Answered By: Robert Sebek
Last Updated: Sep 01, 2016     Views: 100

Summon, much like Google, uses a proprietary relevance-ranking algorithm, that sorts and displays search results using multiple criteria. Several of these methods will cause results that don't seem to exactly match your search terms to appear in the list of results. You can refine a search that seems to include irrelevant results by including more search terms or more specific search terms, or by using the facets to limit results. If you find a result that you like, look at the keywords and try using some of those in your search.

The frequency your search terms appear in both the bibliographic metadata for the item and the frequency that similar terms appear all contribute to the relevance ranking.  For instance having your search term appear in the title field will give a higher ranking than if the search term appeared in the publisher name. 

Summon indexes a lot of full-text content, for instance, the full text of the million of books scanned by the HathiTrust project. It knows which of the books in HathiTrust we have in print in our collection. So search words and phrases that appear in the full text of these print books will result in their appearance in your Summon list. If you use the Preview feature, Summon will indicate at the bottom of the sidebar when a result appears because the search terms were in the full text of that item.

Other criteria that affect ranking include the content type (as identified by the content provider), publication date, whether the item is listed as scholarly/peer-reviewed, whether the item is part of our local collections (including records from Addison), and the citation count as recorded by Web of Science.

Related Topics

Contact Us