Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

New “Summon” Search Interface Reshapes Research

  Posted on: August 31, 2012

TRU Library has launched a new search interface that will transform how research is conducted on and off campus.

The Summon search interface is the “default” search box on the Library’s homepage. But the catalogue and article databases are just a click away, via “tabs”.

The Library has introduced Summon, a combined search interface that simultaneously searches the catalogue and scores of article databases, while also providing other powerful features.

“Summon uses one simple search box to make library research much easier,” said University Library Director Kathy Gaynor. “Gone is the frustration that comes with choosing where to find information for your research topic.”

Summon pulls together results from across many credible and reliable TRU library print and online collections — books, theses, newspapers, maps, government documents, musical scores, journal articles, videos/DVDs, and ebooks. The new tool replaces the catalogue and databases on the Library’s homepage, though both the catalogue and databases remain readily accessible behind tabs.

Besides finding resources in multiple formats, Summon recommends specific databases (green) and, in the left column, lets the researcher “refine” his search by clicking checkboxes.

Summon does not replace the need to search the TRU Library catalogue or an individual article database, as those resources are still the best source for advanced and in-depth library research.

“Most researchers most of the time will want to use Summon,” said TRU Library’s Web services librarian, Larry McCallum. “However, for advanced researchers conducting very focused or comprehensive research, the Library maintains access to the catalogue and individual databases close-at-hand.”

Summon combines the simplicity and speed of Google with the quality and reliability of library resources (books, articles, etc.). By searching in a cross-disciplinary fashion, Summon can help researchers discover library materials they may never have located before.

The following list shows what Summon currently searches:

TRU Library Catalogue
Academic Search Complete
ACM Digital Library
Alt HealthWatch
America: History and Life
American Chemical Society
Anthropology Plus
Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Biomedical Reference Collection
Business Source Complete
Cambridge University Press
Canada Law Book Online
Canadian Newsstand
Canadian Research Index
CBCA Complete
CBCA Education
CBCA Reference & Current Events
CCH Online Canada
Classical Scores Library
Conference Board of Canada
Consumer Health Canada
Directory of Open Access Journals
Early Canadiana Online
EBM Reviews – ACP Journal Club
EBM Reviews – Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial
EBM Reviews – Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
EBM Reviews – Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects
Evidence Based Medicine
First Nations Periodical Index
Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
Health Source: Consumer Edition

Historical Abstracts
Hospitality & Tourism Index
Intelex Past Masters
Institute of Physics Publishing
Iter Bibliography
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts
LLMC Digital Law Library
Making of Modern Law
MLA International Bibliography
NASA Astrophysics Data Systems
National Criminal Justice Reference Services Abstracts
O’Brien’s Internet
Oxford Journals
Periodicals Archive Online
Philosopher’s Index
PILOTS (Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress)
Professional Development Collection
Project Gutenberg Online Catalogue
Project MUSE
PubMed Central
Quickscribe Online
Royal Society of Chemistry
SAGE Journals
Science Citation Index
Science Direct
Social Sciences Citation Index
Social Services Abstracts
Social Work Abstracts
Sociological Abstracts
Statistics Canada
Teacher Reference Centre
Wiley Interscience databases
Wiley-Blackwell Journals

Please try Summon today, and then tell the Library what you think of this new interface.


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