Skip to Main Content

JSU Digital Commons | Guide for Faculty: Step 3: Searching JSU Digital Commons

This guide provides detailed information for faculty on how to upload their scholarship to the repository, manage their accounts, and search JSU Digital Commons.

Quick Links

Search Tips

Browsing JSU Digital Commons

JSU Digital Commons allows you to browse by collection, discipline, or author.


Examples of the types of collections you'll find in Digital Commons include:

  • Library Collections (digitized archival materials, historical images, yearbooks, library resources, and much more)
  • Academic Units (faculty scholarship broken down by academic department)
  • Faculty Scholarship (faculty scholarship broken down by type -- books, articles, presentations, performances, etc.)
  • Conferences & Events (Faculty Research Symposium, Student Research Symposium, etc.)
  • Faculty Commons (collections of video lectures and other professional development materials from Faculty Commons)

From the JSU Digital Commons home page, you can browse the collections by using the "All Collections" button or the collections link in the left-hand browse box. The default for the browse hierarchy is collapsed -- if you'd like to see all sub-collections, use the "expand all" button to see everything in the list. Items with a + sign can be expanded. You can also click on the item to navigate to that collection.


You can also browse by discipline. A note on disciplines: disciplines are defined by a global taxonomy system, and may not correspond exactly to departmental terminology used at JSU. To browse by discipline, use the disciplines link in the left-hand browse box. This will show you a top-level list of disciplines you can browse, and will note if there are items in any subdisciplines. For instance, if you were looking for repository items in the Criminology and Criminal Justice discipline, this is a subdiscipline. So you would find it under: Social and Behavioral Sciences -> Legal Studies -> Criminology and Criminal Justice.

You can also use disciplines to find subject-based collections outside JSU's repository. Through the use of disciplines, JSU's repository content is connected to a global repository network with content from hundreds of institutions -- it makes your submissions to Digital Commons more discoverable, and it also allows you to browse and access other institutions' content. To browse this content, simple click the "Browse the Digital Commons Network" button from the top right of the disciplines page. This will bring up a graphically browsable wheel of disciplines, the disciplines are also presented as clickable links at the bottom of the page, or you can simply use the search box to search for the discipline you want. 


You can also browse the repository by author names. This is the easiest way for you to view every contribution by a particular author. Simply click the "authors" link in the browse box, and you'll be taken to an alphabetical list.


Searching JSU Digital Commons

JSU Digital Commons offers multiple options for searching its content. 

Basic Search

From the home page (and every page), you'll see the search box in the top left. This is the basic search feature. This will perform a full-text search of all the items within JSU Digital Commons. You'll notice the drop-down box underneath the search field. Its default will be set to whatever collection level you're currently viewing in the repository. So, for instance, from the home page, it would search the entire repository. If you happened to be in the English Department collection, the search would default to that particular collection (ie, you'd only be searching within English departmental publications) -- you'll see that the drop-down says "in this collection." If you want to search the entire repository, be sure to set the drop-down to "in this repository."

Advanced Search

If you want to narrow your search or combine search fields and options, try the Advanced Search. The default advanced search is set to "all fields," but you can change this drop-down to search any field (eg, abstract, author name, department, etc.). You can combine fields by adding additional search boxes using the green + sign.

You can also use the Advanced Search to:

  • Export search results lists as a bibliography in Excel format. The "Format" drop-down will provide you with these options.
  • Create "saved searches" -- use the "save this search" button to create a saved search. You can then run this search whenever you like, and have the results delivered to your email.
  • Access your saved searches -- use the "my saved searches" button to view all searches you have saved. From this screen you can change notification settings or delete saved searches you no longer wish to use.

Using the Find Feature

Your browser's find feature (Control + F for PC, Command + F for Mac) will be your best friend when searching for particular words or phrases within the content you find in JSU Digital Commons. For instance, say you've used the basic or advanced search and landed on the document's information page. That document may be several pages (or several hundred pages, if it's a book) long. You may not want to read the entire thing -- you just want to jump to the pages with the words and phrases you're interested in. Click the "download" button to open the PDF, then use your find feature (Ctrl + F or Cmd + F) to bring up the find box. Type the word or phrase you want to find in the box, hit enter, and it will search the document for you, finding all instances of your search term and jumping you to those pages.