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Q. What is the OneSearch Research Assistant?

Answered By: Molly Boyd
Last Updated: Jul 08, 2024     Views: 26

OneSearch Research Assistant


The Libraries are beta testing the OneSearch Research Assistant, a tool powered by Generative AI, to assist researchers in searches of library materials. You can use it to ask academic questions in natural language, such as "What are the benefits of light therapy on mood?" or "What are the musical influences of Zydeco?"

The Research Assistant identifies five documents that can help answer your question. It then extracts the most relevant information from the description/abstracts of each source to write a brief paragraph answer to your question, which can be copied and pasted into your working document. The sources used to generate the answer are listed below it along with in-line citations that let you clearly see which source was used to generate each part in the answer, so you can delve deeper into the topic and fact check the responses.

How to Access the OneSearch Research Assistant

You must be logged into your Library Account to see the Research Assistant. 

  1. Navigate to Onesearch at
  2. Use the Sign in link in the upper right of the screen. 
  3. Now you will see two options for accessing the Research Assistant:
    • Look for the sparkles icon  to the right of the search box. 
      OneSearch Research Assistant Icon
    • Or, after executing a search, look for the OneSearch Research Assistant widget on the right side of the results page.
      OneSearch Research Assistant in search results


Quick tips for use

  • Works best when you ask a clear and detailed question about academic or scientific topics.
  • Click the “view more results in your library search” button to find more documents relevant to your question.
  • Click the AI-generated “related research questions” to explore topics similar to your question.
  • Click the “Try again” button if you are not satisfied with your answers. Due to the nature of Large Language Models, answers to the same question are not always the same. There may be more than one possible answer and different resources that are relevant.
  • If searching in a language other than English, the tool will search in both the home language and in English, then display the answer in the home language. You can add language-specific instructions, such as "answer in German" or "answer in French," to your prompt.
  • Does not currently support other common instructions, like "peer-reviewed," or a set time period, like "most recent publications."
  • Does not currently support follow up questions. For the beta test, you will have to include all relevant information in each subsequent question.
  • Cited sources may include those outside our collections; you can request items not held by the Libraries through ILLiad Interlibrary Loan. 

How to Provide Feedback

The OneSearch Research Assistant is a work in progress. We encourage you to share your experience and ideas about what could be improved. Please use the thumbs up and down buttons underneath the answer to provide feedback.
Thumbs up / Thumbs down options for Research Assistant feedback

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