– Glossary

Global Messages All Pages


Abstract: A summary or brief description of the content of another longer work. An abstract is often provided along with the citation to a work.
Annotation: A critical or explanatory note; a commentary.
Article: A brief work—generally between 1 and 35 pages in length—on a topic. Often published as part of a journal, magazine, or newspaper
Author: The person(s) or organization(s) that wrote or compiled a document. Looking for information under its author’s name is one option in searching.


Bibliography: A list containing citations to the resources used in writing a research paper or other document. See also: Reference.


Call Number: A group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and provides a way for organizing library holdings. Two major types of call numbers are Dewey Decimal Call Numbers and Library of Congress Call Numbers. Our library, as most academic libraries, uses the Library of Congress Classification System.
Catalog: A database (either online or on paper cards) listing and describing the print and electronic books, journals, audiovisual and other materials held by a library. Various search terms allow you to look for items in the catalog.
Check-out: To borrow an item from a library for a fixed period of time in order to read, listen to, or view it. Check-out periods vary. Items are checked out at the circulation desk. Borrowing Privileges & Loan Periods
Circulation: The place in the library, often a desk, where you check out, renew, and return library materials.
You may also place a hold, report an item missing from the shelves, or pay late fees or fines there. Borrowing Privileges & Loan Periods
Citation:  1. The quoting of a book or author in support of a fact;  2. A passage or source cited for this purpose.
Course Reserve: A selection of books, articles, videotapes, or other materials that instructors want students to read or view for a particular course. Course Reserve materials are usually kept at the Circulation Desk and can be loaned for a short period of time. Check OneSearch for course textbook titles.


Database: A collection of information stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer.


Full-text: A complete electronic copy of a resource, usually an article, viewed on a computer display screen. The term “full-text” is often used to refer to the electronic version of an article or book that is also published in print.


Hold: A request by a user to a library that a book checked out to another person be saved for that user when it is returned. “Holds” can generally be placed on any regularly circulating library materials through an in-person or online circulation desk.


Interlibrary Loan: A service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries through your own library. How to request an Interlibrary Loan


Journal: A publication, issued on a regular basis, which contains scholarly research published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports. See also: Periodical.


Keyword:  1. A significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of an information resource that indicates its subject and is often used as a search term;  2. A word used as a reference point for finding other words or information.


Limiters: Options used in searching that restrict your results to only information resources meeting certain other, non-subject-related, criteria. Limiting options vary by database, but common options include limiting results to materials available full-text in the database, to scholarly publications, to materials written in a particular language, to materials available in a particular location, or to materials published at a specific time.


Magazine: A publication, issued on a regular basis, containing popular articles, written and illustrated in a less technical manner than the articles found in a journal.


Periodical: An information source published in multiple parts at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, biannually). Journals,magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals.
Primary Source: An original record of events, such as a diary, a newspaper article, a public record, or scientific documentation.


Reference:  1. A service that helps people find needed information;  2. Sometimes “reference” refers to reference collections, such as encyclopedias, indexes, handbooks, directories, etc.;  3. A citation to a work is also known as a reference.
Renewal: A lengthening of the loan period for library materials.
Reserves:  1. A service providing special, often short-term, access to course-related materials, such as textbooks, supplementary readings, and DVDs;  2. Also the physical location—often a service desk or room—within a library where materials on reserve are kept.

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Lake Superior College