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Summon: A Great Place to Start Your Research: Librarian FAQs

Getting the most out of Summon at your Library

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)



Q:  I like the Topic Pane that sometimes shows up on the right side of the screen.  We'd like to see the pane more often than we currently do, are there plans to expand the number of searches that trigger the Topic Pane?

A:  Yes, the number of topics will continue to grow over time... we continue to work on expanding and improving it!



Q:  We maintain research guides but we do not use the LibGuide product, are we still able to load our guides into Summon so they are discoverable in search results and the Topic Pane?

A:  Yes, many research guides can be loaded into Summon, see additional information in the Content section on the Enhance Discovery of Your Library page.


Q:  To what extent is full text being searched?

A:  Approximately 70% of the items in the Summon Index include full text and therefore the full text of these items are queried along with the citation metadata.  A match on full text is more likely to appear towards the top of the result set if the search terms appear within close proximity of each other in the full text.



Q: What provider content is available in the Summon Index?

A: The Summon Index contains over 2 billion items and keeps growing! Content is indexed at the record level (full-text, metadata, or both) from information provided directly by publishers and content providers. You can see lists of providers, databases, and serials titles in the Ex Libris Knowledge Center



Q:  If Summon is indexing our collection, shouldn't our link resolver always be successful linking to full text?

A:  Unfortunately, no.  While it is true that many of your content providers are probably included in the 7,000-plus providers that contribute citations to the Summon Index, often times Summon will receive multiple citations for the same item (for example, 1 record is received from the publisher, and a record is also received from a content provider).  In this case, the two records would be used to create a master Summon record, and if there are metadata disagreements between the two records, the publisher's metadata most likely would be used instead of the provider's metadata, and in some cases, such metadata disagreements can be significant enough that link resolver linking to the provider can be compromised.

Fortunately, more and more providers are supporting Summon Direct Linking, where the provider does not have to rely on the library's link resolver in order to take the user to full text.  There will always be providers, however, that need to rely on link resolver linking.  We like to remind libraries that all link resolvers provide Journal links in addition to Article links, a Journal link can be quite helpful when an Article link isn't successful.  The user does need to be willing, however, to navigate on their own to the article, after being taken to the journal.