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Summon - advanced search: Using punctuation in Summon

Tips for using Summon when simple search is not enough

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Here are the most useful search options in Summon:


By putting a phrase in quote marks, we search for these exact words, spelled exactly like this, and in this exact sequence. Double quote marks need to be used: "pop art" not 'pop art.'


An asterisk tells Summon to search for all words beginning with certain letters. In this case, it will search for documents which contain the word Chinese plus at least one of pot, or potter, or pottery - or any other word beginning pot-.  Please note you cannot use an asterisk at the beginning of a word.


Asterisks do not work properly with quote marks: only a few results are returned. To search for alternative phrases, use OR, as above. OR needs to be in capitals.


Brackets enable us to construct more complex searches.  In this example, we are searching for documents containing both the phrase "Richard Serra" and at least one of the other phrases.


More punctuation options

The following are less often useful, but still worth knowing about:


This searches for documents with the word mannerism, but excludes documents with the word Italy.  This could be worth trying if you are interested in mannerism beyond Italy: but remember that many articles and books about mannerism in other countries will mention Italy  in passing. So you will probably be missing relevant material.


This is similar to using an asterisk (see above), but searches for words with just one character in place of the question mark.  So this example would search for both "Olson", "Olsin", etc. The question mark cannot be used as the first or last character of a search, and cannot be combined with quote marks.


This caret symbol, with a number, gives more weight to the linked word in the search.  So in this cas, market is given more weight than sculpture.  You can vary the number to vary the weighting; numbers below 100 have little effect.