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Master of Management - UBC Okanagan

Search UBC Library using Summon

Summon is the library's search engine, located on our home page, It searches most of UBC's collection (Vancouver and Okanagan) and is a great place to get started with finding academic/scholarly sources. One thing to remember with Summon is that it searches and returns results that are both scholarly and popular, so you'll need use filters and/or to make sure you evaluate your results to make sure they're the best for your purposes.

The image below shows the search box on the library home page, with an arrow pointing to the first tab, labelled General, which displays a box in which you can search using Summon.  

Screenshot of library home page and Summon search box

Using keywords to search

Summon does not understand when you enter your topic as a full question or sentence. So, unlike with Google where you can enter a whole question, you have to be strategic, and search with keywords, the main concepts in your topic. This strategy will also be true for other library search tools, such as databases.

In order to build a search, you will need to use three key steps:

1. Find the keywords in your topic or research question

2. Use AND to combine your keywords

3. Use quotes to search for terms as phrases: put quotation marks around terms or concepts that are more than one word, so that it searches for those words together, and in that order.

Example search

Research question: What are the effects of fracking on climate change in British Columbia?

1. What are the keywords?


climate change


British Columbia

2. Combine those using AND (yes, it does need to be in capital letters)

Fracking AND climate change AND effects AND British Columbia

3. Using quotations marks around terms or concepts that are more than one word

Fracking AND “climate change” AND effects AND “British Columbia”

Search in Summon

Results and features (limiters, filters and folders)

Here's a short video that shows the search results and how to use some of the features in Summon: