SearchALLL is a Google-like search engine that is tied to the Library collections. It provides a single search point to find and access the majority of print and electronic resources at the Library — including books, journals, articles, dissertations and theses, videos, maps, manuscripts, digitized items, and more.
- Enter your keywords into the single search box to begin finding resources.
- Use Advanced Search for more precise results.
- Refine your search by using the options on the left sidebar on the search results page.
The Catalog doesn’t usually cover journal articles. It is the main inventory of titles of books, journals (print and online), theses, media, and other publications held in the University Libraries.
If you are looking for a particular item, such as the title of a particular book, journal, newspaper, manuscript, audio, etc., held in the library it is better to use the Catalog.
Both SearchALL and Google Scholar search a massive range of scholarly publications. Their Content coverage overlaps in some cases, and is unique in others. While SearchALL or (Summon) discloses its content and coverage, Google Scholar is not transparent about the exact sources of its content.
Most distinctive features of SearchALL: search results are reflective of the Library collection —you have access to mostly everything you can find in SearchAll.
Most distinctive feature of Google Scholar: ability to do “cited by” search.
Relevance ranking of search results differs between the two and in both cases is a trade secret, so it is not possible to explain exactly how it works. However, Google Scholar does appear to place greater weight on citation counts whereas SearchAll relevance ranking appears to favor "exact title" matches on your search keywords.
If your initial search retrieves an overwhelming number of records, try the following:
- Refine your search by using the options on the left sidebare of the search page: scholarly articles, full text online, content type, subject terms, publication date, library location and language. See Sample.
- Conduct a ‘Phrase Search’: use quotation marks “…” to get results with the exact phrase
- Try the Advanced Search: to search by author or title or to limit your search by journal name,
- If you are looking for a particular item, such as the title of a particular book, journal,
In such cases either check the Search Tips tab within the guide and conduct a new search
OR select a subject-specific database OR select a Research Guide for a better guided search.
If you are looking for a particular item, such as the title of a particular book, journal, newspaper, manuscript,
audio, etc., held in the library it is better to use the Catalog.
Go back to your previous search, and try different filters.
- Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
- Try different keywords.
- Try more general keywords.
- Try fewer keywords.
- See if there are results beyond your libraries' collection. (This will bring results from other
libraries that subscribe to Summon)
Before conducting a new search, select the radio button 'Keep search refinements' underneath the search field.
Use 'Basic Search', conduct a search then limit your search results by Content Type such as Journal Article, Newspaper Article, Report, ‘Book / e-Book’, Government Document, etc.
Sample search from Virginia Tech University Libraries.
Use 'Advanced Search', enter your keywords
- Scroll to ‘Show content type’
- Choose the Content Type from the drop down menu ‘Show only’
- Check the box ‘Items in the library catalog’
- Click on Search
Use ‘Advances Search’, enter the name of the journal in the ‘From this publication’ search field
and click on Search.
There are many reasons for not getting the full text of a record. It could be an error in the citation,
a very recent article, etc. If you encounter such a problem, try the following:
- For e-books, run a search within the Catalog or look up the book title within E-Books.
- For journal article, look up the journal name in Journals to see if the library is subscribed to.
- For more help: Ask A Librarian
Scroll to ‘Content available via the following link/s’ and click on the ‘Article’ or ‘Book’ link to
access the full text. See Sample.
- Save your results by clicking on the 'Save this Item' icon at the right-hand corner of the record.
- Click on the Save Items folder at the bottom of the page. A new window will open, from where
you can email, print, cite, and export your citations. See Sample.
- Note that the Save Items folder is temporary, and saved records will be cleared when you leave
your search session.
SearchALL supports five citation styles:
- APA (American Psychological Association): 6th Edition.
- AMA (American Medical Association): 10th Edition.
- MLA (Modern Language Association): 7th Edition.
- Chicago/Turabian: 15th Edition, Author-Date.
- Harvard: Author-Date.
Click Ask a Librarian on the top of any SearchALL page and send us your query.