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Cowles Library


SuperSearch: FAQs

Information and guides to help you use SuperSearch at Cowles Library

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 PrivCo and Statista, that do not provide results in SuperSearch because of the type of content or publisher restrictions. These databases can still be searched directly using the lists of databases from Cowles Library and the Law Library.

Can I search other university libraries' holdings in SuperSearch?

Yes! You can search across, and directly request from, the physical collections of several institutions across Iowa, including Iowa State, University of Iowa, Grand View University, and others. We call this service FastTRAC, and more information is available on our FastTRAC page.

FastTRAC logo

How do I sign in to SuperSearch?

  1. Click the Sign in icon in the upper right.
  2. Enter your user ID and password and click Login.
    • Use your Drake credentials if you are faculty, staff, or a student.
      Drake patrons who have forgotten their credentials should use the Drake Password Manager to reset it, or contact the ITS Support Center at 515-271-3001.
    • Use your library card number and password if you are a guest.
      If you do not know this information, ask for assistance at the service desk of your library (Cowles or Law).
  3. You should see your name at the top of the screen.
  4. 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.
  • You can manage your library account: view your checkouts and holds, renew items, and more.
  • You can set preferences for the way you want SuperSearch to look in current and future sessions.
  • 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.
  • You can access certain library services. For some services, like requesting a hold and Get It Now, we need to know who you are before we can offer them.

When you are not signed in, any items or searches you save 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.

How do I save a SuperSearch search or one or more results so I can come back to it later?

You can save items to your Favorites by signing in to your SuperSearch account (using your Drake credentials) and then selecting the pushpin icon next to an item in the search results.

Another alternative is to save the search itself:

  1. Sign in to your Supersearch account.
  2. Select "Search history" from the menu under your name.
  3. Click the pushpin icon next to the search query you want to save, which will add it to the "Saved Searches" section of your Favorites.

If you want to get an email when new results are added to SuperSearch that fit your saved search criteria, go to Saved Searches and click the "bell" icon next to the saved search.

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

  1. Sign in to SuperSearch and eligible to check out materials from the owning library.
  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.

  1. You must be signed in to SuperSearch and eligible to check out materials from the owning library.
  2. Click on the Location and Status button.
  3. Click on the blue Request link. (This will only appear if the item is already checked out.)
  4. If you'd like, you can add the date after which you no longer need the item or a comment.
  5. Click the request button.
  6. You will get a note indicating whether the hold was successfully placed, and, if so, what your place is in line.
  7. When the item is available, you will get an email notification that you can pick it up at the owning library.

Screenshot of SuperSearch for Checked out Item

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

  1. Sign in to SuperSearch.
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner and select My Library Account.
  3. Click the Requests tab.
  4. You will see a list of requests you have placed on checked out items. Click the arrow icon to the right of each title to view more request details.
  5. If you want to cancel a hold request, click the corresponding Cancel link, and then click the "Okay" button to confirm your cancelation.

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

There are two ways to view a citation. The easiest is to click the "quotation mark" icon that appears next to every search result. It looks like this:

You can also click the ellipsis (the three dots, shown above) to display more actions, and the Citation icon appears as an option there as well:


The citation will appear below the actions icons. Click on your desired citation style to see the citation in that format. Use the Copy to Clipboard link to automatically copy the entire citation for pasting into a document.


Always check your citations in a style guide before submitting your work. Tools like online citation viewers are rarely perfect, particularly when it comes to capitalization and punctuation.