What's Summon?


Q. What is Summon?

A. Summon is the Library's Google-like search box. It's a single search for books, newspaper articles, journal articles and citations, and more. To boot, if we subscribe to the full-text journals or newspaper turned up in your search, Summon will try to link directly to it. It searches MIDCAT, the Library's Digital Collections, and over 90% of our journal articles (that's over 30,000 individual journals, and still counting!).

Q. Where can I learn more about searching Summon?

A. For more details about searching Summon, look for the "Help" link in the upper right of the Summon page or watch ProQuest's short Summon Video Tutorial. You can also try Summon's advanced search.

Q. If I'm used to MIDCAT, can I still use it?

A. Of course! MIDCAT remains as you've always known it. MIDCAT is a good starting point for advanced research and for those times when you know exactly what you're looking for (books, videos, CDs....remember, MIDCAT will not find newspaper or journal articles)

Q. Is Summon really like Google?

A. Well, not exactly. Unlike Google, Summon does not search what we call the "open web," that is, everything out on the Internet.

Q. Is Summon as easy to search as Google?

A. Almost. The single search box in Summon will search across many fields automatically and then it ranks them with the best results listed first. It also corrects spelling mistakes and makes search suggestions for you.

Q. Why do you call it a Google-like search?

A. For two reasons: In the past, if you wanted to find books, articles, and databases on a certain topic, you needed to  search in two, or likely three, different places. 

And second, Summon can search beyond our own collections. At the top of the Summon results list, select Add results beyond your library’s collection: as in the screenshot below. (This option appears as the last option in the "Advanced Search" screen.)


The company behind Summon works with publishers to include citations for journal articles even though we may not subscribe to them.  With search beyond your library selected, you can discover those citations and then request them through Inter Library Loan.

Q. How does Summon look on my mobile device?

A. Pretty good! If you find yourself in the library stacks looking for a book or caught without a computer, try Summon via a web-enabled mobile device.


Full-text articles can be accessed by selecting the title of the article until you reach our "Get it @ Midd" page with links leading directly to the article.

Q. How can I share my experience searching through Summon?

A. Hearing from you will make Summon a better, smarter, and more "Google-like" search tool. Click on the Feedback link at the top right of your screen and let us know what you think.


For more searching help, visit Find Books, Articles and More or our more general Research page.

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