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Library Jargon

A selection of terms that you may come across as a librarian.

QuestionAnswer
Abstract A summary of a journal article or other publication
Back issues Older issues of a journal
Bibliography List of references to books, journal articles and other information sources. They are usually placed at the end of a publication or piece of coursework.
Bibliography A list of works on a specific subject or by a particular author or publisher
Boolean logic The use of AND, OR or NOT to combine search terms and limit or increase search results
Catalogue A complete list in printed or electronic format of the stock held in a particular collection, library or group of libraries. It can be searched in various ways and can display the location of the material.
PAC Public Access Catalogue, sometimes called OPAC - the front-end/web-interface for a library database
Library Management System (LMS) The database used within a library to manage some or all key functions including including acquisitions, circulation, interlibrary loans
Interlibrary loans service Sometimes known as document delivery, a service which allows the Library to borrow or obtain items from other libraries outside its network or organisation
Citation The basic information about a source such as a book or journal article, with sufficient details to enable someone to track it down. Sometimes also referred to as a reference.
Citing your sources means acknowledging within your piece of work the sources from which you obtained information
Call number The number placed on the spine of a book, is a code which provides information about the subject of the book and its location in the library.
Database An electronic collection of data that can be searched in a systematic way, using keyword combinations. Databases may be subject-specific or multidisciplinary. Some databases have citations and abstracts only and others link to fulltext.
Full text The entire content of an item, such as an article or book, available in electronic format. Some databases contain the full text of journal articles.
Journal A print or electronic source that is published at regular or irregular intervals under the same title. Each issue (or part) contains a collection of articles by different authors on very specific topics. Also known as serials/ periodicals/ magazines.
Peer-review The process by which a journal or article has been checked by an editorial board of experts to ensure that it contains genuine scholarly research. Sometimes peer reviewed articles are referred to as 'academic' or 'scholarly' articles.
Reference Collection Sources that you may read in the library but not borrow, including dictionaries, encyclopaedia, handbooks, almanacs etc. with quick facts, definitions, tables or formulae.
Reference Description of a source such as a book or journal article, giving details such as author, title etc. It will give all the information that you would need to be able to locate that piece of information in future. Sometimes referred to as a citation.
Referencing Acknowledging within your piece of work the sources from which you obtained information.
Self-issue machine Also known as self-check machine, for library clients to issue books to themselves
Authentication The process a computerised service uses to identify who is using it. It often involves a username and password or checks the IP address of the PC being used to access it.
Blog The word is short for "web log". It is basically a type of website. Content is published in date order and is updated regularly.
Citation index An index listing articles that refer to (cite) an earlier work. It can provide an alternative way to search for a subject by taking a useful or well known paper and looking at later work which refers back to it.
Classification scheme there are many different classification schemes used to arrange library books by subject. UTAS libraries mostly use Library of Congress; the State Library of Tasmania uses Dewey Decimal Classification and Law libraries often use Moys
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) used to create permanent and stable URLs for publications which appear on the web. They help to reduce the number of dead links we may come across when browsing.
ISBN International Standard Book Number. A unique 10 digit code assigned to a specific edition of a book before it is published. Since 2007, ISBNs have been 13 digits.
ISSN International Standard Serial Number. This is an 8 digit code assigned to a specific journal or serial title.
Magazine A publication, issued on a regular basis, containing popular articles, written and illustrated in a less technical manner than articles found in a scholarly journal. Usually aimed at the general public rather than for researchers at university.
Mashups a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool, and you may be surprised at how commonplace they have become. Blogs, Yahoo Finance, Facebook
Metadata Data used to identify, describe, and locate resources. Subject gateways may provide metadata about individual web sites, via author, title, URL and a brief description. A library catalogue contains metadata about books & other resources in the library.
Monograph a book, as opposed to a serial or journal. Monographs are usually written on a single subject in a scholarly manner by a specialist.
PDF Portable Document Format - captures all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image eg text, tables, graphs and illustrations. Adobe Acrobat is the most common program used to create this format & often used for electronic journal articles.
RSS A format for delivering regularly changing web content; often avilable for news-related sites and blogs. Sites syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whomever wants it. Feed Reader software (eg Google Reader) grabs and displays the RSS feeds.
Truncation the process of shortening or cutting off part of a search term so that it will match related terms starting with the same stem, e.g. comput will match computers, computing, computational, etc.
Web 2.0 describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web.
Wiki Page or collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Often used to create collaborative websites (e.g. Wikipedia) and for community websites.
Information Literacy The ability to locate, evaluate, and use information to become an independent life-long learner. In Australian, ANZIIL has published a set of six information literacy standards, with exemplars, as a guide for practitioners.
MARC A MAchine-Readable Cataloguing record. Bibliographic records - information about a book, serial, videorecording, etc. & Authority records - standardised forms for names, titles, & subjects that are used on bib.records, with cross-references in catalogues
Circulation The process where books and other materials are loaned or charged out to library users, and checked back in upon their return.
Cross-reference A term used in catalogs, thesauruses, reference books, and indexes to lead you from one form of entry to another
Holdings A field in the catalogue in serial records that shows exactly which years and volumes of that serial are available within a library. Records for books also contain a copy/holdings information.
Anthology A collection of works (poems, stories, articles) by various authors and collected in a single volume.
Archives Documents created by a person or organisation in the course of the conduct of affairs and preserved for their historical value.
Browser Software program used to view and interact with various types of Internet resources available on the World Wide Web e.g. Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Internet Explorer
Controlled Vocabulary Assigned standardised terms used in searching a specific database or catalogue. Terms will differ for each database. Sometimes called "subject headings" or "descriptors."
Format The physical form of information as opposed to the content. Examples of formats include books, journals, newspapers, electronic, and microforms.
Reserve/Reserves A library service that manages the circulation of certain required course materials selected by lecturers/teachers and made available for short-term loans.
Referred Article Same as peer-reviewed ie the process by which a journal or article has been checked by an editorial board of experts to ensure that it contains genuine scholarly research.
Serial See also Journal. A print or electronic information source that is published at regular intervals under the same title.
Digital Repository An online archive in which authors and academics can deposit their work, with the intention that it will be openly available in digital form.
Created by: ceevansUTAS