UMBrella Update: FAQs

UMBrella Update

We’re just a few weeks out from the launch of UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs!

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions Healey Library has fielded about UMBrella over the last few months:

What is UMBrella?
UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs is a powerful, state-of-the-art, single-stop research and discovery tool. It not only allows users to search the majority of the library’s resources from a single interface, but it also provides users with tools to manage and organize the resources they find.

When does UMBrella launch?
UMBrella is scheduled to go live on Wednesday, January 31, 2018!

How do I learn more about UMBrella?
Sign up to attend a workshop in February! Or, if you prefer, stay tuned for the self-paced instructional materials that will be published shortly after UMBrella launches.

Do I need to sign in to use UMBrella?
Users do not need to log in to search UMBrella. However, some UMBrella functions are only available to users after they log in, including viewing your patron account information, saving searches, and requesting books or articles from other libraries.

How do I log in to UMBrella?
We are pleased to announce that UMBrella will be using the University’s Single Sign On authentication system. Users will log in to UMBrella the same way as they access WISER and HRDirect, using their UMass Boston email username and password.

How will UMBrella change what I do?
If you’ve ever been frustrated about having to search the library catalog plus multiple individual research databases in the process of locating resources for your research, we think you’ll be surprised and delighted by the ease with which you can search the majority of the library’s subscription resources, as well as high-quality, scholarly Open Access material, from this single search interface. Not only will searching be streamlined, but you will also have a single location from which you can save your searches, organize the resources you’ve found, and export them to a reference management tool like Mendeley or Zotero. You will also be able to use natural language searching and take advantage of UMBrella’s advanced algorithms and search filtering to quickly and efficiently navigate through the library’s resources. And better yet, UMBrella will be fully accessible on and responsive to any device you’re using, including smartphones and tablets.

Will I still be able to access the library interfaces with which I’m familiar?
Some of the library’s search systems and interfaces will stay exactly the same, including the A-Z list of Databases & Indexes. If you prefer to go directly to a particular database or journal, you will still be able to do that–in fact, UMBrella can help you get there even more quickly. There will also be a few changes to library interfaces. We will be releasing a newly redesigned library homepage to coincide with the launch of UMBrella. The new homepage not only has a cleaner look and feel, but it will also be easier to navigate from any device. Some library systems, including the Library Catalog (for searching for books, e-books, archival materials, and media) and Full Text Finder (for searching for individual journal titles), will be retired and replaced by the new UMBrella system and interface.

Will anything change after the launch?
Our priority goal is ensuring that all essential library functions will be available on January 31 to allow for an almost-seamless user experience. Our work doesn’t stop on January 31, however. There will still be plenty of fine-tuning to do and improvements to be made after the launch, many of which will be the result of input and feedback we receive from our users after you’ve had a chance to try out the new system.

Where did the name come from?
UMBrella: Covering All Your Research Needs was the brainchild of UMass Boston graduate student Rachel Hoffman, who was the unanimous winner of the campus-wide naming contest for our new research and discovery tool, held in summer 2017.

If you have a question that isn’t covered above, send an e-mail to!

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