What Summon Does
Summon is a discovery tool, a search interface that aims to help you find information in a wider array of materials than what is typically included in the library catalog. Summon allows you to search for individual journal or newspaper articles, items in online databases, papers in conference proceedings, dissertations, photos, multimedia, e-books, and more. For online resources, Summon will link you directly to the resource; for physical items, you will be sent to the appropriate catalog record.
Summon allows you to
- Narrow search results by using the facets in the left sidebar: content type, library location, subject terms, publication date, language, and more
- Limit results to scholarly or peer-reviewed sources
- Include or exclude any content type (for example, include books and journal articles, but weed out book reviews)
- Subscribe to automatically-created RSS feeds for any search you run; subscribe to a feed to receive notification when new search results meet your criteria
Summon is not restricted to Florida State University users; anyone can search the database, but access to full-text and subscription resources does require users be on the campus network or use the off-campus access login.
What Summon Does Not Do
Summon is not a catalog or a database. It does not contain any content itself, only links to content. In order to see your library account, place a recall on an item, see if an item is checked out, or see the due date of checked-out materials you find in Summon, you will have to follow the link to the catalog record.
Limitations to keep in mind
- If you are specifically looking for physical materials (books, scores, CDs, etc.) held in our library, we suggest you use the regular catalog search. It will save you some steps if you go directly to the catalog, and Summon may not necessarily find the same items in our catalog that you might.
- Comprehensive searches on a topic will probably require using subject-specific databases.
- Because Summon searches so many formats, vague or short searches return too many unhelpful results; searches using well-refined search terms, using the facets on the left-hand side, or phrases in quotes will return fewer, more refined results.
Help with Summon searches
See the Summon help page for search options and tips.