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 indexes 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. Like Academic Search Complete, you can find something on almost any topic with SuperSearch. Unlike ASC, you will also find information about books that the Brock library owns as well as articles from other library databases.

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), JSTOR, Web of Science, and journal article citations from many scholarly and peer-reviewed publications.

Is everything the library owns included in SuperSearch? What is not included?
Over a million items can be searched in SuperSearch in all subject areas. Most of the items are articles in magazines and academic journals, books, and book chapters. However, SuperSearch does not include everything covered by all library databases.  

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

  • Searching by Journal Title: If you are trying to access the entire holdings of a particular journal and browse the contents (ex. Journal of Popular Culture), whether in print or electronically, please use the A-Z list of Journals. These records are currently not available 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.


                           Click on the image to enlarge.

Is everything in SuperSearch available as full-text?
There is A LOT of full-text content in SuperSearch. However, print books listed in the library catalogue are not available online; you’ll still need to get them from the shelf to read them. If you don’t see a full-text icon with an article, use the GetIt! button to see if we have access to the article from another library database. 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 RACER Interlibrary Loans.

Should I just always use SuperSearch for everything?
It is going to be a matter of personal preference. If you only want to find books that the library has in the stacks, you can use the library catalogue. 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-specific database.

Is SuperSearch helpful for finding articles about or published in Canada?
Scholarly articles related in some way to Canada are easy to find in SuperSearch. Unfortunately, Canadian newspapers are not as well represented. 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 will be able to find the library catalogue and research databases exactly where you left them. There are no plans to cancel subject databases or limit access to them because of SuperSearch. We hope everyone will try SuperSearch to see if it has something to offer, but we also know it’s not the right tool for everyone. Please let us know what you think!

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