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Using Summon: Getting started

When to use Summon

Use Summon:

when you need information right away, but can’t make it to campus.

when you're not allowed to use web sites.

when you want to search all of YCCC’s online resources, all at once from a single search box.

when you have a broad topic and want your search results to be a blend of format types (encyclopedia articles, ebooks, journal and magazine articles)

Don't use Summon:

when you want books, CDs, or DVDs located on YCCC Library shelves, use Minerva, our online catalog instead.
when you need streaming video for your projects, use Films on Demand instead.
when you want business research like company profiles, country and industry reports, SWOT analyses, try the article database Business Source Complete
when you'd prefer to search a specific database, try All Databases by Subject
when your instructor wants you to use one of the Libraries' Subject Guides

Starting your research using Summon

Summon is a search tool that uses a single search box to find and access a great portion of the Library's resources.

Summon is a good starting point for your research no matter what your topic. One way to approach using Summon is to:


Summon @ YCCC searches:

  • encyclopedia articles from Credo Reference
  • magazine, journal, and newspaper articles from Article Databases
  • ebooks from Ebrary


  • In the search box enter keywords that best describe your topic.  Use "quotation marks" when using phrases and multi-word terms.
  • You will almost always get a LARGE number of results. The most relevant articles and/or ebooks will be near the top.
  • It's easy to get fewer results by using the options in the left-hand column, it's called "refine your search."


  • Get fewer result with a few careful clicks of options in the left column. The options you choose depend on what YOU NEED.(see Working with Results)
  • Get fewer results by adding other keywords separated by AND, ("breast cancer" AND treatment)


  • When you select an item from the result list, KNOW what you're choosing: a journal article? an encyclopedia article? an ebook? Summon tells you right up-front.
  • Hover over the title for more information.  You'll also see options to Read Online, Cite, Email. You can also click on the title for access.



Another Look at Finding Information Using Summon