What is Summon?
Summon is a discovery search tool that will search most of the APUS Online Library's resources from a single search box. Find Summon on the library's homepage, or visit http://apus.summon.serialssolutions.com/#!/.
What is in Summon?
Summon searches over 40 individual academic research databases - including hundreds of thousands of ebooks, tens of thousands of journals, magazines and newspapers, thousands of videos, hundreds of customized course guides and countless open access resources from around the world. A large variety of subjects are included, making Summon a perfect place to launch any research project.
Most of the content that Summon searches is subscription-only -- that is, you would not be able to access it via a "regular" search engine like Google. These databases have always been available at the APUS Online Library (and can still be searched one by one) -- Summon just lets you search them all from one place!
What is not in Summon?
There are a few databases that are not yet searched by Summon: click here to see the list. These databases may still be searched individually (as can those that are searched by Summon). In fact, librarians recommend that very advanced research be performed in individual subject-specific databases, as their various platforms offer powerful search functions not available in Summon. To learn which databases are best for your research topic or program of study, consult a Course Guide, or Ask a Librarian.
Why use Summon?
With one easy, Google-like search box, you can find a wide variety of subscription research materials. Filters let you easily narrow your search by full text, resource type (do you need articles or ebooks?), date ranges, discipline, and more. Explore Summon features below!
Take a look:
Basic Summon Search
Advanced Summon Search
Advanced search is particularly useful for pinpointing specific titles, or for setting limits on your search. When you have a good idea of what you're looking for, advanced search can help you find it quickly (though you can also refine your results after you launch a basic search). Use the search tips to help you get the most out of every search!
Summon Search Results
Searching Summon is as simple as search, refine, get!
Search: enter your search terms. The basic search is a keyword search against almost all the materials to which the library subscribes: ebooks, journal articles and videos, and also open access journals and government websites.
A simple search can return a million or more results! Your initial results will be ranked by relevance.
Refine: use the filters on the left side of your search results to narrow your search by source type, discipline, date and more. Or, use the search tips to pinpoint what you're looking for.
Get: click on an item to access it! If you are prompted to log in, use your APUS id and password.
Mouse over the red circles on the image below to read more about Summon's features:
Summon Search Tips
Phrase Searching: Use quotation marks ("") to find an exact phrase. Click here for examples.
Searching Specific Fields: Click here to read about field searching.
- Use the advanced search options in Summon to easily search within a particular field.
- The single search box in Summon (basic search box or keyword search box in advanced search) will search all fields at once. To limit your search to just one field, use the field name followed by a colon and your keywords. A few examples:
Fields that can be searched directly include:
Boolean Operators: Using Boolean search syntax (AND, OR, NOT) will bypass features of the Summon relevancy system (for example, stemming, proper name matching, and so on). Boolean searches, depending on how they are written, can either limit or expand your search. Click here for examples!
- In a query containing both AND and OR operators, AND is processed first, followed by OR. If a query contains parentheses, operators within parentheses are processed first, and then precedence rules are processed from left to right.
- Ampersand (&): Is equated with the appropriate word for "and" in all supported languages except Korean, Japanese, and Chinese where it is not necessary. In German "&" is treated as "UND".
Wildcards: Wildcard searches expand a search and will increase the number of results returned. Summon supports two wildcards: the question mark (?) and the asterisk (*). Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search.
- The question mark (?) will match a single character. For instance, the search wom?n will find both "woman" and "women."
- The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. A search for sustainab* will match "sustainable" and "sustainability."
Proximity: Proximity searches limit result to terms within a specified number of words from each other. To perform a proximity search, enclose your search terms in quotes and use the tilde (~) followed by a number indicating the distance you want to allow between the search terms.
For example: "yeast bread"~10 finds material where "yeast" and "bread" appear within 10 words of each other.
NOTE: proximity searching does not take the order of search terms into account. In this example, the search "boron nanotubes potassium"~6 yields results in which the three search terms appear within six words of each other in any order.