SuperSearch FAQ

James A. Gibson Library

SuperSearch FAQ

  1. What is SuperSearch?
  2. Why should I use SuperSearch?
  3. What is included? What am I searching?
  4. Is everything the library owns included in SuperSearch? What is not included?
  5. Is everything in SuperSearch available as full-text?
  6. Should I just always use SuperSearch for everything?
  7. Is SuperSearch helpful for finding articles about or published in Canada?
  8. I hate SuperSearch! Where's my favourite library database!?

 

What is SuperSearch?
In technical terms SuperSearch is a “web-scale discovery” tool that allows users to search the contents of multiple library catalogues and databases simultaneously. 'Web-scale' refers to the attempt to match the kind of broad and deep search many of us are used to with Google and other web search tools. 

Why should I use SuperSearch?
SuperSearch will be a great place to start searching for many users. Because it is interdisciplinary, you can find information on almost any topic using SuperSearch.  You will also find information in a variety of formats, including: books, articles, dvds, book reviews, government documents, dissertations & theses.  Tip: Check out the “Format Type” on your results page the next time you run a search. 

What is included? What am I searching?
The short answer: Everything in the library catalogue, our digital repository, all of our EBSCO databases (including Academic Search Complete), JSTORWeb of Science, and several other databases and journal article citations from scholarly and peer-reviewed publications.  Tip: Check out the “Limit by Database” on your results page the next time you run a search.

Is everything the library owns included in SuperSearch? What is not included?
Millions of items can be searched in SuperSearch in all subject areas. However, SuperSearch does not include all content in databases that the library subscribes to.  What is and is not included can change periodically.  Tip: Ask your Librarian if you are unsure of the relevant databases in your subject area.  

At the moment, the following is not possible in SuperSearch:

  •  Searching by Database Name: If you are trying to enter a particular database (ex. PubMed, JSTOR) in order to run a search, please access these from the A-Z Databases list. Currently, SuperSearch does not contain records for individual databases.

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                           Click on the image to enlarge.

Is everything in SuperSearch available online and in full-text?
There is A LOT of electronic, full-text content in SuperSearch.  However, physical items like print books and DVDs listed in the library catalogue still require that you get them from the shelf.  There are also some citations to articles and other materials that are not immediately available at Brock.  Many of these items can be borrowed from other universities using Interlibrary loan and can then be emailed to you.  Tip: To limit your search results to full-text items only, check the "Full Text" box on your results page after you run a search. 

Should I just always use SuperSearch for everything?
It is going to be a matter of personal preference.  If you want to be able to use advanced search limits available in some individual library databases, choose those databases specifically instead of SuperSearch.  If you only want results based on research done in a specific academic discipline, use a subject database.  When searching within SuperSearch, you often get a large number of results which can sometimes be frustrating to sift through, yet when searching in a subject database, you may get too few results or miss out on related information from a different viewpoint point or discipline. Tip: Vist a Library Research Guide for recommended databases in your subject area.

Is SuperSearch helpful for finding articles about or published in Canada?
Scholarly articles related to Canada are easy to find in SuperSearch. Unfortunately, Canadian newspapers are not as well represented. Tip: If you want to search the content of newspapers published in Canada, start with Canadian Newsstand or CBCA instead.

I hate SuperSearch! Where’s my favourite library database?!?
No library databases were harmed during the implementation of SuperSearch. You can still find the library catalogueA-Z Listing of Journals, and research databases through the library website.

 

If you have any questions, or feedback about SuperSearch, we would love to hear from you

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