Library Terminology Glossary

  • Abstract: A brief summary of an article. The abstract for a scholarly article will summarize the authors' research purpose, methods, and conclusions.
  • Bibliography: A bibliography is a list of sources about a single topic. Each book listed in the bibliography is identified by its Author, Title, Publisher, Place of Publication, and Date of Publication. Articles from newspapers, journals, and magazines include the title of articles, the authors, the journal or magazine, where it was published and the Volume, Issue Number, the Date of the Publication, and the Pages the article appeared on. Each discipline has its own style for creating bibliography entries, e.g. MLA, APA.
  • Browser: A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web (Wikipedia).
  • Call Number: The letters and numbers assigned to a book to give it a unique location in the library. EXAMPLE: HF 5567.C45 2003. Library of Congress is used for the majority of materials at the SCC Libraries and the Dewey Decimal System is used in the SCC Fiction Collections.
  • Catalog (Library Catalog, Onesearch): The library catalog contains a record for each item in our collection– this includes all books, journals, movies, audio books, music, and scores.
  • Citation: The information given in a bibliography or a database about a particular title. The citation may include the article title, periodical title, book title, place of publication, publisher, volume, pages, and date. Refer to a style manual to learn how to format citations for your own bibliographies.
  • Database: A collection of information, usually electronic, that usually refers to a place you can search for articles in journals and magazines. Databases index (or organize) articles, so that they are online and searchable. An example of an SCC database would be Academic Search Complete.
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI): A string of characters used to uniquely identify an object, often an electronic document such as an article or a book.
  • Keywords: Important words from your research topic or research question. Keywords are more flexible than phrases or sentences for searching. The more keywords in your search, the fewer search results you will get.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL): A library service that allows you to request books and articles we do not own at SCC.
  • Internet: A global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of a local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies (Wikipedia).
  • Open Access: Scholarly publications that can be freely accessed by the general public online.
  • Peer Review (Refereed): Articles published in peer-reviewed journals have been reviewed and edited by a board of expert editors.
  • Plagiarism: Using another's words, ideas, or other original work without giving proper credit (usually through citation).
  • Primary Source: Primary source is used to describe several different types of sources. In the Sciences, a primary source is an original research article. In the Humanities, a primary source could be the text of a novel or it could be an artifact like a map or a diary.
  • Scholarly Source: Scholarly sources are different from news sources because rather than reporting an event, scholarly sources ask and answer questions through some form of analysis. Scholarly sources are written by experts-- people who know a lot about their subject like professors and they also refer to other sources in a works cited/references list to show where their information came from originally.
  • Search Engine: An application that searches for, and retrieves, data based on some criteria, especially one that searches the Internet for documents containing specified words (Wiktionary).
  • Stacks: The stacks are the place in the library where you can retrieve your books. The stacks are in both North Mankato and Faribault Libraries. They are divided by call numbers.
  • Subjects: To help you find information in the library, databases can be searched in groups by their subject. For example, you can find all of the Health Sciences databases in one subject list.
  • URL: The "address" of any particular web page or another element of content on the Internet. The URL includes a Domain Name which is a unique name consisting of a string of alphanumeric characters and dashes separated by periods, that maps to IP numbers. The Top Level Domain (TLD) or Extension identifies an organization, group, or purpose for the site.
  • Works Cited: A list of sources you have *cited* in your paper.
  • World Wide Web (WWW): the network of pages of images, texts, and sounds on the Internet which can be viewed using browser software. The WWW is a small segment of the much larger Internet.



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