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Search "How Do I"

How Do I?

Use scoUT to Search

What am I searching?

scoUT is the University Libraries’ new discovery tool. It is a single interface to search the combined resources provided by the University of Texas at Austin Libraries. It offers an easy and fast interface with a Google-like search box, and a large central index that includes all kinds of information content in one search window location. The index is compiled from over 7,000 publishers and content providers and covers nearly 90% of UT’s electronic journal subscriptions. The system is powered by Summon from Serials Solutions.

These are some of the kinds of content you’ll find indexed in this database:

• Journal Articles

• Books (from UT’s collections in the Library Catalog, including the Ransom Center and Law Library)

• E-books (mostly from UT’s Library Catalog)

• Book chapters

• Conferences

• Dissertations and Theses (print and electronic)

• Newspaper articles

• Trade publication articles

• Encyclopedia articles and other reference sources

• Music (in various recorded formats)

• Video (in various recorded formats)

• Government documents

• Manuscript and special collections

• Music scores

• The Libraries Web Site and Research Guides (coming soon)

• UT Digital Repository collections

And more is being added all the time!

Who is this tool for?

Everyone who needs information will probably find something of interest; however, scoUT is primarily intended for students who need to find some information about a topic, but who don’t need to do a comprehensive literature search. It is a great starting point for research if you are not already familiar with specialized, discipline-specific databases and journals.

How do I get to scoUT?

scoUT is the power behind the ALL tab and the ARTICLES tab in the search box located on the University Libraries home page. We recommend that you bookmark the University Libraries home page listed above in your browser.

Does scoUT contain everything from the specialized databases I’m used to using for my research?

No. scoUT is a good place to start, especially if you are not familiar with the tools and resources of a particular subject field. If you are an advanced researcher and you like to use a specialized subject database, you should keep using that database.

Does scoUT replace the Library Catalog?

No. It is another way to search our catalog, but the Library Catalog itself is still available as always, and it has additional search features that scoUT does not have. When you click a link for a record that comes from our catalog, a new window will open where you will see the “native” Library Catalog record and where you can place a request for an unavailable item, link to full text e-books, manage your patron account, etc.

What happened to CrossSearch?

CrossSearch was a “federated search” software system that searched across multiple separate selected remote databases in real time and returned combined results into a proprietary interface. scoUT replaces CrossSearch, and it is not a federated search system – it is actually a single database with indexing data from many different sources, many of which were not available within CrossSearch. scoUT works much better, and it is much faster.

How is scoUT different from Google Scholar?

Google Scholar searches for scholarly (mostly journal) content across the entire Web, and results are not specific to what UT Austin users can access, and it does not include data from our Library Catalog or other local collections. scoUT focuses your search primarily on content that is provided by and is available from the UT Libraries. You can still search Google Scholar by selecting its radio button under the Articles search tab in the LIBsearch box on the University Libraries home page.

Is everything I find in scoUT available online?

Not necessarily. When you do a basic search, most of the electronic content in the results should be pre-filtered to what UT-Austin users have online access to, but there may be some things that we don’t actually have access to. We will be working to improve the accuracy of our links as we refine this tool. In addition, you will find records for many printed and media materials from our Library Catalog, which are not available online.

How do I limit the number of results I get from a search?

Use the Facets menu on the left side of the screen to refine your results according to type of publication, type of content, subject terms, publication date, or language. You can always undo your refinement if you wish by unchecking a box.

How do I see things beyond just what the UT Libraries provide access to?

When you do your initial search, you will see results that are mostly within UT-Austin’s available collections (both electronic and hardcopy). If you want to expand your results to include things not directly available at UT, click the checkbox to “Add results beyond your library’s collection” in the upper left facets menu. Journal articles that we do not have online access to will display links as “Citation Online” instead of “Full Text Online”. Please remember that this search system is not 100% accurate in knowing what we do or do not actually have access to, but it is correct most of the time. Unchecking the box will return you to your original results.

Are all the journal articles peer reviewed?

No. The index includes articles from many kinds of periodical publications, including popular and trade magazines and newsletters, which are not peer-reviewed. You can limit your results to peer-reviewed articles by clicking the “Limit to articles from peer-reviewed publications” box in the left-hand facet menu.

When I click on “Full Text Online” why do the links not always work?

The way this search system links to full text is very complex, and it does not always work like it is supposed to. Some publishers and providers do not allow direct linking to specific articles, but you might instead land on the journal’s home page or on the desired issue’s table of contents page, from where you have to navigate to the article in question. Other times links may simply be broken. Links to newspaper articles are particularly problematic because online newsbanks are not very good at this kind of direct article linking. Please use the Feedback link at the top of the page to report these to library staff for investigation. If a link to full text is broken, you can instead look up the source periodical or journal in our Find a Journal database to check our access and navigate to your article that way.

How do I remove newspaper articles from my results?

Check the “Exclude Newspaper Articles” box in the Refine menu near the top of the Facets bar on the left of the window. Uncheck the box to restore newspaper articles to your results.

Why do I see records that don’t seem to have any of my keywords in them?

This often happens with records coming from our Library Catalog. There are many different kinds of publisher-supplied metadata about books in the scoUT index that are not necessarily part of our local catalog records (such as tables of contents, jacket blurbs, even full text);however all you may see in your results is our catalog record, which may not contain all or even any of the words you searched. This is why you will sometimes get very different results for keyword searches in scoUT limited to our catalog, versus the same search done inside our catalog’s native interface.

What does the “Recommendation” box mean?

This feature considers the words in your search query and attempts to provide one or two suggestions of specialized database resources that may be good places to do a more in-depth search on your topic. The UT Libraries are working to make these recommendations more accurate and inclusive of the many databases we license for our campus users. You should always consult with your librarian for the best feedback on appropriate resources for your research; or contact us via Ask a Librarian.

How often is the database updated?

The database is updated daily, but sometimes it takes a while for information about new publications to be included. For example, you may not find articles from the most recent issues of magazines or newspapers. Also, any local corrections we make to our catalog take at least 24 hours to show up in scoUT.

Can I save and export records?

Yes. Click on a record’s save icon to temporarily save it to your folder. To view your saved items click on the Saved Items link at the bottom of the window. To download the records in a citation manager file, select a citation format, then click on your desired export format tab. (Note: UT does not subscribe to RefWorks, so this tab is not functional.) You can also email or print records from this box.

Can I sort my results by Date?

Yes. In the upper right corner above your results list you can use the pull down menu to sort by date (newest on top or oldest on top). The default sorting is by relevance.

Can I use scoUT from off campus?

Yes. No authentication is required until you try to link to a document that is part of our licensed content. At that point you will be asked for your UT EID and password.

Can I use scoUT from a mobile device?

Yes, there is a mobile-friendly version of the site. You can also choose to use the standard version on your mobile web browser.

How does scoUT do relevance ranking?

According to Summon there are 3 parts to the relevancy ranking:

Static rank - each records gets a score

  • Date
  • How large is the full-text
  • Content type - Books get a higher score than newspapers
  • Scholarly
  • How often cited

Dynamic search

  • Frequency of keywords
  • Where are the keywords are found

Analyze User input

  • The system uses some synonym analysis and language analysis
  • The system includes information from recommendations on subject guides/lib guides

The system re-indexes everyday

Search Query Help'

Phrase Searching

Summon allows for phrase searching with the use of “ ”. The query “teacher education” will find results with that phrase.

Searching Specific Fields

The single search box (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





Boolean Operators

scoUT offers the following Boolean operations: OR, NOT and AND. The operators must be written in ALL CAPS; otherwise they are searched as keywords.

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, 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”. Wildcards

Searches 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

The system 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+