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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, 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 input your MacID to view the full text.

Example: eBook

View Online > eBook in Omni

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

NOTES:

  • 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.

Access Physical Items

Physical materials 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 call number tabs above for guidance]
      NOTE: If unable to find the item, ask at the nearest Service Desk or submit an Unable to Locate form
      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 Omni library by using the 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., LC Call Number - RA 445 .T86 2016 and NLM Call Number - WA 540 AA1 .T95P 2016 for this book ).

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)

Request Items - Holds / Pickups, Scans, Interlibrary Loan via RACER

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

  1. Sign in to Omni (top right)
     
  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. Omni Request formIn 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 from 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 Not needed after, select a date when it's okay for the request to expire. 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 for pickup, 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)
     
  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 available through Omni, submit a request through the interlibrary loan system called RACER. A library outside of the Omni network may be able to supply the item. [For more information, select the RACER Requests tab noted above].
      Omni Request > Get it from another library or  Omni Request  > Get it from another library
  6. Omni Get it from another library formComplete 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" (near top of form) and include the chapter/article 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 from 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.

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)
     
  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, 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 Not needed after, select a date when it's okay for the scanning request to expire.

    • 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., microform, microfiche or microcard).

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.

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 the anticipated average delivery time is 7 to 10 days.

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

 


 

If the full text of an item is not available at any of the 18 Omni partner institutions, it can be requested through the interlibrary loan system called RACER. This is most likely to happen when you pick a broad search scope and/or select Add results beyond McMaster's Collection.

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

NOTE: The status of these interlibrary loan request(s) will appear in RACER in the My Requests section. Consult Tracking or Cancelling your RACER Request for more information.

You will receive an email when:

  • the item you have requested has arrived
  • additional information is needed
  • the item is held in a McMaster library
  • a request has been cancelled
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