Quick Search Now Available

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/19/10

Beginning today, a new Quick Search service is available on the USC Libraries' homepage. This powerful new service allows researchers to find the print or electronic resources they need using a single search box. A new LibGuide on Quick Search offers tips for optimizing searches and introduces the service's new features.

One of Quick Searches' most powerful features is results refinement, which allows users to filter your results by content type, publication date, and full-text availability. Another convenient feature is the ability to create an RSS feed from a search query, allowing researchers to keep track of new resources on a given subject, or by a particular author.

The new Quick Search tab replaces the Google Scholar tab; the link to Google Scholar has moved to the E-Journals tab. The HOMER Catalog search, too, is still available on the homepage, on the second tab.

For more on Quick Search, read this memo from the libraries' Hugh McHarg to USC Faculty:

Dear USC Faculty Members,

The USC Libraries soon will release a new Quick Search service. Its purpose is to provide a one-stop starting point for finding a range of library materials across many types of media. Quick Search provides fast, relevant results for broad queries as well as many tools and options for performing more specific searches.

Quick Search offers an experience similar to Google and other general Internet searches, but it has the important advantage of delivering access to the more authoritative research resources provided by the USC Libraries. Quick Search covers:

  • Print books and periodicals in the HOMER catalog
  • Electronic journals
  • Health Sciences Libraries books and electronic resources

Quick Search includes everything in HOMER and approximately 70% of the electronic resources available at USC. We will continue expanding coverage to include special collections, the USC Digital Library, and up to 85% of our electronic resources by the end of 2010.

Since updating the USC Libraries’ home page in 2009, we’ve received significant feedback related to finding articles. Quick Search offers several advantages in this area, including the ability to limit search results to scholarly sources and to those items for which full-text is available online.

Beginning on July 19, the Quick Search beta will appear on the libraries’ home page, replacing the Google Scholar tab. Otherwise, Quick Search does not change how you search HOMER or Helix through the catalog interfaces, use individual electronic resources, or manage your library account.

For those who prefer Google Scholar or the current Scholar’s Portal advanced search, we will maintain direct links to those services on the E-Journals tab. Those links will remain through the fall as we gather additional feedback and testing data.

While Quick Search does provide links to the Health Sciences Libraries’ resources, it does not change any current methods for accessing health sciences materials or the Health Sciences Libraries’ web sites. For more specialized searches of health sciences journal literature, the Health Sciences Libraries recommend continuing to use existing interfaces such as PubMed@USC or OvidSP.

A preview of Quick Search is available here: www.usc.edu/libraries/summon_beta/index_summon.html.

When classes begin in the fall, library-instruction sessions will cover simple Quick Searches and the advanced options. An introductory guide is available here: http://libguides.usc.edu/quicksearch.

Our goal is to improve the usability and discoverability of library resources, and we encourage and appreciate your feedback. You’ll find a comment link on the Quick Search tab when the beta goes live. Also please feel free to get in touch with your library subject liaison or with me directly if you have any questions about the new Quick Search service.


Hugh McHarg
Executive Director, Communications and Public Programming
USC Libraries
University of Southern California

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Filed under: ServicesQuick Search