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Summon Help

This research guide goes through the steps that will help in using Summon.


There are many different search strategies you can use in Summon. The following are the most common and will help you to better find what you might be looking for. 

Phrase Searching

Phrase searching entails using quotation marks around any piece of your search where more then one word need to stay together.

E.g. "climate change"

NOTE: Don't force phrases. If they aren't common phrases in the literature, you might not find any resources.

Boolean Operators

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Summon offers the following Boolean operations:

  • AND
  • OR
  • NOT

The operators must be written in ALL CAPS.


  • By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator. The AND operator works to narrow your search. 


  • To expand the results set, use the OR operator. For example, microcircuits OR nanocircuits will return items that contain either term.
  • This can be combined with quoted terms such as "teacher education" OR "educator training".


  • To exclude items in Summon, use the NOT operator. When used in the following query animal NOT dog, the results will not include the term dog.

Wildcard Use in Summon

Summon can also accommodate using wildcard searching - ? and *. 

Question Mark

  • The question mark (?) will match any one character.
  • For example - it can be used to find olsen or olson by searching for ols?n.


  • The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a work or at the end of a word. 
  • For example, a search for ch*ter would match charter, character, and chapter.
  • For example, a search for temp* would match all possible endings - temptation, temple, temporary, temperature, etc. 

NOTE: Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search. 

Searching in Specific Fields

The single search box in Summon (basic search box or keyword search box in advanced search) will search across many fields automatically. For example, entering an ISBN, ISSN, or Call Number will bring back associated records.

You can explicitly search a field using the syntax: field:(query) For example, the search ISSN:(1234-5678) finds records that contain that value in the ISSN field.

Searchable fields include:

  • Title
  • SubjectTerms
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • PublicationTitle
  • Volume
  • Issue
  • Language
  • Notes
  • ISBN
  • ISSN
  • DOI