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Guide to Summon Discovery Interface: Home

This guide is an FAQ site - a place to post questions, find answers, and help make Summon the best tool for our patrons.

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Summon FAQ

Summon Frequently Asked Questions



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 Michener and Skinner Libraries, 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 single search box to begin finding resources. Use the options on the left to refine your search.

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.

Which other libraries are using Summon?

Dartmouth College (NH)

Grand Valley State (MI)

North Caroline State (NC)

Oklahoma State University (OK)

University of Miami (FL)

University of British Columbia


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 Northern Colorado 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 including 622,000 books and 134,000+ ebooks
  • 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.

If you are unable to locate relevant resources, or would just like some assistance in searching, visit the Reference Desk in Skinner or Michener Library, consult a Research Guide, or Ask a Librarian 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 University Libraries continually strive 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 Journal Titles A-Z List – the definitive database of journal titles available to University of Northern Colorado students, staff and faculty.

How do I locate a Journal I want to browse?

Type the journal title into the Summon search box and use the Content Type facet to limit to Journal or eJournal. If you receive a large number of results, try putting quotation marks around the title in your search. You can use Summon's Advanced Search function to browse by keyword in a particular journal. You can also confirm access coverage for a particular journal by searching the Journal Titles A-Z List – the definitive database of journal titles available to University of Northern Colorado 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 Research Guide.

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

There are two options for limiting to books only. To limit the search results to hardcopy books, simply scroll down to Library Location and select your location (eg. Michener Stacks or Music Stacks) - limiting by location will exclude electronic material including ebooks from your results. Alternately, use the Content Type option and choose Book and eBook.

If you prefer to bypass Summon entirely, you may begin your search on the Books & More tab, on which you'll find a quick search box for the Source, the Libraries' catalog, as well as a link to the Classic Catalog.

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. See the About page for more details.

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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