Library:Library Research Skills For Biologists/Module 3B/Page 02

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Finding Articles Using Keywords

Now that we know what Summon is and how it works (via keyword searching across full-text from numerous publishers), let's look at an example of how to find articles on a given topic in Summon. Returning to the example of food security in Canada, we type our keywords into Summon:

"food security" AND Canada

Here are our results. There are two important tasks we can perform from the results page.
  1. We can use the Refine Your Search limits on the left of the screen, and click on Peer-Review to limit our search to articles from peer-reviewed publications.
  2. We can also access the full text of an article. To access this article, click on the “Full-Text Online”

Summon results

Limitations of searching in Summon

Searching Summon is fast and easy but has some limitations. Summon works like Google and Google Scholar simply with keywords. Summon contains content from hundreds of the publishers that we purchase from but it doesn't include everything. Summon is a great place to start your search, but if you are doing advanced literature searching in your third, fourth year or beyond, note that by only using Summon you may be missing out on some articles relevant to your research.

It works by doing a full-text search, and so it retrieves documents which include your keywords, but there is no controlled vocabulary structure of subject headings to limit to the most relevant results. For advanced search features, and to do a comprehensive and precise search, you need a article index. See the LFS research guides for suggestions of discipline specific article indexes.