Sophi Search Help

Need help using Sophi Search? You've come to the right place! Open the tabs below to find answers to frequently asked questions about Sophi Search. You can also scroll to the bottom of the page and watch a short video to get an overview of the service.

Sophi Search is Austin Seminary's version of EBSCO's Discovery Service (EDS). For detailed information on searching and accessing materials check out the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) - User Guide.

Remember if you have questions you can always stop by the circulation desk or email us at libraryiq@austinseminary.edu.

What is Sophi Search?

Sophi Search is a research tool that helps the Austin Seminary community access the resources at Stitt Library. It is an all-inclusive search of the library’s print and electronic materials.

This means that instead of searching for materials in EITHER the Stitt Library Catalog, OR a Stitt Library Database (ATLA, Credo, etc.), OR the Stitt Library EBSCO eBook Collection OR in an electronic journal (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament), you can search ALL of these separate resources with ONE search!

How do I access Sophi Search?

The Sophi Search box is available on the Research Tools page of the library website. Information about searching using the drop-down menus can be found below. To go directly to the full Sophi Search interface, click “Advanced Search” in the search box.

You can also search a simplified Sophi Search box when you are logged into the student or faculty/staff portal:

What do the results of a search look like?

The results page is similar to other EBSCO results pages, including the ATLA Religion Database. The type of resource for each result is indicated by thumbnail picture and label. This will tell you which results are e-books, articles, physical books, essays, or other material types. Many results will also have a link to access the full-text resource online. Clicking on a result’s title will take to you a more detailed record for the resource.

You can find additional information on understanding and accessing your results list in the EBSCO EDS User Guide.

How do I limit and expand my searches?

Everything on the left side of the results page is designed to help you limit or expand your initial search results. This works the same way as many online shopping sites where you can narrow your results by category, size, or color. Options for limiting your search include showing only full text results, limiting to the Austin Seminary/SSW Library Catalog, and limiting by resource type, subject, year, language, location, or database.

Look at the top box on the left hand side of your results screen under the heading: “Current Search.” This box will show the limiters or expanders you have applied to your search. Please note that there are two expanders checked by default: “Apply related words,” “Also search within the full text of the articles,” and "Apply equivalent subjects." Sophi Search automatically applies these expanders to every search to improve your search results. Clicking the small blue “x” next to an expander or limiter will remove that expander or limiter from your search and alter the search results displayed.

You can find detailed information on using limiters and expanders in the EBSCO EDS User Guide.

How do I access full-text articles and e-books?

Some results will provide access to the full-text of the article or book that you are looking for, while others are just descriptions of the item, the full-text of which will have to be located elsewhere. To limit your search results to just those materials available in full-text through our subscriptions, check the Full Text limiter on the left side of the results screen:

Depending on the source of the result, access to full-text materials can look different for different results. Generally, material with full-text access will have an icon and link that says something about full-text in it. See the highlighted examples below:

If you click on a link for a full-text resource from off-campus (or in student housing), you will be asked to sign in using your Seminary credentials. Once you sign in, you'll be directed right to the resource.

If you can't find full-text access, never pay for a copy online -- ask one of the librarians and we can try to help you find what you need!

You can find detailed information on accessing full-text materials under Viewing Results in the EBSCO EDS User Guide.

How do I find print library books?

To get a list of only print books that match your search in Sophi Search you can either select “Print books only” from the Find drop-down menu in the Sophi Search box on the Research Tools page:


OR you can check “Austin Seminary / SSW Library Catalog” under “Limit to” in the limiters on the left side of the Sophi Search results screen after you do your search:

If you’d like to search the library catalog directly, you can find a link to the Stitt and Booher Library catalog underneath the Sophi Search box on the Research Tools page.

What is the "Everything" search?

This selection will search ALL the library’s subscriptions and holdings, and it is set as the default search. Your results will display items in the library catalog, subscription databases, electronic journals, and e-books. If you want to search for a specific TYPE of material, you should use the second drop-down menu (see below).

Some of the results may just be citations, but most results will give you full-text access to the resource. If you click to access full-text from off-campus you will be asked to sign in using your Seminary credentials.

What is the "Print books only" search?

The "Print books only" selection searches for print books that are in either the Stitt Library at Austin Seminary or the Booher Library at the Seminary of the Southwest. This is the same material you would search through the direct library catalog link on the library web page.

The search results include the call number and information about the availability of the title. To verify location and availability, it's a good idea to click on the "Check Library Availability" link above the box with the location information. This link will take you directly to the record for the book in our online catalog, which has the most up-to-date information.

If you want to further limit your results to just material at Stitt Library (and not the material at SSW), open up the Filter by Library Location limiter on the left side of the Sophi Search results screen and check Apts Stacks.

What is the "E-books only" search?

This selection searches the over 300,000 full-text e-books available through Stitt Library. The e-books can be read online or downloaded to your computer, tablet, or e-reader for off-line reading. Click on the title for more information on the book, or click "PDF Full Text" or "EPUB Full Text" to read online. If you click to access an e-book from off-campus you will be asked to sign in using your Seminary credentials.

Questions about e-books? Check out our e-book help page.

Here is an example of results for a search for e-books on the Gospel of Luke:


What is the "Journals & articles only" search?

The "Journals & articles only" selection searches Stitt Library's subscription databases of academic journals. This includes the ATLA Religion Database, several other databases related to theological subjects, and over seventy other databases in a variety of academic subjects. Some of the results may just be citations, but most results will give you full-text access to the resource. If you click to access full-text from off-campus you will be asked to sign in using your Seminary credentials.

If you find a citation to an article that is not available in full text, we may have a print copy of the journal in the library. Try searching for the journal title in Sophi Search, using the EBSCO Journal Title search, or in the library catalog. You can also use the link in the Sophi Search record to request a copy through interlibrary loan. Note that it can take up to two weeks to fill your request.

You can find more information on reading an article from your Sophi Search results in the EBSCO EDS User Guide.

What is the “Keyword / Author / Title" search?

In addition to the drop-down menu in the Sophi Search box that lets you limit your search by type of material, you will find a second drop-down menu that lets you search Sophi by keyword, title, or author.

The keyword search is active by default. If you know the title or the author of the resource you are looking for, select that option to find it more quickly when you are directed to the results page.

What if I'm off-campus?

Anyone can search in Sophi Search from on- or off-campus without logging in. When you click on a link to access a full-text resource from off-campus (or in student housing), you will be asked to sign in using your Seminary credentials. Once you sign in, you'll be directed right to the resource.

If you have trouble logging in, check out our Off Campus Access to Library Resources page for troubleshooting help, or contact the library at libraryiq@austinseminary.edu

Can I access resources individually?

If you prefer searching the library catalog, e-books, or specific databases separately, those search options are still available through the links on the Research Tools page under the Sophi Search box.

Note that in some cases it may be preferable to search directly in the resource you want to use in order to take advantage of its full functionality (for example, using the Scripture Citation search in the ATLA Religion database or accessing maps and timelines in Oxford Biblical Studies Online.)

Sophi Search Video

Watch this 90 second video to learn more about Sophi Search.



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