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SOCY 122: Introduction to Academic Library Research

Course guide library research tutorial


Summon is the library’s search engine, which enables a simultaneous search of QCAT and many of the library’s online collections from a single search box. Summon contains everything found in QCAT, plus much online full-text content available from the Library including articles, journals, conference proceedings, digital primary source material, electronic books and newspapers, theses and dissertations, multimedia and more.

Access and search Summon from the search box on the library’s homepage:


Executing a basic search in Summon will return results that pick up your topic words anywhere in the item’s record (title, author, publisher, table of contents) and in the case of articles, somewhere in the article's full text.

Use the Advanced search option in Summon to execute a more precise search (eg. author, keywords in title, date range of publication, etc.), and/or apply a limit to what search results will be returned (such as format type: books, scholarly materials, items in QCAT only):

advanced search in summon, limited to books

Summon Search Tips

  • Note that the Boolean operator OR has to be capitalized in Summon.
  • Use the facets on the left-hand side of the search results page to refine or narrow your search results. 

facets in summon search result