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SuperSearch: FAQs

What does it mean when I’m searching “Everything”?

OK, it’s not really everything, but it’s a lot! It includes all of the physical items in the library (books, DVDs, music scores, etc.), as well as content from nearly 100 databases from Cowles and Law, our many digital collections, eScholarshare, and more. Note that the content of some databases is not included in SuperSearch.

What is not included in SuperSearch?

There are a number of databases, such as Lexis, that, because of the type of content or publisher restrictions, do not provide results in SuperSearch. These databases can still be searched directly using the lists of databases from Cowles and Law.

Can I search other university libraries' holdings in SuperSearch?

Yes. Through the Cowles Library SuperSearch interface, you can search across, and directly request from, the physical collections of several institutions across Iowa. This service is called FastTRAC. Learn more by using the Cowles FastTRAC guide.

How do I sign in to SuperSearch?

  1. Click the Sign in icon in the upper right.
  2. Select the applicable option from the listed choices:
    • Current Drake students, faculty, or staff
    • Other users
  3. Sign in to your account.
    • If you selected Current Drake student, faculty, or staff, log in using your Drake email address and your Drake password. Then click the Sign In button. There are also options on the log in screen if you forgot your Drake password or want to change your password. (If needed, see ITS Help Guide).
    • If you selected Other user, Use your library card number as your User ID and your password
      • If you do not know your library card number, ask for assistance at the service desk of your library (Cowles or Law). Note: Our privacy policy does not allow us to give this information over the phone.
      • If you do not know your password, click Need help signing in? Then click Forgot password. Enter either your User ID (library card number) or your email address and click Submit. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password. 
  4. You should see your name at the top of the screen on the right.
  5. Your session will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity, or you can click Sign Out when you are done.

Why do I need to sign in to SuperSearch?

Signing in provides several benefits:

  • You can access Drake licensed resources - all those great scholarly resources the library pays for you to use. (This applies to Drake patrons only.)
  • You can manage your library account, renewing items, requesting a hold on a checked out book, and more.
  • You can set search alerts to get an email when new items match the criteria for a search you have already run.
  • You can save and organize search results in your Favorites.

When you are not signed in, any items or searches you save to Favorites will be removed once your session times out or you close the browser.

How do I change my SuperSearch password?

  • If you are a current Drake student, faculty, or staff, you cannot change your password in SuperSearch. You must use Drake's Self-Service Password Reset.
  • If you are using the Law Library as a Drake alumni or member of the Iowa bar:
    1. Sign in to SuperSearch using the steps above.
    2. Click on My Account > Personal Settings > Edit Details > Update Login Credentials.
    3. Enter your old password, your new password, and click Update.
    4. You will get a message indicating that the update was successful or notification of a problem with the request.

What if I forgot my password?

  • If you are a current Drake student, faculty, or staff member, see the ITS help article Resetting a Forgotten Password.
  • If you are using the Law Library as a Drake alumni or member of the Iowa bar, see the instructions above, under the third step of How do I sign in to SuperSearch?

What are Favorites?

Favorites (formerly the e-Shelf) let you save and organize items that you find when you search. (Must be signed in to use.)

See detailed information on Favorites.

How do I save SuperSearch results so I can come back to them later?

See the detailed instructions for using Favorites to save and organize items.

How do I see my due dates or renew my items online?

  1. Sign in to SuperSearch.
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen and select "My Library Account."
  3. You will see a list of items currently checked out to you. You can use the "Renew All" button at the top to request that they all be renewed, or identify select items using the checkboxes and then click "Renew Selected."
  4. A message above the renew buttons will indicate whether your request was successfully submitted. The new due date(s) will appear in the Due Date column next to the title(s).

How do I request a hold on a checked out item?

Patrons can place holds on items they find in SuperSearch if they are already checked out and are not on reserve.

  1. You must be signed in to SuperSearch and eligible to check out materials from the owning library.
  2. Click on the item title to open the detailed record.
  3. Under "Get It," click on the blue Request link. (This will only appear if the item is already checked out.)
    Requesting a Checked out Item in SuperSearch
  4. After you click request, a request form will open:
    SuperSearch request item form
  5. If you add a "Not needed after" date, your hold will be cancelled on that date, so use this option cautiously. (It can also be left blank.) 
  6. Click "Send Request"
  7. You will get a note indicating whether the hold was successfully placed, and, if so, what your place is in line.
  8. When the item is available, you will get an email notification that you can pick it up at the owning library.

How do I check on a hold request or cancel it?

  1. Sign in to SuperSearch.
  2. Click the My Account button.
  3. Click the Requests option in the left-hand menu.
  4. You will see a list of requests you have placed on checked out items. You can check your place in line in the "Status" column.
  5. If you want to cancel a hold request, click the corresponding cancel link, and then click the "Okay" button to confirm your cancellation.

How do I just view the citation for an item, without having to export it?

Currently, the best way is to select Citation from the Actions menu.

  1. From your search results, click the item's title to open the detailed record.
  2. Click Actions in the left side menu, then select Citation (Quotation mark icon).
  3. A new window will open to display the item citation. You can change the citation style by using the links (MLA, APA, etc.) to the left of the citation.
  4. Under the citation preview box, click "Copy the citation to clipboard." You will know it copied properly because the message will briefly change to "Citation was copied."
  5. You can now use your paste options (e.g., Ctrl+V on a PC or Command-V on a Mac) to paste the citation into an email, Word document, or other desired location.

Where is the library catalog?

SuperSearch is the library catalog - and more. To search for items in the Cowles and Law Libraries, just select “In the Library” as your search scope. To limit your search to items in the Law Library, choose the "Law Library Only" scope.

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