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Summon FAQ: Home

Summon FAQ



What is Summon?

Summon is a discovery tool that searches across the majority of Libraries resources, including the catalog of books and other items physically held in UTA Libraraies, journal and newspaper articles, conference papers and ebooks held in databases, and much more. Summon searches across this range of resources using a single Google-like search.

Enter your keywords into the "Everything" tab to begin finding resources. Once you've done your search, use the options presented on the left to refine it.

Why did the University Libraries choose Summon?

The Libraries introduced Summon in response to patron feedback about the difficulty of discovering relevant resources across the range of Libraries databases and the catalog. Summon allows you to search for a wide range of quality research resources from a single search box, making it easier for you to find the information you need without the risk of missing out on information that is stored in another database or area of the catalog.

How is Summon different from Google Scholar?

Both Summon and Google Scholar search a massive index of scholarly information. However, you are able to freely access the content found in Summon as a member of the University of Texas at Arlington community, while Google Scholar searches may lead to frustration if you are unable to access resources or are asked to pay for them. Like Google, Summon also provides access to some valuable free online collections, such as Project Gutenberg and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

What resources are available in Summon?

Approximately 80% of the Libraries' collection is available through Summon. The range of material includes:

  • The full Libraries catalog
  • Journal and newspaper articles, and conference papers
  • 61,500+ journal titles
  • And much more

Although there are some records linking to citations only, the majority of records link through to quality full text content.

I couldn't find any relevant resources, what should I do?

Summon searches across the majority of the Libraries' resources. The breadth of resources available through Summon is continually increasing. Most users will find that Summon will provide access to a range of relevant resources for their needs. Other users may occasionally need to search specialized databases to access resources not yet available through Summon.

Though Summon can do many things, there are currently some instances when Summon is not the best resource to use, like:

  • when you need to use highly controlled vocabulary or search terms
  • when you are searching for historical newspaper articles
  • when you are looking for country, company and industry reports, typically found in business databases, and
  • when you are looking for legal research, specifically legal journal titles, case reports and legislation.

If you are unable to locate relevant resources, or would just like some assistance in searching, visit the Service Desk in person, consult a Subject Guide, or Ask Us for more help.

The record for an article/book said it was Full Text Online but I received an error message when I clicked on it.

Error messages may occur when attempting to access full text in occasional instances in which the Libraries access rights are different to the availability stated in the article, or when there is an error in the citation. The Library continually strives to improve the coverage and access to resources through Summon. If you do encounter an error please let us know. You can also confirm access coverage for a particular journal by searching the E-Journal Titles A-Z List – the definitive database of E-Journal titles available to UTA students, staff and faculty.

How do I locate an E-Journal I want to browse?

If you wish to browse a particular E-Journal try searching the E-Journal Titles A-Z List – the definitive database of E-Journal titles available to UTA students, staff and faculty.

I sometimes see "Recommendations" at the top of my search results.  What do they mean?

Based on keywords you have entered in the search box, Summon may recommend specialized databases in which you can find more information on your subject area.  Visit these resources by clicking the green link, or explore individual databases by visiting the relevant Subject Guide.

All I want to find is books.  How can I do this?

  1. The Books tab searches both books and ebooks.
  2. Limit to E-Books only with the highlighted check box below
  3. To exclude e-books, search the books tab and then select the relevant Library Location on the left.


How can I email or export records from Summon?

Mouse over the top right hand side of the records in your search results, and click the folder icon. The record will be added to your Saved Items folder at the bottom of the screen. Click on this folder to view and email citations.

Why do some databases not appear in Summon search results?

Summon provides access to approximately 80% of the Libraries' resources. Some databases and publishers have not yet released their data for indexing in Summon. Summon is still growing - the features are continuing to improve, and the content coverage is increasing. Content in Summon has been provided by ProQuest, Sage, Springer, Emerald, Taylor & Francis, LexisNexis, ISI Web of Science, IEEE, Project Gutenberg, and many more publishers including societies and university presses.



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