Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

March 11, 2010 Volume 31, No. 23

'Summon' is smart searching

seamless search

Search service accesses high-quality scholarly resources

MU Libraries’ addition of innovative technology — called Summon@MU — is giving library users a convenient, timesaving option to search the libraries’ entire holdings, from books to full-text journal articles and databases to the digital library. It allows library users to access the breadth of the libraries’ collections and resources from one starting point.

Called Summon@MU, it is a commercially hosted search service provided by a unit of Proquest. MU started its three-year subscription in January with funding from student information technology fees.

“Since we started in January, it’s getting a lot of use,” says Ann Riley, the libraries’ assistant director for technical services. “We have been monitoring its use and are asking for feedback from people about the search results they get.”

She says Summon allows users to refine their search by subject, location and other variables. For instance, because users can be overwhelmed by thousands of newspaper articles in their searches, the default mode for Summon@MU has been set to exclude newspaper articles, although users can opt to include them in their searches.        

“Our users are busy and they live in a complicated world. We want to minimize the frustrations that our users face when they are doing library research,” says Jim Cogswell, director of MU Libraries.

“The addition of Summon @MU to our Web site allows us to streamline the search process for our users.

“The great thing about Summon @MU is that it is simple, but it’s smart. You can do a Google-like search, but you will be accessing high-quality scholarly resources — articles, books and more. Summon is smart searching.”

Users can access Summon@MU at