Abstract: 1) A summary, a synopsis 2) Also, a type of index that includes summaries or descriptions of articles, but doesn’t offer full text of the article. Examples: Helen read the abstract to see if the article was what she needed for her paper. Peter searched the Communication Abstracts for a relevant article for his class on media and gender.
Academic journal see the Journal entry below.
Article (document): A story in a periodical, that is, in a magazine, journal or newspaper. Some online indexes, or in other words periodical databases, use the word “document” to describe articles available for searching. Example: This week’s Time magazine has an article on the women in engineering
Article Database (Online Periodical Index: An electronic collection
of articles pulled from a wide range of periodical titles. You can search article databases for articles by subject, author, or title. Article Databases can be multidisciplinary (e.g. Proquest), or subject specific (e.g. PsycInfo).
Bibliography: (1) A list of citations for books and articles on the same subject. “Works Cited” is another term that is used for “Bibliography.” (2) Bibliography can also be a print or online tool for locating articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations in a specific field. For example the Modern Language Association (MLA) Bibliography, available both in print and online, is used by scholars to find materials relevant to their research in the area of literary criticism and linguistics. Online Bibliographies can be also called simply Online Databases, or Electronic Databases. Example: Karen’s professor asked her to include a bibliography at the end of her research paper to show books and periodicals she used to get information
Bound Periodicals: Periodicals that are put in between hard
covers. Example: Copies of the Time magazine from the 1980s are bound and shelved in the stacks.
Call Number: A code used by the library to put books in order on the bookshelves. Call numbers are often combination of letters and numbers. For example, PR6068.O93H32 is a call number assigned to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. The call number puts many books on the same subject together. For example, in most academic libraires all books in the area of English fiction will have call numbers starting with PR. Most university/college libraries in the United States use a call number code called the Library of Congress Classification System. Example: Mary wrote down the call number of the book and went to find it in the library.
Catalog: A computer database (or a print file) of all the books in a library. You can look up books in the library’s catalog by author, title, or subject. For example, HOMER is USC libraries online catalog, ADVOCAT is USC Law Library catalog, HELIX is USC Health Science Libraries catalog. Example: John used the catalog to find books about the Civil War.
Circulation Department or Desk (check-out desk): The place where you go in the library when you want to take books home with you. Example: Diane found three books she wanted and checked them out at the Circulation Desk.
Citation: Information that describes a book or an article: For books, a citation includes the author, title, publisher, and date of publication. For articles, a citation includes the title of the article (document), author of the article, name of the periodical (source), volume (issue) number, date, and page numbers. A citation is also called a reference. Example: Jose wrote down the citations for the books he found in the catalog and the articles he found in the index so he could list the information in his bibliography at the end of his paper.
Descriptors (field): see Subjects (field
Electronic Resources (Online Resources): Research materials that can be searched on the computer screen. Electronic resources include e-books (e.g. Britannica Online), online catalogs (e.g. HOMER), article databases (e.g. Expanded Academic).
Index: A print or computer searchable guide that helps users find references to articles in periodicals. In simple terms, indexes can be compared to the “Yellow Pages” of the phone book. Indexes, are sometimes also called guides to periodical literature. Most often, they have three sections that allow for author, title, or subject searches. Print indexes list citations, or citations and abstracts. Online indexes are often called article databases, and they often offer access not only to citations and abstracts, but also to the full text of articles. Example: Aiko found many articles listed under the subject “rock and roll” in the Music Index.
Inter-Library Loan (ILL): A free service provided by libraries to get books and articles for you from other libraries. Example: Gary was told that the ILL department would get him from another library in California the book that he needs and our library does not own.
Journal: A scholarly periodical that publishes reports about research or experiments. Articles in journals are written by experts, such as scientists. The intended audience for journal articles is composed of scholars, experts, and university students. Scholarly journals can be some times called “academic journals,” or “peer reviewed journals.” In article databases the word “source” sometimes takes on the same meaning as “journal.” Example: Professor Myer wrote a research report on the 1955 census for the Journal of Modern History. Scholarly journals are sometimes called academic journals, two additional related terms are refereed journal and peer reviewed journal.
Magazine: A general interest periodical whose main objective is to make profit by publishing articles that are entertaining and informative. Magazine articles are written by journalists rather than by scholars.
Example: Lily enjoys reading fashion magazines when she takes a break from studying.
Microfilm: Photographic film which has small (micro) pictures of the pages of newspapers, magazines, or other publications.
Microfilm Reader-Printer: A machine you use to read articles on the microfilm; it also allows you to make a photocopy from microfilm.
Example: The New Yorker magazine from the 1940s are available on microfilm in the library.
Online Catalog: A catalog that can be searched on a computer. Twenty years ago most libraries had card catalogs, with all the information about books on the cards. Example: Xin used the online catalog to find a book for her ESL class.
Online Databases (Electronic Databases): In the research library setting, these two terms are often used to describe online (computer searchable) tools for locating articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations in a specific field. For example, the Modern Language Association (MLA) Bibliography Online, which is also available in print, is an Online Database used by scholars to find materials relevant to their research in the area of literary criticism and linguistics. Online Databases, or Electronic Databases can be also called Online Bibliographies.
Peer Reviewed Publication: A publication that appears only after it is reviewed and approved by an academic editorial board comprised of experts in the field. Authors of peer reviewed publications must be experts themselves.
Periodical: A library word used to describe magazines, journals, and newspapers. Periodicals are published under the same title on regular basis: e.g. dailies (newspapers)are published every day, weekly magazines appear every week, quarterly journals appear every quarter, that is every three months, annulas appear every year. Article databases often use the word “source” to mean a periodical in which a given article appeared. Example: The Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Journal of Experimental Biology are the periodicals that Mr. Liu reads each week.
Refereed Journal, a journal that publishes articles that must be reviewed and accepted by experts before publication. See also the entry on Journal.
Reference Book: A book used to look up facts, or to lead you to more in-depth resources for your research; for example, dictionaries and encyclopedias are reference books. Example: Reference books cannot be taken out of the library: in this way many people can use them to look up facts.
Reference Librarian: A library employee trained to teach you how to use the library, and help you find information for your research. Example: George asked the helpful reference librarian to show him how to use the computers to find books and articles for his term paper.
Reference: Another word for citation.
Reserves: A place in the library where teachers place books, articles, tests, home-work assignments, or other materials, such as audio and video tapes, for their students to read or use for class assignments. USC also offers the Electronic Reserves service that makes it possible to access reserve materials online. The USC library catalog HOMER is a tool that helps you locate
materials place on reserve. Example: Dr. Rosen placed a copy of our textbook on reserve in the library.
Scholarly Journal, see the entry on Journal above.
Source: A book or periodical in which a book chapter, or an article was originally published.
Stacks: The bookshelves in a library. Example: David found the book in the stacks on the third floor.
Subject Headings: Special words used to in a catalog describe what a book is about. Many libraries in the United States use a list of subject headings called Library of Congress Subject Headings.
Example: Amy wanted books about “cars” and found out that the catalog lists these books under the subject heading “automobiles
Subjects (field), Descriptors (field): Most article databases provide a subjects, or descriptors field which lists words that best describe the content of an articles you have found in the database. Subject (or descriptor) terms can be used to build successful database searches