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UMBrella Help

UMBrella is our library catalog and search tool, allowing you to search for articles, books, videos, digital media, and more all in one place. It is available from the library homepage

UMBrella Menu

UMBrella Menu

There are several helpful tools in the blue banner at the top of the UMBrella interface. This box will walk you through each one, what they do, and how you can use them to access additional library options and materials.

Shows the option for


This option clears your current search, including any filters, so you can start over. It also redirects you to the Search Page, which contains search tips and information about getting help.

Journal Finder

This tool is very useful if you have an article citation or if you need to find the full text any print or electronic library journal. 

Shows the option for

List of Databases

This link will take you to a list of all the databases available at Healey Library. From this list, you can find databases by subject or material type. Each database is a collection of resources such as articles, videos, ebooks, and more. For subject specific or large research projects you'll want to use some of our databases in addition to using UMBrella.

Shows the option for

Research Guides

This option takes you to all of Healey Library's online subject and course research guides and help pages. Browse guides by subject or search for one in particular.

Interlibrary Loan

This link takes you to ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan system, where you can request items from other libraries. 


This link takes you to a Browse function with which you can browse UMBrella by subject, author, title, or call numbers. 

Shows the option for


This option provides you with additional links, such as Citation Linker and UMBrella Help.

Citation Linker

This tool allows you to find a known citation by filling in the citation information. It has tabs to search for Articles, Books, and Journals. Use the Article tab if you are looking for a particular article. NOTE: You do not need to enter information into every field in the search--enter as much as you have and make sure to include a Journal Title or ISSN.

UMBrella Help

This link directs you to the UMBrella Help guide. This guide includes information on how to use UMBrella, how to manage your accounts, and how to get help if you need it. Please feel free to contact us with any questions through Ask a Librarian!

List of Databases

Why use a specific database instead of just searching UMBrella?

  • Different databases have different built-in features that are not present in UMBrella (such as controlled vocabulary)
  • If you are finding too many results in UMBrella that don't relate to your topic, it may work better to go straight to a subject-specific database (for example, using MLA International Bibliography or Literature Resource Center when doing research on a novel, or PsycINFO when surveying the psychology literature)

Access the library's alphabetized Databases List from UMBrella by clicking "List of Databases."

How do I limit my search results?

Using Limits

This box will walk you through many of the options you have to limit your search results. All of these options can be found on the left side of the UMBrella search interface. Scroll through to see how you can make your search more precise.

Include results outside the library's subscription

By default, UMBrella only searches items owned by the Healey Library or available through open access. If you have trouble finding enough relevant results, or need to do a more comprehensive search, check this box to include items in your search that you can request through InterLibrary Loan.

Sort By

This limit will give you the option to choose how your results are organized by selecting which results are displayed first. The options are:

  • Relevance - The results determined to be most relevant are displayed first (based on its relevance algorithm)
  • Date-newest - The most recent items are displayed first
  • Date-oldest - The least recent items are displayed first
  • Author - The results are organized alphabetically by the author's name
  • Title - The results are organized alphabetically by the title of the document


Click on a category under this option to show only those resources.

  • Available in the Library - books and other physical materials located in the Healey Library
  • Full Text Online - limit results to articles, books, videos, etc that are accessible online
  • Open Access - free online resources that do not require UMass Boston credentials
  • Peer-reviewed Journals - limit results to articles published in peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals 

Any category you include/exclude will appear under “Active Filters” at the top of the Tweak My Results area. Categories that are included will be in black letters, while categories that are excluded will be in red letters with a line through them. Remove any category included or excluded by clicking on the X in the appropriate bubble.

Material Type

Use this filter to identify the type(s) of materials you want. Some useful options include:

  • Books
  • Articles
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Video
  • Reference Entries

To exclude a “Material Type” category, hover over the option and click on the red slashed checkmark that appears to the right of the option. A “Material Type” option will not appear if there are no corresponding items in your results.

Publication Date

Specify a publication date range for your search results by using the scrolling arrows next to the dates or clicking in the date boxes to type in different years.

NOTE: The dates listed do not necessarily represent options present in your search results. In other words, there may not actually be a document from the year 1700 in the example above. This limit works best to specify which date range you want, i.e. materials published within the last ten years.


This allows you to limit results by choosing a subject for your search. The subject area is a great place to look for additional words/phrases that you can use in your searches.

NOTE: These subjects are drawn from several different databases and are not standardized, so you may limit your results to one particular source (such as materials from a medical database) if you select certain subjects.


This option allows you to select results by a particular author/creator. Keep in mind that this may include corporate/organizational authors, and not just specific individuals.

Journal Title

This option allows you to limit your results to articles from a particular journal.

Collection & Location

These are options to limit results by the location or source of an item:

  • Collection - Allows you to limit your results by particular publishers, databases, and source types. This limit is useful if you know you want materials from a particular source or database (ex. ERIC).
  • Location - Allows you to choose/exclude different library locations. This feature is useful if you are looking for an item shelved in a particular area (ex. Curriculum Stacks, Reserves)


This option can allows you to specify which language your material is written in. The language options displayed only lists the languages found in your search results.

Healey Library | University of Massachusetts Boston | 100 Morrissey Blvd | Boston, MA | 02125-3393 | 617-287-5900