more than 50, email will not be received.)
  • The Summon folder times out after 20 minutes of inactivity and all results are cleared from it, even if the session is still open.
  • Limiting newspaper article searches by date does not work.

Summon & Privacy

Summon complies with all University of Arizona privacy and security policies and requirements. It does not solicit or retain user data. No UA data are stored on Summon’s servers. Additionally, Summon complies with 20 USC Section 1232(g), the Buckley Amendment to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.

Need more help?

You can also see our Summon FAQ or ask a question of your own.


Last modified: August 4, 2014