Glossary

This glossary provides definitions for commonly used library vocabulary and jargon. Words with links are also defined in this glossary.

Abstract

A brief summary of an article, book, or other published work, typically found at the beginning of a journal article.

Academic Resource

Refers to a scholarly resource that requires its articles to be critically evaluated by one or more experts on the subject, known as referees. They are responsible for determining if the article falls within the scope of the publication, and for evaluating originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc. May also be called a peer-reviewed, refereed, or scholarly resource.

Advanced Search

A search option that allows use of multiple keywords, controlled vocabulary, limiters and other features of a database.

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph for each citation.

Bibliography

A list of resources used in an article or on a specific topic.  Also known as references or works cited.

Boolean Searching

A type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results.

Call Number

Indicates where a book, journal or library material is located in the library. FAU Libraries use the Library of Congress classification system, which uses letters and numbers to designate subjects covered (example: PE1075 .L47 2007).

Catalog (Library Catalog)

A library’s comprehensive list of its books, journals, videos and other materials (includes digital). The FAU Library Catalog is available online and is searchable by title, author, subject, etc.

Citation

Provides specific information that identifies an article, book or information source. Citations usually include author(s), title, journal name (for articles), publisher (for books), publication date and other appropriate information. Citations are formatted according to standard style manuals such as Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, MLA Handbook, or The Chicago Manual of Style.

Controlled Vocabulary

An organized and standardized arrangement of words or phrases used to index and/or retrieve content in a database.

Course Reserve

Collection of books and other materials that have high use or have been put aside by professors and can be retrieved at the library service desk or online for electronic resources. From the Library Catalog, select the tab for "Course Reserves."  Reserve materials have a limited checkout period.  

Database

An online collection that may include articles, statistics, images, music and/or other types of information that are typically searchable by keyword or subject. For example, see Academic Search Premier.

Digital Library

A collection of digitized unique resources, often serving as a repository for the creative content and scholarly resources produced at an institution.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

A unique and persistent string of characters used to identify a journal article, website or other item of intellectual property, typically one in digital form. For example, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k134

eBook

Also known as an "electronic book."  A book published in an electronic format.

eJournal

Also known as an "electronic journal." A journal published in an electronic format, which may be published in print and then made available electronically.

Electronic Resource

Any library material that is made available electronically, such as an eBook, database or journal article.

EZproxy

Provides off-campus access to library electronic resources for current FAU students, faculty and staff. It is also known as Off Campus Connect.

Find It @ FAU

When trying to locate full text not available in a particular database or journal, this link searches other databases and the catalog for a source which will provide the full text.  If the library does not have access to the full text in print or online, it will direct you to Interlibrary Loan.

Format

1. Types of materials collected by libraries, including print, media and electronic resources (e.g., books, DVDs and eJournals).

2. Organizing a research paper and its bibliography according to a particular style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).

Full Text

The complete article or book, and not just the abstract or citation.

Government Document

Any publication distributed by a governmental body.  Many branches of the federal, state and local government publish information about their activities, research, etc., and make them available to the general public.

ILLiad

System used to make Interlibrary Loan requests. First-time users must register.

Index

1. A list of citations to journal articles or books arranged by subject, author or title. Indexes may be in print or electronic format or both. Access to full text may or may not be provided by Find It @ FAU.  An example of an online index is Web of Science.

2. An alphabetical list of names, subjects, etc., with references to the places where they occur, typically found at the end of a book.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan is a service that obtains materials not owned by FAU Libraries, such as copies of journal articles, books, etc. It is also used to request materials not owned by a particular campus library but available from another FAU campus library. Current students, faculty and staff may request materials be sent to the FAU Libraries to be checked out.

Journal

periodical that contains articles that are usually written by experts such as scholars and researchers (example: Sociological Science).

Keyword

Any significant word or phrase that describes the contents of a document; often used in searching.

LibGuides (Subject/Course Guides)

Helpful online aids that students can use to research certain topics (e.g. "Chemistry"). These guides usually contain listings of recommended sources for finding information, such as databases (for finding articles), books, web pages or other useful materials. To see examples, go to the LibGuides page.

Library Catalog

A searchable online inventory of FAU Libraries' books and other materials.

Limiters

Criteria applied to a search to focus and narrow results by date, format, peer-reviewed status, etc.  Also known as filters or facets.

Magazine

A periodical that contains articles of general interest written by writers or journalists who may not be experts in a field (example: Time).

Microfiche

 A sheet of film containing images or documents drastically reduced in size. The film then is taken to a microform reader to be enlarged, then viewed, copied, printed or saved in its original size.

Microfilm

A roll of film containing images or documents drastically reduced in size. The film then is taken to a microform reader to be enlarged, and then viewed, copied, printed or saved in its original size.

Microform

An umbrella term for microfiche and microfilm.

Off Campus Connect

Provides off-campus access to library electronic resources for current FAU students, faculty and staff. It is also known as EZproxy.

OneSearch

A search tool provided by FAU Libraries in which you can perform a combined search of databases, electronic resources, the library catalog, etc.

Peer-Reviewed Resource

Refers to a scholarly resource that requires its articles to be critically evaluated by one or more experts on the subject, known as referees. They are responsible for determining if the article falls within the scope of the publication, and for evaluating originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc. May also be called a refereedacademic, or scholarly resource.

Periodical

A publication that is published on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.). Magazines, journals, and newspapers are types of periodicals.  For an example, see The New York Times.

Permalink

A permanent web address for a specific information source such as an ebook, an article, a record in the library catalog, a video or a database; may also be called a stable link, durable link, persistent link, permanent link or document link.

Primary Source

A first-hand or eyewitness account created at the time an event occurred.  Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journal entries, newspapers, speeches, interviews, government documents, oral histories, recordings, original research, research data, objects, or artifacts.

Refereed Resource

Refers to a scholarly resource that requires its articles to be critically evaluated by one or more experts on the subject, known as referees. They are responsible for determining if the article falls within the scope of the publication, and for evaluating originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc. May also be called a peer-reviewedacademic, or scholarly resource.

References

A list of resources used in an article or on a specific topic.  Also known as a bibliography or works cited.

Scholarly Resource

A publication written by academics, researchers or other scholars.  These publications communicate new research and scholarly ideas. May be called refereed, academic, or peer-reviewed resources.

Secondary Source

A second-hand report or review of an event. An accounting of events or experiences (an article, a book, a news story, etc.) not personally observed or experienced by the writer.

Special Collections

A group of items, such as rare books or documents, that are either irreplaceable or unusually rare and valuable. Special collections can be in any format (including rare books, manuscripts, photographs, archives, ephemera, and digital records).

Subject

1.The most specific word or group of words that captures the essence of the topic(s) of a book, article or other library material.

2. A branch of knowledge studied or taught in a school, college or university.

Subject/Course Guides (LibGuides)

Helpful online aids that students can use to research certain topics (e.g. "Chemistry"). These guides usually contain listings of recommended sources for finding information, such as databases (for finding articles), books, web pages or other useful materials.  To see examples, go to the LibGuides page.

Tertiary Source

Presents summaries or condensed versions of materials, usually with references back to the primary and/or secondary sources. Examples include almanacs and encyclopedias.

UBorrow

A service that allows you to request books directly from participating libraries within Florida's state university/college library system. UBorrow requests are made through the Library Catalog. 

URL

Acronym for an online address that identifies the location of a web page. Complete title is Uniform Resource Locator.

Last modified at 08/07/2018 - 10:25 AM