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USearch Help

USearch is the name for the library's online catalog or discovery system. This online resource has a lot of features that are only available to users who sign in to their accounts. You can use USearch without signing in; however, by signing in to your USearch account, you have the ability to search, save, and share item records and searches even more efficiently. Check out these topics below for more information. As always, feel free to contact us if you would like more information about these functions or USearch in general.

USearch Video Tutorial

USearch Topics

Click on the blocks below to expand the section and learn more about each feature in USearch.

Logging in to My Account

Logging in to My Account

1. From the USearch page, click on "Sign in" in the upper right corner. This will take you to the NetID login page.

Alternatively, you can click on the My Account link below the USearch search box on our homepage.

2. From the NetID login page, click “Northwestern Users” if you are a current student, staff, or faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary or Bexley Seabury Seminary. If you are a community, family, or alumni patron, click “Registered Borrowers” and use the email for your library account. If you have not set up a password previously, select “Reset password” and follow the steps to activate your account.


3. Enter your NetID (e.g., abc1234) and password and click "Log In." For more information about your NetID, see this page.

4. Once you have successfully logged in to USearch, click on your name in the upper right corner.

5. Next, click "My Account" from the drop-down menu.

6. From My Account, you can view your loans, requests, fines, and more. You can also renew your materials. See the “Renewing Items” tab below for more information about this. Other tabs below detail more features of My Account.

Renewing Items

Renewing Items

Renewing materials online is easy. Keep in mind that not all material may be renewable, such as reserve or recalled items. 'My Account' is also the place to be if you are interested in viewing your fines and fees, or changing your personal settings, such as the number of results displayed or language used in USearch. Questions about your account, renewing materials, or fine and fees? Feel free to contact us.

1. Sign in to USearch. (See the Logging in to My Account tab above for more information.)

2. Once you have successfully logged in, your name should appear in the top right. Click on your name and select My Loans from the drop-down menu.

3. Select 'Renew' to the right of each item you want to renew. You may also simply select 'Renew All' to renew everything you have on loan. Alternatively, you can renew items by clicking on the empty box to the left of each title and then selecting the 'Renew Selected' link that appears above your loans in place of the 'Renew All' link.

4. If you are unable to renew an item using these steps, please email us. Some items may not renew for a variety of reasons, and we can help resolve the issue.

Requesting Items

Requesting Items

You can request items from a Northwestern library by using these steps. Styberg Library items are only requestable online by faculty and online/distance students. If you are an online/distance student, please contact us so that we can confirm that you live more than 50 miles from the seminary and within the United States.

Once you find a Northwestern Library book, please use these steps to request it.

1. Sign in to your account. (See the Logging in to My Account tab above for more information.)

2. Search for an item.

3. Click on the title of the item. 

4. The item record will then appear. In the 'Get It' section, click 'Request'.

5. Select 'Styberg Library' as pickup location from the drop-down menu and click 'Send Request'. You may also include a comment in the Notes field, like a mailing address, but that is not necessary unless you want us to mail it to you. (This is only available to students who live within the United States and more than 50 miles from the seminary.)

6. You will receive an email when your item is ready to be picked up.

Using My Favorites

Using My Favorites

Adding item records to 'My Favorites' is a great way to stay organized and develop a carefully selected group of records for future use, such as a course reading list. Within 'My Favorites,' you may create labels to organize your saved items, email saved items, print item records, push items to citation management systems (i.e. EndNote), and more. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about using 'My Favorites.'

Adding Items to 'My Favorites'

1. Sign in to USearch. (See the Logging in to My Account tab above for more information.)

2. Search for an item.

3. Click the 'Pin' icon next to the item you want to save.

Accessing & Organizing Your e-Shelf

1. Once you click the pin icon to save an item, you can view all saved items by clicking the 'Pin' icon from the top menu.

2. Select the 'Saved Records' tab.

3. To further organize and customize your saved items, you can add labels. To do this, click 'Add Labels' underneath any saved item's details.

4. Type in a relevant topic and press Enter.

5. You will see the label(s) that you created on the right and at the bottom of the record. When you click on these labels, all items with those labels will appear. You can edit/delete a label or add additional labels by clicking the pencil next to the existing label(s). To delete, select the 'X' next to the label you want to remove. To add additional labels, click 'Add new label'.

Saving Searches

Saving Searches

Do you find yourself frequently searching for a particular subject or author? Do you not have time to go through all of your results at one time?

A great way to stay organized and up to date with the latest collection additions is to save your search within USearch. After saving your search, you can easily pull it up again by logging in to your account and opening your saved searches. You can also set up an email alert when new results are added. (To learn more about email alerts, see the 'Receiving Email Alerts' tab.)

Saving a Search

1. Sign in to USearch. (See the Logging in to My Account tab above for more information.)

2. Search for an item.

3. Select 'Save query' above the search results.

Retrieving Saved Searches

1. Click the 'Pin' icon to go to 'My Favorites'.

2. Select the 'Saved Searches' tab.

3. Click on the desired saved search from the list to retrieve the results again.

4. If you click the 'Search History' tab you can see all searches that you have initiated since logging in to your account. You can choose to save these for later, and they will appear in your saved searches. You can also delete them; however, they will automatically delete when you log out or close the browser.

Viewing Your Search History

Viewing Your Search History

During a session, you can view your search history. This information will be erased when you close your browser but may be useful as you actively search for resources.

Depending upon your sign-in status, the search history option will appear in different places.

Option 1: Not Signed In


1. If you are not signed in to your account, click on Menu in the top right corner, and select “Search history” from the drop drop-down menu.


Option 2: Signed In


1. If you are signed in to your account, click on your name in the top right and then select “Search history” from the drop-down menu.


2. When your search history appears, you can click on any search within the list to search again. This will initiate a search, using the same settings that you originally used, including library and facets. If you would like to delete or save a search for later, you can do that by using the pin icon to save or trash can icon to delete.

Receiving Email Alerts

Receiving Email Alerts

Do you find yourself frequently searching for a particular subject or author? A great way to stay organized and up to date with the latest additions is to save your search and set up an email alert. An email will be sent to you anytime new items that meet your search query are added.

Setting up a Search Alert

1. Sign in to USearch. (See the “Logging into My Account” tab for more information.)

2. Search for an item.

3. Select 'Save query' above the search results.

4. A banner notification will appear. Click the 'bell' icon.

5. A pop-up will appear. Enter your email, and press save.

Alternative Saving Option

1. Go to My Account.

2. Click the 'bell' icon next to a saved search to set up a notification.

3. Periodic notifications will be sent to the email address that you provided. Anytime an item is added that meets your original search query, you will receive these emails.

Copying Permalinks

Copying Permalinks

Did you find something great in USearch that you want to share with others? There are several ways to save a search for an item's record within USearch, but if you would like to link directly back to the record, it is best to use the permalink.

1. Search for an item in USearch.

2. Locate a title of interest.

3. Click the ellipsis to the top right of the title to view more actions.

4. Click 'Permalink'.

5. Copy the link by clicking the 'Copy the Permalink to Clipboard' and then pasting the link into a desired location, like a document or email.

Getting Citations

Getting Citations

In USearch, you can retrieve citations directly from the item record. These are available in a variety of citation styles, including Chicago/Turabian and APA. Follow these steps to learn how.

1. Initiate a search in USearch.

2. Click on the ellipsis next to an item of interest.

3. Select 'Get Citation'. Choose the desired citation style.

4. Select 'Copy the Citation to the Clipboard'.

5. Paste the citation to the desired location, like a document or email. If you use a citation management software like EndNote or Zotero, you may want to try the 'Export Bibtex', 'EndNote', or 'EndNote Web' options to the left of the 'Get Citation' icon. For more information about citation management software, see our the Endnote and Zotero page.

*Remember to check your citations for accuracy, as these citations are machine-generated and may contain errors, like spacing, extra characters, and/or missing information.

Emailing Items

Emailing Items

Did you find the perfect item and want to share it with yourself or others? USearch contains records for multiple copies of items that reside in various locations. To share an item record, select email from the 'More Actions' menu in the item record. Alternatively, you could email items that you may have saved to 'My Favorites,' or send along a permalink. See the 'Using My Favorites' and 'Copying Permalinks' tabs above for more information.

1. Initiate a Search in USearch.

2. Click the ellipsis to the right of the title to view more actions.

4. Click 'E-mail'.

5. Enter your email address, check 'I'm not a robot', and click Send. You may also add a brief note that will be sent along with the link to the item.

Sending from My Account

1. Sign in to USearch. (See the Logging in to My Account tab above for more information.)

2. Select the 'pin' in the top right.

3. Select the 'Saved Records' tab.

4. Click on the envelope icon to the top right of any title.

5. Enter your email address, check 'I'm not a robot', and click Send. 

Creating QR Codes & Links

Creating QR Codes & Links

Want to save a link to your search or an item?

You can easily generate a QR code or copy a link to the search or item. You can do this with or without an account.

1. First, search for resources in USearch. When your search results appear, you will now see a QR code in the top right of your screen.

Image from USearch

2. Click on this QR code icon, you can then use your phone or other mobile device to scan the code. Alternatively, you can select the “Copy Link” button to copy a link for the search/item that you can paste elsewhere.

3. Click on an item record and open it, you will also see the option to generate a QR code.

4. Click on the QR code icon, you can either use your phone or other mobile device to scan the code, or you can select the “Copy Link” button to copy a link for the search/item that you can paste elsewhere.

Personalizing Your Results

Personalizing Your Results

You can now personalize your results, based upon your disciplines of interest and the newest items. Personalization works best for online articles. The personalization feature allows you to reorganize your search results based upon your preferred disciplines. You can reset your personalization preferences and/or turn this feature on and off at any time. To enable this feature, follow these steps.

1. Navigate to the Styberg Library homepage: Initiate a search using the single search bar. Select Online Articles from the drop-down menu. Enter your search terms and press the Search button.

2. Once your search results load, sign in to your account. While you can personalize your results without signing in to your account, you can save your personalization preferences this way.

3. When you have successfully signed in to your account, your name should appear in the top right corner. Now, toggle the personalize button at the top of your search results. This will turn on the personalization feature and allow you to select up to five disciplines.

4. Next, a menu with discipline options will appear. Select up to five disciplines of interest. When you have finished selecting your disciplines, select “Personalize It!”.

5. If you would also like to see the newest results first, simply select the “Prefer newer material” box within the facets menu to the left of your search results. This will then reorganize your search results by your preferred discipline AND display the newest results first.

6. If you want to edit your preferred disciplines, you can do this easily by toggling the personalization button and selecting the edit discipline option in the facets menu to the left. You will then be taken to the same discipline selection menu that you initially used to select your preferred disciplines.

7. From this menu, you can select different disciplines. Once you have done so, you can click on the Save Changes button in the bottom right. You can also completely reset your personalization settings by selecting the Reset Personalization button in the bottom left.

8. You will know if your results have been personalized by checking the area above your search results. If you have turned on personalization, the button will appear maroon and say “Personalized!”. It will be gray if it is not being used.

Since you signed in to your account to personalize your results, your preferred disciplines will be associated with your account, and you can use them anytime you search by first signing in to your account and toggling the Personalize button at the top of your search results.

While this feature is primarily useful for online resources, particularly articles, you may find that it is helpful with your other library searches as well. You can use it for any search with online resource results.

Finally, please note, the personalization feature simply reorganizes your search results to display more relevant (and possibly newer) materials at the top. You will always retrieve the same amount of results.

Using Advanced Search

Using Advanced Search

The advanced search option may be helpful if you want to focus your search based upon several criteria. By using the advanced search features, you can eliminate potentially unuseful results and retrieve more relevant resources.

At the top of the advanced search bar, you can select which library or item type you want. To select a different search scope, click the empty circle to the left of the options. Please note, you can only select one at a time.

Next, in the search filters area, you can use the drop-down menus to select specific fields to search (e.g., title, author, publisher, etc.) and select how you want those to be search (separately, as a phrase, or the beginning). You can use the AND, OR, or NOT options to build a Boolean search. Feel free to add as many lines as you think are necessary by selecting the “+ Add a New Line” link at the bottom. The more criteria you add, the more focused and fewer results you will retrieve. If you desire, you can completely clear your search by selecting the “Clear” option.

Finally, review the options to the right to select a material type (e.g., article, book, dissertation, etc.), language, and publication date/range. Once you have finished adding all the relevant options, press Enter to initiate your advanced search or click on the Search button in the bottom right.

Your search results will then appear. You can use the facets to the left of your results to further refine these results. You can also scroll to the top of the page to edit your search by adding another line or directly changing your existing criteria. You can also completely clear your results and start over if needed.

Browsing & Searching within Journals

Browsing & Searching within Journals

Browse Journals by Subject


You can now browse and search within journals. This can be helpful for discovering relevant journals and articles within them. To begin, select Journal Search from the top navigation bar.


The Journal Search page will appear. From here, you can search for a journal directly by typing in your search terms in the single search box, or you can browse for journals by subject using the facets below the search box. Click on the arrows next to each to expand the contents. When you have found a subject of interest, click on it to browse for journals within that subject area.

The relevant journals will then appear. They will be organized by title. You can see how many journals are related to the subject at the top of your results. Scroll down and press “Load More Results” to see more options.

Search within a Journal


If you click on the title and open the full record, you can also search within some journals that are indexed and/or available online. To do this, locate the Search Inside section, enter your search terms in the search box, and press Enter.


Your search results will load on the next page. Any article(s) that contain(s) your search term()s will appear. You can click on the results for access details and more information.

Please note, this will only work for journals that have been indexed and added to USearch. You may need to search journals directly through an online index or database where online access or full-text is available.

Expanding Your Search Results

Expanding Your Search Results

When you use USearch, you only retrieve the items to which the library has physical or electronic access; however, you can view more resources that match your search criteria by selecting the “Expand My Results” option* in the facets. This feature is made possible through an extensive search index that is incorporated into USearch.

When you use this feature, your total search results will likely expand by hundreds, if not thousands, of resources. You can still use the other facets, like creation date, language, and format, to further narrow your results.

You will know that you have found an item to which we may not have access if there is a gray “Check request options” link below the item’s brief details.

If you find an interesting item with this text, click on the link and sign in to your account, if you have not already done so. Then, you can see your request options. Normally, this will direct you to request the item through interlibrary loan or to search for an open access version; however, you may also find that we have online access to the item through a database.

*Please note, this option only works for search that utilize the All Libraries and Online Resources tabs.

Finding Related Resources

Finding Related Resources

Resources That Are Cited Within an Item or Additional Resources that Cite the Item


Some records contain options to find the resources that are cited within an item and/or the option to find additional resources that cite the item. By clicking on these options, you will be able to view additional items that may be of interest. The first icon with two upwards arrows helps you find resources that cite the item. The second icon with the singular downward arrow helps you find resources that are cited within the item.* Click on each to discover more items.


*Please note, these icons will not appear on all items, and sometimes, only one will appear.

Recommended Resources


When you open the full record for an online resource, you may see recommended resources to the right of the bibliographic and access details. These may also be of interest and are based upon the subject matter of the opened record. These related readings can be accessed by clicking on their hyperlinked titles.