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Summon discovery service – University of Reading

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Summon discovery service

Search 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.

Search Summon

Enter your topic keywords in the search box below.

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 video on searching Summon

If you are unable to watch these videos on YouTube they are also available on Stream (University username and password required):

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 a specific date range using the slider, enter dates in the boxes, or select the latest 12 months, 3 years or 5 years
  • Language - click on 'LANGUAGE' to select from the list of languages represented in your results
  • Discipline - restrict results to items published in a specific discipline

To apply a limit, just click on 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 click on the 'More...' option at the bottom of each list of limits, click on the red cross next to each one you want to remove, then click 'Apply'.

Advanced search

If you are finding too many results, try using the Advanced search to limit your search to specific fields e.g. author, title. You can also restrict results using date, content type, discipline, language, peer review and Open Access. It is also possible to remove certain content from your results: newspaper articles, book reviews and dissertations.

To access the Advanced search click on the 'Advanced' link to the right of the search box.

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 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 authors, title, 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'.

Display of one item in the Summon search results

It is also possible to view related items 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 folder icon to the right of each result on Summon to add it to the Saved Items folder.
  2. When you have finished selecting items click on the folder icon next to the search box 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.

Saving to Desktop EndNote

To save to EndNote click on the 'Export as' pick list and select EndNote. EndNote will open automatically 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).

See also our Video on exporting references from Summon to EndNote.

Saving to EndNote online

  1. To save to EndNote online click on the 'Export as' pick list and select EndNote. 
  2. Save the file (by default it will be saved to your Downloads folder).
  3. In your EndNote online account click on 'Collect' and then 'Import references'.
  4. Browse for your downloaded file of references (it will be a .ris file)
  5. From the Import option list select 'Summon'
  6. Lastly, select a group to put them in - if you don't have any groups just select [Unfiled]
  7. Click on 'Import'. The references will be added to your Library.

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.

See also our Video on exporting references from Summon to EndNote

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.

Keeping up-to-date

It is possible to set up an RSS feed to automatically receive the latest results for your search.

  1. When you have run your search click on the RSS feed icon just to the right of the number of results your search has found.
  2. Select the RSS feed reader you want to use from the list displayed.
  3. Add it to your reader.

Your RSS feed will be updated every time a new item is added to Summon which matches your search criteria.


If you need further help on using Summon, or finding resources in your subject, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

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


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