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Library Glossary
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Abstract A brief description or summary of the contents of a book, article, or other document, usually accompanied by a citation or bibliographic reference to the item.
Access point Name term, code, etc., under which a BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD may be searched and identified. Some examples are author, title and call number.
Advanced Search Many databases provide this option of combining a variety of terms (author, title, date of publication, keyword, subject) to help you to construct a more detailed search on your topic.

Anglo-American Cataloging Rules Rules developed by the American Library Association, the Library of Congress, and other library associations and used by most libraries in the English-speaking world, for descriptive cataloging for all library materials.
Anonymous work One in which the author's name does not appear anywhere in the book; of unknown authorship.
ARIEL Document transmission system. Using commercially available hardware and RLG's Ariel software, one can scan articles, transmit the resulting electronic image over the INTERNET to other Ariel workstations and print them out on a laser printer.
Article A contribution written for publication in a journal, magazine, or newspaper. A source of contemporary information.
Audio-visual material See Media.
Authentication A process whereby software allows members of an eligible population to have access to a computer network, secure area, or online database. Either the IP address of the user's machine or his/her username and password are listed in the software as authorized.
Author Person or corporate body, such as a government agency or business firm, chiefly responsible for the intellectual or artistic content of a work.
Authority An evaluative criteria which involves determining whether the author of an item has the appropriate credentials to make the statements or claims represented in the item.
BI Bibliographic Instruction: sessions during which librarians acquaint users with the resources and services available to them in the Library.
Bibliographic citation Details of an item that enable it to be identified completely and unambiguously. Usually contains author, title, year, volume and page number if journal or magazine; and author, title, year, publisher and place of publication if item is a book.
Bibliographic record A description of an item. The information in a bibliographic record varies depending on the item being described. For a book, it contains information such as title, author, publisher, and date and place of publication.
Bibliography A list of books, journal articles, etc. on a particular topic. Bibliographies can appear at the end of a book, journal, or encyclopedia article, or as a separate publication.
BIP See Books in Print
Books in Print Publication listing all books which are available for purchase through normal book trade channels. Available in author, title and subject sections, BIP indexes the entries in Publishers Trade List Annual.
Boolean Operators A search modifier used to refine the relationship between your search term(s). The three major Boolean operators are AND, OR and NOT.
Bound periodicals Complete or partial run of journals bound together into a single physical piece. Housed on the third floor of the Library in the moveable shelves in Dewey Decimal order. Use the Periodical Holdings List to locate the call number for these items.
Bound volume Formed when issues of a periodical title are gathered together into a hardback volume.
Browser A software program (such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer) used to display web pages stored on computers connected to the Internet.
Call number The combination of letters, numbers, and symbols assigned to and marked on the spine of an item in a library or collection that serves as its unique shelf address and allows it to be located. In our library it consists of the Dewey Decimal Classification Number( code for the subject of the item), the Cutter Number (a code for the author and title of the item, and may include other identifying symbols.
Carrel Booth for individual study in the library.
Catalog A database of records (usually a card file or an online database) representing books, journals, media, government documents, and other materials held in a particular library or location. Online catalogs can usually be searched by various methods, such as author, title, subject, call number, or keyword. Typically, they display the call number and location of the material, with descriptive details. I-SHARE is the name of the catalog used in the Benedictine Library.
CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) An index or reference work that is stored on a compact disc and accessed through a computer.
Circulation The circulation desk is the place in the library where you check out, renew, and return library materials. You may also place a hold, or report an item missing from the shelves. The Circulation desk is also the area where you would go to pick up items you have requested on Interlibrary Loan and to retrieve items placed on reserve for you by your instructors.
Citation A reference or footnote to a book, a magazine or journal article, or another source. It contains all the information necessary to identify and locate the work, including author, title, publisher, date, volume, issue number, and pages.
Client-Server In computing, a network design ("architecture") that divides processing between clients and servers. A personal computer or workstation (client) provides the interface and performs some or all of the processing on requests it makes from another supplying computer (server), which maintains the database and processes the requests.
Contents Listing of what an issue or volume contains.
Controlled Vocabulary Standardized terms used in searching a specific database. These terms may differ for each database. (See also Descriptor, Free-text; Subject Heading).
Copyright Exclusive right granted by a government to publis a work for a specified number of years. This acts as a protection against others copying the work.
Copyright date Date a Copyright is issued; usually appears on the verso (reverse) of the title page.
Corporate Author Corporate body credited with authorship of a published work. A Corporate Body is a group of persons identified by name which acts as a single entity. Corporate bodies include associations, conferences, institutions, business firms, and government agencies.
Credibility An evaluative criteria which involves questioning whether or not an author has the expertise to make the statement he/she is making.
Current Periodical Periodical for which the library has an active subscription.
Database A collection of information, usually stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer.
Depository Library Library legally designated to receive without charge copies of all or selected U.S. government publications. Our library has been depository since 1911.
Descriptor A word that describes the subject of an article or book; used in many computer databases. (See also Controlled Vocabulary, Subject Heading).
Desensitize To prepare a book for the electronic detection system. Desensitized material will pass through the exit without triggering the alarm.
Dewey Decimal Classification System A method to classify and shelve items by using numbers and letters to represent subject content. With a few exceptions (Special Collections and Government Documents) this is the system used in the Benedictine Library.
DIALOG An electronic service containing more than 200 DATABASES, many full text, in the areas of science, technology, engineering, social sciences, humanities, newspapers, business and economics. For more information about having a DIALOG search run for you, please see the Librarian at the Reference Desk.
Dictionary A source which provides word or term definitions and correct grammatical usage. Dictionaries may be either general or subject specific.
Directory A listings of web sites separated into categories or topical areas. (See also Search Engine).
DLS The DuPage Library System.
Download (1) To transfer information from a computer to a computer disk; (2) to transfer information from one computer to another computer using a modem.
Dummy A block shelved in place of a book, bearing a label showing that the book is shelved elsewhere. The dummy bears the author, title, and call number of the book it replaces, as well as the location.
DVD-ROM Digital Video Disc-Read Only Memory.
Editor One who prepares for publication or supervises the publication of a work or collection of works or articles that are not his/her own. Responsibility may extend to revising and providing commentaries, introductory matter, etc.
Electronic Journal A journal available in an electronic format usually via the WORLD WIDE WEB.
Electronic Mail (email) Electronic communication through institutional, community or commercial networks.
Electronic Reserves Provides online access to library materials that have been reserved by an instructor for the use of students enrolled in a particular course.
Encumbrance Money set aside for a PURCHASE ORDER which has been placed with a VENDOR, but not yet paid for because the product or service has not yet been received.
Encyclopedia General information source which provides overview articles on various branches of knowledge. Encyclopedias may be general or subject-specific.
Entry Record of a publication in a CATALOG or list. Besides the main entry, there may be author entries, title entries, series entries, subject entries, and other less common types of added entries.
Ergonomics The applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.
ERIC (EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTER) Government-sponsored national clearinghouse for information on education. ERIC supplies reports online and in MICROFICHE format (housed on the third floor of the Library.) ERIC can be searched online via the EBSCOhost database. About half of the ERIC database is an index to journal articles, not reports. Our Library owns some, but not all of the journals indexed on ERIC.
Errata Sheet of corrections printed after a publication has already been published and sent to those who purchased the publication so errors can be corrected.
Evaluation A critical assessment of an information source.
FAQ Frequently asked questions.
FAX Short for telefacsimile.
Fiche Another name for MICROFICHE
Field A part of a record which represents one descriptive or identifying element (such as author, title, subject heading, etc.) for an item. (See also Record).
Fiscal Year Budget year running from June 1 to May 31. The Libraries is allotted funds which must be totally spent within the current fiscal year.
Free-text A method of constructing a database which does not control or standardize terminology within the fields of a record. (See also Controlled Vocabulary; Keyword; Subject Heading).
Full-Text When the entire content of an article, chapter, book, or other item is provided online, it is referred to as full-text. This term is sometimes used for the print format as well.
General information Provides an overview or introduction to a particular topic.
Gift Materials donated to the Library which may or may not be added to the collection.
GOPHER Online, Client/server-based system developed at the University of Minnesota. Largely replaced by the WORLD WIDE WEB.
Government Documents Publications issued or funded by the U.S. government.
GPO U.S. Government Printing Office, located in Washington, D.C.
Handbook General information source which provides quick reference for a given subject area. Handbooks are generally subject-specific.
Hard Copy 1. Printed record on paper or card, to be distinguished from a MICROFORM or computer record. 2. A printed copy of machine output.
Hardware Mechanical, magnetic, electrical and electronic devices or components of a computer or other equipment used for processing data. See also SOFTWARE.
Hold   A "hold" guarantees that a book checked out to another person will be saved for you when it is returned. Place a "hold" on any regularly circulating library materials through the online catalog (I-SHARE) or at the Circulation desk.
Holdings 1. Record of issues and volumes the Libraries has of a specific serial title. 2. Often used as a synonym for collection (the materials owned by a library).
HTML Hypertext Markup Language. Language used to create documents for the World Wide Web.
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol - The INTERNET standard that enables the creation of hyperlinks between documents on the WORLD WIDE WEB. All URLs for Web pages begin: http://.
Hyperlink A predefined linkage between associated concepts or chunks of information, such as words or graphics in a document, that lead the reader to the related text when they are selected. (See also Hypertext)
Hypermedia Various forms of information, such as text, graphics, video and voice, used as elements in a hypertext system.
Hypertext The dynamic linking of associated concepts among and within documents, so that the reader can easily move from one concept to another related concept. An example could be any computerized document that can lead the reader to various related information through hyperlinks. (See also Hyperlinks).
Icon A small symbol on a computer screen that represents a computer operation or data file.
ID Card Plastic card issued to all University faculty, staff, and students used for various University activities including charge-out of Library materials.
ILL See Interlibrary Loan
Illinet Online (IO) See I-SHARE
IMC See Instructional Materials Collection
Index (1) A list of names or topics usually found at the end of a publication, which directs you to the pages where the names or topics are discussed; (2) A printed or electronic publication which lists references to periodical articles or books by subject and/or author.
Information Literacy The ability to access, evaluate, organize, manipulate, and present information (including electronic information).
Instructional Materials Collection (IMC) Located on the main floor of the Library, this area houses our collections of audio-visual materials (video tapes, DVDs, CDs, cassettes) and sample textbooks for student teachers.
Interlibrary Loan A service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries through your own library.
International Standard Book Number (ISBN) ISBN is assigned by designated agencies in countries publishing books to provide each book with a unique identification number by which the item can be ordered. The number consists of 10 digits separated into 4 functional parts as follows; 1) One or more digits to represent the country or group of countries in which the item was published; 2) 2-7 digits of the publisher's prefix; 3) one or more digits to identify a particular title and to expand the number to nine digits; 4) and a check digit for a computer validity check.
International Standard Serial Number An internationally-accepted code which uniquely identifies a serial publication.Consists of eight digits divided in the middle by a hyphen. Most citations to an article in databases or indexes provide this number in the record. The Interlibrary Loan form asks for this number when you are requesting an article.
Internet The international network of computer networks which provides three basic services: (1) electronic mail, or e-mail, an online message service between computer users; (2) remote logon, which is the ability to connect to and use services on a computer at other sites; (3) file transfer protocol or FTP, which allows users to move files from one computer to another. (See also World Wide Web).
I-SHARE I-SHARE (formerly Illinet ONLINE, or IO) is a consortium of 65 academic and special libraries in Illinois. Benedictine University is a member of I-SHARE. The I-SHARE libraries share a common catalog, also called _SHARE, which allows easy requesting of materials from other I-SHARE libraries. In addition, most I-SHARE libraries will allow patrons of other I-SHARE libraries to check out materials from their library in person, as long as a valid form of student/faculty/staff identification is presented.
Issue Formed when journal or magazine articles are combined for publication.
Journal A publication, issued on a regular basis, which contains scholarly research published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports. (See also Periodicals)
Keyword (1) A significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract or text of an item that indicates its subject; (2) a type of search method which retrieves search terms from anywhere in the record. (See also Free-text).
LCSH See Library of Congress Subject Headings.
Library of Congress Subject Headings List of accepted subject terms used in many library catalogs and some indexes. (See also Subject Headings.
Local Area Network A direct connection of computers by some type of cable.
Magazine A publication, issued on a regular basis, containing popular articles, written and illustrated in a less technical manner than articles found in a journal.
Media In libraries, the term is used to describe material in a non-print format, such as slides, video, and music.
Menu On computers, menu refers to a list of options available to you.
Microfiche Photographically reduced images reproduced as small card-like pieces of film. (See also Microforms).
Microfilm Photographically reduced images of a printed page in reel to reel format. (See also Microforms).
Microforms A reduced sized photographic reproduction of printed information on reel to reel film(microfilm), film cards (microfiche) or opaque pages that can be read with a microform reader/printer.
Modem Computer hardware that connects our computer to other computers through a telephone line and appropriate software. (See also Network).
Mouse A device that allows us to move and click the cursor on a computer screen for different functions.
Multimedia A system of computer presentations which allows you to see and hear information through access to videotapes, and videodiscs.
My Web Librarian A live, online service offered by Illinois libraries where you can have your reference questions answered by a librarian in a live, real-time, online conversation. For more information, follow the MyWebLibrarian links on the library web page.
Network A communication system made up of computers which are connected. This arrangement allows information transfer from one computer to another in "real time". (See also Local Area Network (LAN); Wide Area Network (WAN)).
Online Pertaining to computer equipment connected to and interacting with a functioning computer system.
Online catalog A computerized database which usually can be searched by various search methods such as author, title, subject, or call number to find out what a library owns. Online catalogs will display the call number and the location of the material. Our online catalog is called I-SHARE.
Patron I.D. Number A 14-digit number (that begins with the numbers 2281100) usually listed on your Benedictine University ID card that serves as your library identifier for checking out materials, accessing databases and requesting items on interlibrary boan.
Peer Reviewed Journals A process that articles in many scholarly journals go through before they are published. Once an article is submitted for publication, it is sent to an editorial board comprised of experts in the field to be evaluated. The submitted article must receive the approval of the editorial board before it is published. The editorial board is usually identified at the beginning of each issue of a journal. Peer-reviewed journals may also be called refereed journals.
Periodical Material published regularly such as magazines, journals, and newspapers. (See also Serial)
Perspective An evaluative criteria which considers the author's approach or point of view.
Recall A request for the return of library material before the due date.
Record The representation of a particular item in a database. A record is generally divided into various fields, each of which represents a type of information that describes or identifies that item. (See also Field).
Refereed Journals A process that articles in many scholarly journals go through before they are published. Once an article is submitted for publication, it is sent to an editorial board comprised of experts in the field to be evaluated. The submitted article must receive the approval of the editorial board before it is published. The editorial board is usually identified at the beginning of each issue of a journal. Peer-reviewed journals may also be called peer reviewed journals.
Reference (1) The assistance given by librarians to a library patron to locate information or resources. Types and levels of service vary based on the category of patron, the needs of the patron, and the complexity of the question. Reference Service is available at the Reference Desk, by consultation, by phone, over email, or through an online chat session (see MY WEB LIBRARIAN).
(2) Also refers to reference collections, such as encyclopedias, indexes, online databases, handbooks, directories, etc.
RefWorks A web-based product that simplifies the process of documenting sources in a research paper, dissertation, or other project requiring references. It helps you to create and manage collections of references using a web browser, tp import references from a number of online databases, and to create bibliographies that can be inserted into word processing documents.
Reliability An evaluative criteria which involves questioning whether or not the facts presented in a work are accurate.
Remote Access A phrase used to describe the connection of one computer to another computer located in different places.
Renewal The process of extending the loan period of library materials.
Reserve A library service that manages the circulation of certain required course materials selected by instructors or professors.
Retrospective material The perspective of an information source produced after an event has occurred.
Scope An evaluative criteria which looks at what information is or is not included in a work.
Search engine Computer programs used in databases and on the Internet (called robots) that search for records that match your request. In a catalog or index database, search engines search specified fields (author, title, subject headings, etc.) of each record in the database. On the web, the robots crawl about the web indexing sites, usually looking at URLs, text in the document, or the heading of the document. (See also Directory).
Search operator See Operator
Search statement/Search query Terms or phrases with operators that we enter into the online catalog or electronic index to search. (See also Keyword; Controlled Vocabulary).
Serial A library term for periodicals: items which are published regularly: such as magazines, journals, newspapers, yearbooks, etc. (See also Periodicals).
Source A general term used for library material that provides information.
Specific or single fact information Provides answers to simple factual questions.
Stacks The area where library collections are shelved.
Subject Heading A term or phrase used in indexes and library catalogs to group together materials on the same topic. Also called controlled vocabulary, descriptors, or thesaurus. (See also Descriptor; Controlled Vocabulary).
Terminal One station that is part of a computer system.
Thesaurus (1) A list of categorized terms, such as synonyms and related words; (2) . (See also Descriptor, Subject Heading).
Uniform Resource Locator See URL
Upload To transfer information from a computer system or a microcomputer to another computer system or a larger computer system.
URL Uniform Resource Locator
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) The string of characters that identifies a particular web site and serves as its "address." URLs may be entered in a web browser to retrieve a known site.
Virtual Reference see MY WEB LIBRARIAN
Volume An item which contains the total collection of all sequential periodical issues over a given time period.
Web See World Wide Web
Web browser See Browser
Wide Area Network (WAN) Local area networks connected together by using telephones or other types of communications equipment. (See also Local Area Networks/LAN)
World Wide Web A network of information, as a part of the Internet, that includes text, graphic, sound and moving images. Also know as the Web or WWW or W(3) It incorporates a variety of Internet tools into one method of access, such as the Web browser Netscape, Mosaic, or Lynx. (See also Internet).


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Last updated: January 9, 2006
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