Ask A Librarian

Why SearchWiSE?

FAU Libraries owns over a million books, subscribes to over 500 databases, has access to almost 85,000 journals, and is adding resources daily to its own Digital Libraries and Institutional Repository. FAU Libraries chose SearchWiSE (powered by Summon - a unified discovery service) to assist students and researchers in discovering all of these resources from one starting point.

What is included in SearchWiSE?

All types of materials are included from the FAU Libraries’ databases, catalog, and digital collections: books, journal articles, government documents, newspapers, abstracts, music scores, videos, and CDs.  

I have too many results. How do I narrow my search?

SearchWiSE results can be narrowed down using filters available in the left pane of the main search screen. There are a number of filter categories including Refine Your Search, Content Type, Author, Discipline, Publication Date, and more. Many of these filter categories are collapsed to save space and may need to be expanded. Also, if there are many filters in a category, more options may be available by clicking the "More..." icon.

Put phrases inside quotation marks to search for words in a specific order, i.e., "civil war" or "multicultural education."

Choose Advanced Search by clicking the arrow icon next to the "Search" button to limit your search to a specific journal (volume and issue), a specific author, or many other options.

See the SearchWiSE User's Guide for more information on searching.

How should I phrase a search?

SearchWiSE finds synonyms and expands the search for certain topics. For example, if the search phrase “heart attack” is entered, SearchWiSE will also search for resources which include the phrase "myocardial infarction." Whenever this feature is activated, a message appears at the top of the screen to explain the expanded search to the user and to allow the user to disable the added search terms. Because of this feature, the exact wording of a search does not necessarily affect the results.

See the  SearchWiSE User's Guide  for more information on searching.

Does everything listed in SearchWiSE include the full text?

Not always. SearchWiSE searches many different sources at once. Although many full-text articles are included, some sources may only provide a citation or abstract. Also, the vast majority of books in our collection are only available in print format, and not online.  

How do I get the full text article?

Click on the "Full Text Online" icon. For many articles, you will be taken directly to a full-text article. Sometimes these direct links are not available, and minimal navigation may be necessary on one of the various websites hosting the journal content. Help materials for the various website platforms should be available for further assistance. For more information on linking to full text see Find it @ FAU FAQs.

If FAU does not own the item in online or print format, it may be requested through 
Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad)

Should I use SearchWiSE, the catalog, or a database?

SearchWiSE is a good place to start research on a general topic. To find specific formats, you can search the catalog for books, videos, and journal by title, or a database for articles. It is recommended that for subject or discipline specific research, a subject database should be used. See Databases by Subject for the full list of the Libraries' databases by subject or our subject resource guides (LibGuides) for suggested databases.

How is SearchWiSE different than searching on the Internet?

SearchWiSE provides direct access to FAU's online library materials and also shows what the Libraries have in print. It is more likely to give useful information for university-level assignments and research. Internet searching pulls up web pages and very few online library materials when compared to SearchWiSE.

Can I use SearchWiSE on my mobile phone?

Yes! To use SearchWiSE on your mobile phone, simply visit the FAU Libraries homepage to conduct a search . SearchWiSE will automatically detect that you are on a mobile phone and will include all features in an optimal layout for your device. Because no downloads are required, there are no specific phone requirements. Currently supported browsers include MSIE 8+, Firefox 22+, Safari 5+, and Chrome 29+. Additionally, SearchWiSE is available in the FAU mobile application.

For more help, go to the
Ask a Librarian page. 

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 Last Modified 12/20/17