Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
ProQuest LibGuides Banner ProQuest LogoProQuest LibGuides homeProQuest LibGuides home

Summon: A Great Place to Start Your Research: For Users

Getting the most out of Summon at your Library

Summon Logo

What is being searched?

Starting your research in Summon is great because materials from throughout the library are being searched from the single search box.

A search on cat dog fish will retrieve items that contain all three words in the citation and/or in the full text of the item.

Running a search

Searching is as easy as Search - Refine - Get...

  • Search:  enter your search terms
  • Refine:  use the filters and facets on the left side of your search results.  For example, maybe you only want to view scholarly material
  • Get:  click on an item to access it

Refining your search to get the best material for your research can also be done by adding more keywords to your search. 

Just like searching the open web, you can indicate a phrase by putting quotation marks around the words.  The query "teacher education" will find results with that phrase.

Wanting to do a more targeted search?

Moving over to the Advanced Search page lets you be more specific with your search.  For example, you can tell Summon to look for the author "Sally Smith", so you can focus your search on materials by "Sally Smith" rather than about "Sally Smith".

Click on the Advanced link to the right of the keyword search box to go to Advanced Search.

See how easy it is to start your research!

Are you ready to start using the Summon service to do research at your library? This video will explain the basics of searching for content, refining the results using facets and filters, accessing content, and saving citations. Your library’s Summon interface will look somewhat different than this, but the tools and features are common to the Summon service at most libraries.


Link to video introduction to Summon

Try going beyond the basics in Summon.

The Summon service contains billions of citations, and when you do a search in the basic Summon search box, you may get more results than you can easily work with. That’s why the Advanced Search tool is so powerful: You can customize the search to discover certain keywords in specific metadata fields (like author, or subject), filter out content types you don’t need, and much more.


Link to video on advanced searching

Having trouble identifying your research topic?

Not able to contact a librarian at the moment and having trouble defining your research topic?

Keep your eye on the right side of your search results, when you do a search you may be presented with helpful information for defining your research topic:

  • An overview of your research topic
  • Contact information for a librarian knowledgeable about the topic
  • Related topics that might better fit your research question
  • Research guides providing insight into the topic

Set up your own search widget

Are you an instructor?  Or maybe you're a graduate student conducting long-term research?

You can create a search box or a search widget that is scoped to your particular needs, and place it on any webpage. For example, if you are a Physics instructor with a course webpage, you might want to promote the diverse world of physics-related research by providing a widget or search box that is automatically limited to querying physics-related material. 

Screenshot example of a search widget

Several other scoping mechanisms are available, check them out at http://MyDomain.summon., replacing "MyDomain" with your library name as it appears in the URL for the Summon search results page. 

From there, you'll be guided step-by-step to create your own search box or search widget. At the end, you'll be given a set of javascript code that you can place on a webpage.