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Online Library Learning Center Glossary

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A

Abstract: A short description of a book, article, or other source. (Unit 5> The Great GALILEO; Unit 6> GIL)

Academic Library: A library that is part of an academic institution such as a college or university. An academic library supports the curriculum and research needs of its students, faculty, and staff. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Adobe Acrobat Reader: The Adobe software company produces the Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is a piece of software which allows a computer to display PDF files. PDF is a file format that is used to electronically reproduce printed material. The Acrobat Reader is available for free from http://www.adobe.com/

Almanac: A publication that contains, usually in one volume, statistical, tabular, or general information.

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B

Background Information: Information acquired through preliminary reading on a topic, usually in sources such as encyclopedias or dictionaries, which provides the researcher with an overview of a topic. (Unit 2>Starting Your Search)

Bibliographic Database: A database which provides descriptive records of items such as books and articles. A library's GIL catalog is a bibliographic database. A database is used to organize and make accessible a collection of items like library books. The information provided about items may include author, title, subject, publisher, and other information. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 6> GIL)

Bibliography: 1) A source which contains a list of books, articles, documents, or other materials, usually related to a particular person or a specific subject; 2) A list of citations to books, periodical articles, or other items used in research on a particular subject; usually appears at the end of an article or book; may also be listed as "References" or "Works Cited." (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Biography: A source that will give background and other personal information about a person.

Book Review: An analysis of a book based on content, style, and merit.

Book Stacks: The areas within a library where books are shelved. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Boolean Operators: AND, OR, and NOT used when searching electronic databases to combine terms to focus a search. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Bound Periodical: More than one issue of a magazine or journal held together in one hardbound volume.

Browser: Software that allows you to access sites on the World Wide Web. The browser also allows you to use embedded links (hypertext) to jump from a word or image instantly to another set of data; hypertext. Some browsers allow you to view only text files (e.g.: Lynx), while others allow you to access multimedia (e.g: Netscape and Internet Explorer). (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

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C

Call Number: A sequence of numbers and/or letters used to identify a particular item in a collection and to place the item in its proper place on the shelf. The type of call number used is determined by the classification scheme. For example, Library of Congress uses an alphanumeric configuration while the Dewey Decimal System is a numeric system. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Card Catalog: A collection of cards, housed in sets of small drawers, which represent the items found in a library. 'Author,' 'title,' and 'subject' cards represent each item in the library. Since the advent of computers this information is usually stored in electronic 'records.' These electronic databases replicate and expand on the card catalog system. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Catalog (electronic or online library catalog): An electronic bibliographic database that describes the books, videotapes, periodicals, and other materials owned by a particular library. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 6> GIL)

Circulation Department: The department in a library responsible for checking out books, checking in books, and other tasks. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Citation: A reference that includes elements necessary to identify a work, usually author, title, and publication information. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO; Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Cite: To give credit to a source used in research.

Conference Paper: A paper which is presented at a Conference (or meeting) of practitioners in a given profession. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age)

Controlled Vocabulary: Standardized terms used to describe topics. In databases they are found in the subject headings or descriptors and can be used to help you search for information. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Copyright: Provides creators of original works with legal protection and the right to benefit from their works from the moment of creation. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Criteria: In research, the standards or guidelines used to make decisions about information usage.

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D

Database: An organized file of machine readable information that is searched and retrieved by computer. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Dewey Decimal Call Number: A numeric configuration used to identify an item and place it in its proper location on the shelf; frequently used in public libraries and school libraries. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Dewey Decimal Classification System: The classification system used to assign Dewey Decimal call numbers to items in a library. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Dictionary: A book containing words, alphabetically arranged with information about their meanings. May also contain information about the form, pronunciation, and etymology (history) of words or terms. Can be general or specialized.

Discipline: One of the three major divisions of knowledge: 1) Science, 2) Social Science, 3) Humanities. Also, a field of academic study. Colleges and universities are usually organized around disciplines, represented by academic departments such as psychology, education, chemistry, etc. (Unit 2> Starting Your Search; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

Dissertation: A detailed, usually book-length paper on a subject submitted for a Masters or PhD degree in university. Also called a 'thesis'.

Documentation: Record of sources used in research. Used to give credit, and to keep track of research.

Domain: A suffix at the end of the URL which indicates the type of organization providing the information in a Web site. Examples of domains are .gov and .org. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

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E

Editorial Review: An evaluation of an item by the editor or the editorial staff of a periodical publication.

Encyclopedia: One or more volumes containing informational articles on subjects in many fields of knowledge or a specific field. Used in research to provide background information. (Unit 2> Starting Your Search)

Endnotes: References located at the end of a research paper.

Ephemera: Materials that last only a short time.

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F

Fields: Elements of an individual record in a database. For example, a database with student names and addresses would have a field for first name, last name and address. Fields are used to sort records according to their contents. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Footnotes: References listed at the bottom of a page in a research paper or book that document sources or provide additional information.

Format: To organize and record information in a research paper according to some set of guidelines, usually a style manual. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

FTP: Stands for 'File Transfer Protocol'; an Internet protocol which allows users to move files of any type from one computer to another. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Full-image Articles: Articles in a database that include scanned images which appear exactly as they would in the printed copy of the article. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

Full-text: Includes all of the text of a piece of information (i.e., article, definition, explanation) in an electronic database. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

Full-text Articles: Articles, in an electronic database, which are presented with the complete text, but may exclude non-textual material such as images and charts. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

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G

GALILEO: Stands for GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online, a project sponsored by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. A World Wide Web-based virtual library which provides access to all kinds of information including articles in scholarly publications, newspapers or magazines. (Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

GIL: Stands for GALILEO Interconnected Libraries. The University System of Georgia's interconnected library management system that provides access to the online catalogs of USG libraries. (Unit 6> GIL)

Gopher: A subject-based, menu-driven guide or protocol for finding and retrieving directories of textual information on the Internet. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Government Document: Any publication by or for a branch of government, local, state, or federal. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

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H

HTML (HyperText Markup Language): A protocol which include "tags" that are used to encode and format text, graphics, animation, sound, and other types of files on the World Wide Web. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

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I

Indexes: An alphabetical or systematic arrangement of terms used as a guide to the contents of books, periodicals, or group of documents, which indicate where information can be found.

Interdisciplinary: A subject that can be included in more than one discipline. For example, Women's Studies includes multiple disciplines including history, sociology, law, and literature.

Interlibrary Loan: A service through which one library lends an item from its collection, or provides a photocopy of an item, to a person at another library. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Internet: The world wide "network of networks" connected to each other. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Internet Service Provider (ISP): A service which provides access to a remote computer system. This access connects your personal computer to the Internet. Also called 'Access Providers'. ISPs that you access by modem are often called 'dial-up services.' (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

IRC (Internet Relay Chat): A communication protocol which allows synchronous ("real time" or simultaneous) communication. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

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K

Keyword: The use of a significant word or words when searching an automated catalog, indexes, and/or electronic databases. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO; Unit 6> GIL)

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L

Library of Congress Call Number: An alphanumeric configuration which is used to identify an item, place it in its proper place on the shelf, and indicates the subject content of the item. Frequently used by academic libraries. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Library of Congress Classification System: The system used to assign Library of Congress call numbers to items. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Literature Review: An extensive search of the information available on a topic which results in a list of references to books, periodicals, and other materials on the topic.

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M

Magazine: A periodical for general reading, containing articles on various subjects by different authors.

Media Center: An area which contains not only books and printed information, but other media (i.e. videos, audio recordings) as well. Academic libraries often house all non-textual material in a media center. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Meta-database: Databases that allow searching for content indexed by other databases. jake and GOLD are examples of this kind of database. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

Methodology: A set of procedures or methods used to conduct research.

Microfiche: A flat piece of film which contains micro photographed reproductions of materials (books, documents, etc). (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Microfilm: A roll of film containing micro photographed reproductions of materials (books, documents, etc) (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

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N

Natural Language: A type of search which allows the user to present their search as a question or statement instead of restricting it to only important words or phrases, as in Keyword or Controlled Vocabulary searches. Available in certain databases only. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Newspaper: A periodical which is published frequently, daily, weekly, or at other intervals. Printed on newsprint and folded instead of being bound together. Sometimes it is staple bound.

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O

Open Entry: A catalog entry which indicates an item, such as a periodical or multi-volume set of books, is currently being received by a particular library, and/or the item continues to be published. (Unit 5> The Great GALILEO; Unit 6> GIL)

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P

Paraphrase: To use the ideas or words of another person, but stating them in your own words.

Parenthetical: A brief reference in parentheses at the end of a sentence referring the reader to a full citation in the bibliography of a research paper.

Peer Review: The review of an article or other publication by a group of experts on the topic. Used by scholarly publications as a way of determining whether an article should be accepted for publication.

Peer-reviewed: Refers to periodical publications which subject submitted articles to a review by other professionals in a particular field.

Periodical Indexes: An alphabetical or systematic arrangement of terms used as a guide to the contents of periodicals, and to indicate where information can be found.

Periodical: A magazine, journal, or newspaper publication that appears at stated intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)

Plagiarism: Failure to give the source of a quotation or paraphrase in which the language, thoughts, or ideas of another person are used as one's own. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Popular Book: A book intended to be read by the general public which does not require of the reader any specialized knowledge. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age)

Primary Source: Fundamental or original document relating to a particular subject; first hand; written by a witness or researcher at the time of an event or discovery has different meaning in different disciplines. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age)

Protocols: Different types of network connections. Examples of Internet protocols are FTP and HTTP. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Proximity Operators: Allow you to locate one word within a certain distance of another in databases. The symbols generally used in this type of search are w (with/within) and n (near). (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Public Domain: Works which are no longer owned by anyone because the creator has been dead a certain amount of time and, therefore, the work is no longer protected by copyright law. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Public Library: A library whose patrons are the general public in a community. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

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Q

Quote: To use the words of another word for word. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

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R

Record: Information about each item in a database such as a book or videotape. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Refereed: Refers to periodical publications which subject all submitted articles to a group to scrutinize or evaluate the material before it is accepted for publication.

Reference Book: A source used to identify pieces of information, i.e., dictionaries, encyclopedias and indexes, rather than to read all the way through.

Reference List: A term used to describe the bibliography of a research paper.

Referenced: A term used to describe the use of a source in a research paper.(Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Research: Inquiry into a topic to discover or revise facts or add to knowledge about the topic. (Unit 2> Starting Your Search)

Research Process: The series of steps which make up research from the development of an idea to the completed research paper. (Unit 2> Starting Your Search)

Reserves: Items, such as books and articles, which are to be shared by a class, and therefore require controlled circulation. Usually kept at the Circulation Desk or a separate Reserve room. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

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S

Scholarly Article: An article written by scholars or professionals in a field; always contain references to sources used in the article. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO; Unit 9> Evaluating Sources)

Scholarly Book: A book written by a scholar or professional in a particular field intended to be read by other researchers or professionals in the field. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age; Unit 9> Evaluating Sources)

Scholarly Journal: A periodical which contains articles written by researchers or professionals in a particular subject or discipline, supported by in depth research, and bibliographies/references to all articles. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age; Unit 9> Evaluating Sources)

Search Directory: Used when you are looking for information on the Internet that is easily classified and searched by browsing. Example: "Universities and Colleges in Georgia." (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Search Engine: Huge databases in which information from Internet documents are stored for the purpose of searching. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Secondary Source: Any material, other than the original document, generally used in the preparation of a written work. An item that analyzes or builds on an original source or another secondary source. (Unit 1> Welcome to the Information Age)

Serial: An item which is published at stated intervals without plans to discontinue publication.

Server: A server is a computer that handles requests for data, email, file transfers, and other network services from other computers (i.e., clients).

Special Collections: A collection of primary materials on a specific subject. These materials are usually unique or rare, and require supervision in their use. (Unit 3> What All Libraries Have)

Special Library: A library which is part of a company, organization, or other group. The special library meets the needs of the specialized group. Examples of special libraries are the libraries of Coca Cola and those found in hospitals.

Style Manual: A guide that shows you how to correctly format the information and document sources used in research. Different disciplines use various style manuals. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

Subject: A subdivision of the three disciplines. For example, the discipline of science includes the subjects of chemistry and biology. May also refer to a controlled vocabulary term used in a database. (Unit 2> Starting Your Search; Unit 5> The Great GALILEO)

Subject Heading: A category used to define, and thus organize information in a database. (Unit 3> What All Libraries have) Back to top of page

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T

TCP/IP: Stands for Transfer Control Protocol/Internetwork Protocol (TCP/IP). A communications protocol that allows different kinds of computers on different networks to "talk" to each other, thus connecting them by a "universal" language. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Telnet: A software program that allows you to log into other remote computers on the Internet to which you have access. Once you are logged into the remote system you can download files and perform the same commands as if you were directly connected by computer. You need an Internet account to be able to use a Telnet program. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Thesaurus: A list of words showing similarities, differences, dependencies, and other relationships to each other.

Trade Periodicals: Periodicals published by and for practitioners in a particular profession, such as bankers.

Truncation: An electronic database search strategy in which a character (determined by the database) can be substituted for various endings of the stem of a word (e.g. myth? retrieves mythology, mythological, mythical, etc.) (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

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U-Z

URL/Uniform Resource Locator: The unique location or "address" for a particular resource or Web page on the Internet. URLs are case sensitive; therefore, you must type upper and lower case letters as they appear. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Usenet: A communication protocol similar to a bulletin board or an email list without the subscription. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Web Site: A location on the World Wide Web. (Unit 7> Tips for Using the Internet)

Wildcard: A symbol used in electronic searching to represent any character. Wildcards can usually be used at the end of a word or within a word to search for all forms of the word. Check the help screens of a particular database to determine the appropriate symbol to use. (Unit 4> A Primer on Databases and Catalogs)

Works Cited: A term used (MLA style), to refer to the list of items included in the bibliography of a research paper. (Unit 8> Giving Credit Where Credit is Due)

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