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Summon discovery service

Search Summon

Enter your topic keywords in the search box above.

Use Summon to find full-text articles and book chapters in all subjects.

Everything you find should be available to read as the results are limited to articles and chapters covered by most of the Library's subscriptions. We have also included some good quality open access resources.

You will also find definitions from reliable encyclopedias and dictionaries related to your topic. Other materials covered include newspaper articles, standards, conference proceedings, government documents, trade publications and book reviews.

Coverage note

We have tried to ensure as much of our online content is searchable in Summon as possible, but it is not comprehensive. This is due to a number of reasons including: restrictions imposed by publishers; and linking issues with some resources. For a definitive check for online access to a specific journal please search the E-journals Finder. To check if we have online access to a specific book (or printed copies of books or journals) please search the Enterprise catalogue.

Summon is also more suitable for some subjects than others. For advice on the best resources to use for your research contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Watch our videos on searching Summon

If you are unable to view these videos on YouTube they are also available on YuJa:

Search tips

Using the 'Refine your search' options

Once you have run your search on Summon you can use the 'Refine your search' options on the left of the screen to limit your results. You can include or exclude items in any of the following ways:

  • Scholarly & peer review / Peer-review / Open Access - limit results to the best quality sources by limiting by the first two options, and to freely available items using the Open Access option
  • Publication type - restrict your results to just to journal articles, book chapters, and many other types of publication
  • Publication date - limit to the latest 12 months, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years, or enter a custom range
  • Language - click on 'Language' to select from the list of languages represented in your results
  • Discipline - restrict results to items published in a specific subject area

To apply a limit click on the checkbox to the left of it. You can apply multiple limits in one category - for example, you can select both Journal articles and Book chapters together.

To exclude items from your search, just hover over the limit and click 'Exclude'.

Advanced search (Options)

If you are finding too many results, try using the advanced search under the 'Options' link next to the search box. Here you can limit your search to specific fields e.g. author, title. You can also set restrictions on your search using date, content type, discipline, language, peer review and Open Access. 

Search techniques

Make your search as simple or as sophisticated as you wish. Just type in your search words or use the following techniques for a more controlled search.

Phrase searching

Use quotation marks to specify a phrase and find words next to one another, this will make your search more specific and reduce the number of results e.g. "green tea"

Search operators

Use operators 'AND', 'OR' and 'NOT' to narrow or widen your searches. The operators must be entered in CAPITALS. For example: tea OR coffee

Truncation and wildcards

  • Use the asterisk on the stem of word to find different endings e.g. diet* to find diet, diets, dietary, dietetic.
  • Use the asterisk within a word to find different spellings e.g. col*r to find color or colour.
  • Use the question mark within a word to replace a single letter e.g. organi?ation to find organisation or organization.

For a more detailed explanation of these techniques see our Effective database searching guide.

Viewing results

Each result will display the title, authors, source details, and part of a summary description. To see more information about an item click on or hover over 'Preview'. To read the item, either click on the title or click on 'Full-text online'. There may also be direct links to PDFs where available.

It is also possible to view items on a similar topic by clicking on the 'Related Articles' link. This will display on the right-hand pane a list of recommended articles based on their usage by other researchers. Please note that these recommendations are not limited to Library subscriptions, so you might not be able to access them all.

You can get some idea of the impact and popularity of an item by looking at the Web of Science, Scopus and Altmetric indicators. The higher the number, the more that item has been cited by others or mentioned on social media.

Saving results

It is possible to save reference details of the items you find on Summon into a temporary folder which you can then print, email or export to EndNote.

  1. Click on the 'Save this item' tab icon to the right of a result on Summon to add it to the Saved Items folder.
  2. When you have finished selecting items click on the 'Saved items' tab button on the right of the red search bar at the top of the screen.
  3. This will show your saved items.


Select a citation format from the pick-list. Then click on Print or E-mail as appropriate to output your results in the selected style. Note that the references generated by Summon might not match the style required by your department - check your department guidelines and edit the references to match before submitting your work.

Saving to Desktop EndNote

When viewing the 'Saved Items' folder open open the 'Export To' pick list and select EndNote. This will download a file. Click on the downloaded file and Desktop EndNote will open and your references will be imported. Check that the information is complete before moving on to another search. 

Please note that this will save only the bibliographic details not the full-text. You will need to save the PDFs found via Summon and attach them to your references manually. Alternatively, use the 'Find full-text' option from within EndNote to attach PDFs to references (although this might not find all of them, so you may need to attach some PDFs manually).

Saving your search queries

Once you have run a search you can save the query you used to OneDrive or a Google Drive account. This is particularly useful if you have created a more complex search using the Advanced search screen.

Saving a search query

  1. When you have run your search click on 'Save Search' at the top of your results.
  2. Edit the search name if required.
  3. Sign in with the Microsoft (using your University username and password) or Google login option.
  4. Click 'Done'.

Re-running a saved search

  1. Click on 'View Saved' at the top of your search results.
  2. Sign in with the Microsoft (using your University username and password) or Google login option.
  3. Click on the name of the search you want to re-run. This will generate a new set of results.


If you have any problems accessing resources found on Summon please fill in our E-resources problem report form.