UCB Libraries

Norlin's East Facade with Flatirons

Glossary of Library Terms

A summary of a larger work, such as an article, book, or dissertation, included with citation information in many databases.


Article Databases (e-Resources)
Online tools that index, abstract, or provide electronic access to articles, books, dissertations and other types of content. Many of these databases offer limited full text.


A list often with descriptive or critical notes of writings relating to a particular subject, period, or author. The works or a list of the works referred to in a text or consulted by the author in its production, usually given at the end of a work.


Call Number
A unique code assigned to each item in the library. The University Libraries primarily use the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) System


The University Libraries online catalog and database gateway. Chinook provides access to the millions of holdings in the University Libraries -- including all departments in the Norlin Library building and the five external libraries (Business, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Math/Physics, Music). It includes, but is not limited to, books, periodicals, compact disks, microfilm and microfiche, musical scores, videocassettes and DVDs, electronic databases, and more.


The library department responsible for checking out and reshelving books, maintaining information on books that have been checked out, and tracing lost materials.


A standardized note documenting the exact title and author of a specific information source, as well as where and when the source was published.


The trustworthiness (credentials, education, experience, etc.) of an author.


A collection of related electronic records in a standardized format, searchable in a variety of ways, such as title, author, subject, and keyword. Common examples of databases are the library catalog and citation indexes.


An electronic resource that provides the entire text of a single work or article, in addition to the citation and (in most cases) an abstract of each work. Also spelled fulltext.


A list of citations to journal articles and/or books arranged by subject, author, or title. Indexes may be in print format, electronic format, or both.


A significant word or phrase in the title, subject headings, contents notes, abstract, or text of a record in an online catalog or database which can be used as a search term in a free-text search to retrieve all the records containing it.


Library Catalog
A database that organizes materials our library collects and identifies where these material are located. The University Libraries Catalog is named "Chinook".


Documents that are reduced in size and available in either microfiche or microfilm.


Online Catalog
An online database containing records of the materials owned by the libraries. The University Libraries Online Catalog is called "Chinook".


Peer Review
The process by which articles are chosen to be included in a refereed journal. An editorial board consisting of experts in the same field as the author review the article and decide if it is authoritative enough for publication.


A magazine, journal, newsletter, or newspaper produced on a regular basis. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with "serial".


The act of appropriating the literary composition of another author, or excerpts, ideas, or passages therefrom, and passing the material off as one's own creation.


Popular Articles
Serials that target general audiences with popular or current news stories. Authors are not usually scholars in a specific discipline and do not conduct original research. These articles are not peer reviewed.


The library department which aids patrons in using the library, helps with research problems, and assists in locating information. Materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and biography guides are found in reference.


The degree to which a source addresses a research topic (some relevant sources may be more broad or more narrow than the specific research topic.)


Scholarly/Professional Journal
Journals that present in-depth, original research in a specific field. These articles have been reviewed by other scholars in the field for scholastic standards and validity. Professional journals may also contain profession or industry related news.


A publication that is issued in parts, indefinitely over time. Serials include journals, periodicals, magazines, almanacs, annual reports, numbered monographs, and other materials. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with "periodical."


The area of the library where books and bound periodicals are shelved. These are items that can be checked out of the library. The Norlin Stacks are located on floors 3A, 3B, and 3C. The departments and branch libraries have their own stacks.


Subject Headings
Terms, names, or phrases that are assigned to a publication (book, journal article, video, etc.) and used to describe the contents of that publication. They form a standardized set of terms that are consistently used to group materials together.


The quality of research being used to support the argument being made. 


Keyword Searching
A significant word or phrase in the title, subject headings, contents notes, abstract, or text of a record in an online catalog or database which can be used as a search term in a free-text search to retrieve all the records containing it.