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A Guide to Omni

A guide to Omni, an academic search tool that gives you access to information resources from McMaster and other participating Ontario university libraries.

Access Online Items

If an item is Available Online in Omni, it can be accessed by clicking Available Online > and selecting a link in the View Online section of the full record. You may be prompted to login with your MacID@mcmaster.ca to view the full text.

UPDATE: Changes to library authentication occurred on Dec 12, 2022. If you are you no longer able to Sign in to Omni / My Library Account, please contact the University Library or Health Sciences Library for assistance.

Read more about Off-Campus Access (e.g. browser bookmarklet, browser extensions such as Lean Library, and more). 

Example: eBook

View Online > eBook in Omni

Example: Online article in a journal
View Online > Article Online in Omni

NOTE: Some online resources may not be available immediately if the resource has a limit on the number of simultaneous users. Try accessing the resource again later. If the access problem persists, consult this FAQ for troubleshooting tips.

ThumbtackMcMaster alumni have limited off-campus access to e-resources due to licensing restrictions. Please see Online Resources for Alumni to register and access a subset of e-resources that can be used remotely by alumni. More online resources can be accessed on-campus by alumni (and other users) with a guest internet account which can be requested in-person from the Mills or Thode Service Desks (1st floor). 

Access Physical Items

Physical materials in Omni will typically display a library (e.g., Thode Library), a location within the library (e.g., Thode Library Bookstacks) and a call number (e.g., QB 981.T96 2004), all of which are needed to retrieve the item.

Example: Print book

Get It > Print Book in Omni
 

  • If the status of the physical item is Available ...
    • you can visit the library and retrieve the item from the shelf in the location specified using the call number provided [see the call number tabs above for guidance]
      NOTE: If unable to find the item, ask at the nearest Service Desk
      or
    • you can put a hold on the item by using the Request option after you Sign in to Omni
      NOTE: Staff will retrieve the item for you and notify you by email when the item is ready
       
  • If the status of the physical item is Not available locally (e.g. signed out to someone else), it can be requested from another library by using a Request option after you Sign in to Omni.

A call number is a unique code given to each physical item in the library. It identifies the subject and location (address) of an item in a library's collection.

McMaster University Library (Mills, Innis and Thode) arranges most items using LC (Library of Congress) Classification whereas the Health Sciences Library uses NLM (National Library of Medicine) Classification. Both classification systems use a combination of letters and numbers for call numbers (e.g., The book Public health: what it is and how it works has LC Call Number: RA 445 .T86 2016 at Thode Library and NLM Call Number: WA 540 AA1 .T95P 2016 at the Health Sciences Library).

Video iconVideo: How to Read a Call Number (2:48)
This video describes how you read a call number so that you can find out where the book lives on the shelf.

Video Transcript (PDF) | Video Transcript (.docx)

 Infographic: How to Read a Call Number                                                    Infographic: Call Number Guide by Subject
How to Read a Call NumberYour Call Number Guide to Serendiptious Book Discovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Video iconVideo: How to Find a Book in the Stacks using a Call Number  (1:05)
This video describes how to use a call number to locate a book on a shelf in the library.

Video Transcript (PDF) | Video Transcript (.docx)

To learn about borrowing policies (e.g., loan periods) and services, consult the relevant department at McMaster.

Thumbtack icon Borrowing materials from other libraries is not available to alumni, external borrowers, community borrowers or retirees (with the exception of retired faculty and librarians). Contact your local public library for interlibrary loan services.

Request Items - Holds / Pickups, Scans, Interlibrary Loan

UPDATE: Changes to library authentication occurred on Dec 12, 2022. If you are you no longer able to Sign in to Omni / My Library Account, please contact the University Library or Health Sciences Library for assistance.

To request an Available item in McMaster Libraries for hold and pickup ...

  1. Sign in to Omni (top right)Omni Sign in
     
  2. Perform a search in Omni.
     
  3. In the search results, click on a title of interest to display the full record for the item.
     
  4. Go to the Get It section of the full record.
    Omni Sign in for RequestsNot signed in to Omni yet? You can do so while viewing the full record. Use the Sign in link that appears in gold with the text Please sign in to check if there are any request options.
     
  5. Request form in OmniIn the Get It section, select Request from the REQUEST: line
    NOTE: If you're signed in and "Request" is not displayed, the item is not requestable.
     
  6. Complete and submit the Request form
    • Choose a Pickup Institution from the drop-down menu.
      McMaster University Library is the default institution, but you can pickup physical items at any Omni partner institution listed.

    • Choose a Pickup Location from the drop-down menu.

    • Terms of Use displays the loan period available (i.e., 120 days) and typically cannot be adjusted.

    • In Cancel request if not available by, select a date when it's okay for the request to expire or be cancelled. NOTE: This date won't change how quickly an item arrives, but if the item arrives after the date noted, it will move on to the next person on the waiting list.

    • In Comment, enter any other relevant details related to the request.

    • Select Send Request

  • When the requested item is ready, you will be notified by email.

To request an item Not available locally (e.g., item on loan, item not part of McMaster's collections) for hold and pickup ...

  1. Sign in to Omni (top right)Omni Sign in
     
  2. Perform a search in Omni.
     
  3. In the search results, click on a title of interest to display the full record for the item.
     
  4. Go to the Get It section of the full record.
    Omni Sign in for RequestsNot signed in to Omni yet? You can do so while viewing the full record. Use the Sign in link that appears in gold with the text Please sign in to check if there are any request options.
     
  5. In the Get It  section of the record, select Get it from another library [will appear as an option in the REQUEST: line or as a gold button].
    NOTE: If you're signed in and "Get it from another library" is not displayed, the item is not requestable from another Omni library.
    For items not requestable or included in Omni, submit an interlibrary loan request using the Omni blank request form. A library outside of the Omni network may be able to supply the item. [For more information, select the Interlibrary Loan tab noted above].
      Omni Request > Get it from another library or  Omni Request  > Get it from another library
  6. Get it from another library form in OmniComplete and submit the Get it from another library form
    • Review and ensure the item details in the form are correctly noted (i.e., Title, Author, Date, Volume, Part, etc.)

    • Choose a Format: Physical or Digital
      NOTE: If digital is selected, it can only apply to a portion of an item.  A digital copy of an entire publication (e.g., book, journal, etc.) from another Omni library cannot be fulfilled due to licensing and copyright restrictions. For a digital request, tick the checkbox "I only need a specific chapter or pages" and include the article/chapter title and page range of the desired content.

    • Choose a Preferred Pickup Institution from the drop-down menu.
      McMaster University Library is the default institution, but you can pickup physical items at any Omni partner institution listed. The preferred McMaster pickup location is still mandatory in case the partner institution cannot ship your request to your preferred pickup institution.

    • Choose a Preferred Local Pickup Location from the drop-down menu.

    • Confirm that your preferred Email is being used.

    • In Comment, enter any other relevant details related to the request.

    • Select Send Request

  • When the requested item is ready, you will be notified by email.

Thumbtack icon Requesting materials from other Omni libraries is not available to alumni, external borrowers, community borrowers or retirees (with the exception of retired faculty and librarians). Contact your local public library for interlibrary loan services.

To request a scan of ONE article or ONE chapter from an item only available in print format ...

  1. Sign in to Omni (top right)Omni Sign in
     
  2. Perform a search in Omni.
     
  3. In the search results, click on a title of interest to display the full record for the item.
     
  4. Go to the Get It section of the full record.
    Omni Sign in for RequestsNot signed in to Omni yet? You can do so while viewing the full record. Use the Sign in link that appears in gold with the text Please sign in to check if there are any request options.
     
  5. Scan (or digtiization) request form in OmniIn the Get It section, select Digitization from the REQUEST: line
    NOTE: If you're signed in and Digitization is not displayed, the item is not eligible for scanning.
     
  6. Complete and submit the Digitization form
    • Enter the title of the chapter or article of interest.

    • Enter the author of the chapter or article of interest.

    • Indicate the start and end page of the chapter or article.

    • In Comment, enter any other relevant details related to the scanning request.

    • In Cancel request if not available by, select a date when it's okay for the scanning request to expire or be cancelled.

    • Click Send Digitization Request

  • When the requested item has been scanned, you will receive an email with a link to a PDF, usually within 48 hours. The link allows for 5 downloads, and expires after 30 days.

Some scanning requests may be denied for the following reasons:

  • You requested more than one chapter from a book - according to Canadian copyright law, we can only scan one chapter from a book that is not exceeding 10% of the work.
  • You requested a journal article that is available online. We only process requests from print-only journal articles.
  • You requested more than one article from a journal issue - according to Canadian copyright law we are only able to send you one article from a journal issue or more than one article if the total number of pages does not exceed 10% of the issue.
  • Your request is in a physical format we are unable to scan at this time (i.e., microfilm, microfiche or microcard).

Thumbtack iconThe scanning service is not available to alumni, external borrowers, community borrowers or retirees (with the exception of retired faculty and librarians).

NOTES:

  • Requests for materials that can be purchased digitally (such as an eBook) can be submitted through the Recommend a book, film or journal form
  • Requests to digitize complete physical items held in McMaster University Library, should be directed to the Digitization Centre. Please provide details about the subject area or materials, and any details about teaching or research timelines related to having digital access to materials. All digitization requests will be assessed based on item copyright status, physical condition, privacy concerns (for archival materials only), and current digitization timelines.

If an item is not available through our Omni partner institutions, it can be requested from other resource sharing partners in Canada or internationally via interlibrary loan (I.L.L.). NOTE: Requests for items outside the Omni network  may take longer to arrive and may have shorter loan periods and renewal options.

Blank request form in Omni with autofill exampleIf the item you need is not included in Omni (even when  Add results beyond McMaster's collection is selected), or you already know the citation information of the item you want, you can use a blank request form in Omni to get it from another library.

  1. Go to the Omni Blank Request Form by logging in with your McMaster credentials. NOTE: This form is also accessible in the Omni banner by selecting Interlibrary Loan.
     
  2. Complete and submit the Get it from another library form
    • Select a citation type: Book or Article.
       
    • ISBN or ISSN is a required field. If this information is not known, enter "unknown" in this section of the form.
       
    • For articles, if the DOI (e.g., 10.2174/1872210516666220210113256) or PMID (e.g., 35142273) is known, enter it in the relevant field. NOTE: Do not include https://doi.org/ with the DOI. Select Auto fill to automatically populate the form with the details of the article (i.e., titles, ISSN, volume, etc.)
       
    • Select a Preferred Pickup Institution and Preferred Local Pickup Location. This will be used to deliver a physical item. If you are requesting an article or a book chapter, it will be sent online as a PDF to your email.
       
    • In Comment, enter any other relevant details related to the request.
       
    • Select Send Request
  • The status of your requests will be noted in Omni [see tab above]. When the requested item is ready, you will be notified by email. 

To learn more about interlibrary loan services at McMaster, consult the relevant interlibrary loan department.

NOTE: As of May 1, 2023, RACER (Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting) is no longer available to submit interlibrary loan requests. Omni should now be used for all interlibrary loan requests. To make a request for an item that cannot be located using Omni, use the Omni blank request form.
 

Thumbtack iconBorrowing from other libraries is not available to alumni, external borrowers, community borrowers or retirees (with the exception of retired faculty and librarians). Contact your local public library for interlibrary loan services.

Once you've submitted a request, you can check on its status or progress when you Sign in to Omni (top right).

Once signed in, select My Requests from the drop-down menu.

My Requests in OmniEverything you've requested via Omni should be listed in My Requests.

When requested items are ready, you will be notified by e-mail.

Delivery times of items from other Omni libraries can vary for a variety of reasons, but  items typically arrive in 2 to 4 days. NOTE: Requests for items outside the Omni network  may take longer to arrive and may have shorter loan periods and renewal options.

If there's a Renew button beside an item, click it for an automatic renewal. NOTE: Not all requested items are renewable.


 


 

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