Summon search

It seems academic libraries all over Australia (USyd, UniSA, Adelaide, UQ, Griffith etc.) are turning to Summon: web-scale discovery service
from Serials Solutions (ProQuest) as their one search interface to their catalogues, repositories, databases and journal/newspaper subscriptions etc..

While not wishing to spruik one commercial search over another, I can see why, it’s a pretty good search.

Well, apart from one annoying thing, which is when selecting the refining options (see below). You can’t select more than one at a time, so you tick one option and it goes away and updates (which can take a short while depending on your location and complexity of search) and then if want to select another you have to wait again. I can see why this automatic updating takes place, to avoid the necessity of a user having to click ‘go’ again, but to me it was too presumptive of my search methodology, but that’s just me probably.
Summon search image

This FAQ from USyd on usage you may find interesting. I am interested that USyd say they are working with developers on improving Australian subject refining strategies. I found for instance, with the ‘Did you mean’ function, for assisting with misspelling, that this was not useful with recognising obvious mistakes in Australian-only word usage.

Update – apparently the Library in the organisation I currently work for is also getting Summon, I did not know this when writing the original post.


2 thoughts on “Summon search

  1. One plus with the tedious ‘tick and wait’ functionality is that users wouldn’t be able to overload a search and think that the Library has nothing… It’s not uncommon here for students to put way too many search terms into a database, and then try adding more when they don’t get many hits – always interesting to see at the desk.

  2. @Kath Yes you are right there, and I am sure there are many other benefits – one click searching is what is expected of most academic searches these days and that is what they will get.

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