Smart Search: What am I searching?: Using Smart Search

This guide provides an overview of the collections and materials you can discover via Smart Search. URL:

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Using Smart Search

Smart Search retrieves all of the items it can find that match your search terms, whether from individual publishers or from open-access scholarly repositories.  

  • You can refine your results to show items by availability, material type, peer-reviewed status, publication year, topic, and other criteria.
  • You can save searches and articles to your Favorites, review and tag items, check your library account, and more.
  • Access full text or, if CMU does not have the full-text for an item you want, request full text through the Documents on Demand service.

Reading Smart Search Results

Smart Search results can include a wide range of material types. Here are some sample results to help you decipher what you are looking at on the Smart Search results page.


A screen grab of the an article from a Smart Search search results list. The first row indicates the source type, an article. The next row is the title of the article. Then the authors are listed. Then the title of the journal, the year of publication, the volume, the issue and the page number. There is a peer reviewed icon indicating this article is from a peer reviewed journal. At the bottom of the record there is a link to access it online.


  A screen grab of the a book from a Smart Search search results list. The first row indicates the source type, a book. The next row is the title of the book. Then the author is listed. Then the publiser's location, the name of the publisher, and the year of publication. At the bottom of the record is the availability information, which indicates where the book is available in the library, including the call number.

Smart Search Tips

The following files depict Smart Search search examples. Explanatory notes are provided.

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