HomeSummon DocumentationUsing Summon For Research NeedsUsing Search Filters and Facets for Summon Searches

1.3. Using Search Filters and Facets for Summon Searches

Summon offers several search facets within its filters to help minimize search results to usable resources. Let’s try using some of these provided filters to narrow our search results of "Employment in North Carolina" down from 239,590 to a much smaller number that should be easier to work with. Let's begin filtering by refining our search according to where we would like to retrieve our information. The Summon "Refine Your Search" filter offers 3 facet types: Full text Online, Scholarly & Peer-Reviewed, and Library Catalog. Full Text Online refers to resources such as articles or eBooks found online using subscribed databases that provide text resources in its entirety. Scholarly & Peer-Reviewed refers to works that have been reviewed and critiqued by peers of a related field or study. Library Catalog refers to resources that can be located at your library using the library’s catalog. For our search, let’s use “Library Catalog.”

Immediately after refining our search to the Library's Catalog, you can see that our relevant results have changed drastically, decreasing from 239, 590 to 634. Are the 634 items located in the library’s catalog still too many resources to work with? Let’s continue filtering by next using the "Content Type" filter located directly below the facets used within the "Refine Your Search" filter. For this example, let's pretend that we are only interested in Books and possibly eBooks on Employment in North Carolina. Under Content Type, let’s select “Book/eBook”. If you noticed, prior to refining our search to the “Library Catalog”, more options were available under Content Type. However, after refining our search to use the Library Catalog, we’re left with only 2 Content Types, Book/eBook, and Book Chapter. This means that within the Library’s catalog, only Book Chapters, Books, and eBooks are resources found relating to employment in North Carolina.

Prior to refining our search to the Library Catalog, the Content Type filter offered more than “Book/eBook and Book Chapter” facets to filter by. Further filter types could be accessed by selecting “More” at the bottom of the Content Type section. After selecting More, a list of 20 facets will populate on the left of the filter bar.

While discussing the different content types, it is worth mentioning that more than one search facet within a filter type can be used. For example, if we wanted to search both “Full Text Online” and the “Library Catalog” for the content type of a Book/eBook and a Book Chapter, it can be done.

The next filter provided by Summon located beneath the Content Type is the Publication Date. The Publication Date gives you the opportunity search resources according to relevant dates. By default, searching publication dates by the last 12 months, 3 years, and 5 years have been set. However, you can submit your own range of publication dates by utilizing either the black ranging bar or the calendar fields. For this example, we are going to search for resources published in the last 12 months, using the default “Last 12 Months.”

Using the Publication Date filter, along with Content Type and Refining your Search, no results were found.

Do not freak out if you find yourself receiving this message. Simply remove or edit the last filter set, which in our case is the Publication Date. After removing the Publication Date filter, we can then revert to our previous search results, which offered a total of 634 relevant results. Once you have finished filtering by the Publication Date, if you are not satisfied with your search results, Summon offers a few more search filters.

Summon grants users the opportunity to also filter search results according to Discipline, Subject Terms, Author, Language, Library Location, Genre, Region, and Time Period. Compared to our initial filters that we used during our search, these filters are a bit more detail specific. However, if you are able to provide the necessary information needed to use these filters, they can definitely be helpful.

To provide an example of these filters in use, for the Discipline filter, I am going to select “Economics.” For the Subject Terms filter, I am going the select “Economics” as well. Using these 2 filters, you see that our search results change drastically from 634 to 3.

As you can see from our research examples, using the provided search filters in Summon can help to drastically decrease large amounts of search results into smaller, more user-friendly results. If you are still not satisfied with your results after using the filters, you can always go back to the beginning to create new filter settings or even play around with your search term, by adding and removing keywords. I encourage you to take time playing around with different search queries using Summon. Like anything, practice makes perfect! For further assistance with using Summon, speak with librarians at your local library branch. Detailed tutorial videos on using Summon may also by found within the ExLibris Knowledge Center

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