OneSearch FAQ

Research & Instructional Design

OneSearch is . . .

a discovery service you can use to search nearly all the library's print and electronic resources—books, journals, newspapers, images, and more—from a single box.

Search Everything

How do I use OneSearch?

You can find the OneSearch box on the LITS home page. From there, using OneSearch is as easy as 1-2-3!

  • Enter your search into the box.
  • Limit your results by content type (e.g., book, article, etc.), publication date, discipline, or language.
  • Follow the links to locate the items you want.

Finally, don't forget to log in to access full text and more content when you are off campus by clicking on the link at the top of the OneSearch results screen.


Why would I use OneSearch instead of Google?

OneSearch is able to get you to almost all the library's resources available to you in a way that Google can't.

  • Google doesn't index a lot of the materials to which the library provides access. OneSearch indexes nearly everything in our collection.
  • Google doesn't link you to books in our collection. OneSearch displays each book's location and lets you know if it is available.
  • Google doesn't provide a way to get books and articles from other libraries. Using OneSearch, requests can be made without doing any extra searches.
  • Finally, Google doesn't allow you to limit your search results in the way OneSearch does.


What am I searching when I use OneSearch?

OneSearch is the name we've given to our implementation of ProQuest's Summon. The discovery service includes records for more than a billion books, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, audio and video files, images, government documents and other resources from more than 9,000 publishers and 100,000 periodicals in its index. New content sources are added every week, and content updated daily. Even when your search is limited to items from our own library, you are searching more than 400 million records.


Can I improve my results if I don't initially see items I like?

You can refine your search using the options displayed on the left-hand column of the OneSearch results page. Searches can be limited by content type, discipline, date, subject, and language. You can also get to an advanced search screen by clicking the triangle located adjacent to the search button. When in doubt, ask a librarian for guidance.


Does OneSearch link to full text?

Yes. Simply click on the "Full Text Online" link located at the bottom of the record for electronic books and journal articles the library owns or licenses. Don't forget to log in to access full text and more content when you are off campus by clicking on the link at the top of the OneSearch results screen.


Can I search OneSearch for items our library doesn't have?

Yes, search results can be expanded to include items owned by other libraries. Simply click on the “Add results beyond your library’s collection” link located in the upper right corner of the results screen.


Can I still use the library catalog and databases?

Absolutely. You may still search the library's resources the same way you always have. Linked tabs to the library’s catalog and databases are located on the search box at the top of the library's home page.


Is OneSearch the best tool for all my research?

OneSearch is a good starting point for searching the library's resources. It does has its limits,  however, especially for more advanced research.

  • OneSearch searches many but not all library resources.
  • Comprehensive searches require using subject specific databases.
  • ALEX, our catalog, is better for finding specific items.


How can I learn more about OneSearch

Stop by Burke Library’s Information Desk for a quick demonstration, call 315-859-4735, or e-mail a librarian at askus@hamilton.edu. Librarians are also available to visit classrooms or offices across campus.


Search Tips

Phrase Searching

OneSearch allows for phrase searching with the use of quotation marks (" "). The query "teacher education" will find results with that phrase.


Searching Specific Fields

The single search box in OneSearch (basic search box or keyword search box in advanced search) will search across many fields automatically. For example, entering an ISBN, ISSN, or Call Number will bring back associated records.

You can explicitly search a field using the syntax: “field:(query).” For example, the search ISSN:(1234-5678), finds records that contain that value in the ISSN field.

Searchable fields:

  • Title
  • SubjectTerms
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • PublicationTitle
  • Volume
  • Issue
  • Language
  • Notes
  • ISBN
  • ISSN
  • DOI


Boolean Operators

OneSearch offers the following Boolean operations: OR, NOT and AND. The operators must be written in ALL CAPS.

By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator. To expand the results set, use the OR operator “microcircuits OR nanocircuits” will return items that contain either term.

This can be combined with quoted terms such as “teacher education” OR “educator training”.

To exclude items in OneSearch, use the NOT operator or “-” character before a term. When used in the following query “animal NOT dog” the results will not include the term “dog”.



Searches within Summon™ can be performed using the wildcards “?” and “*”.

The question mark (?) will match any one character and can be used to find “Olsen” or “Olson” by searching for “Ols?n”.

The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. A search for “Ch*ter” would match “Charter”, “Character”, and “Chapter”. When used at the end of a word, such as “Temp*”, it will match all suffixes “Temptation”, “Temple” and “Temporary”.

Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search.


Browser Support

OneSearch supports the following browsers and phones:

  • Internet Explorer 6.0+
  • Firefox 3.6.0+
  • Safari 4.0+
  • Chrome (stable version)
  • iPhone 2.0+
  • BlackBerry 8500+
  • Android 1.0+


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Last updated: July 8, 2016

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