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International Students and Scholars

Glossary of Library Terms

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Boolean operator: A word—such as AND, OR, or NOT—that commands a computer to combine search terms. Helps to narrow (AND, NOT) or broaden (OR) searches.

  • Browse:  Looking at book titles in a specific area of the library’s book shelves

  • 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.  The UD Library uses the Library of Congress call number system.

  • Catalog: A database listing and describing the books, journals, government documents, audiovisual and other materials held by a library. Various search terms allow you to look for items in the catalog. See also DELCAT Discovery. 

  • Circulation: The place in the library, often a desk, where you check out, renew, and return library materials. 

  • Citation: A reference to a book, magazine or journal article, or other work containing all the information necessary to identify and locate that work. A citation to a book includes its author's name, title, publisher and place of publication, and date of publication.

  • Controlled vocabulary: Standardized terms used in searching a specific database.

  • Course reserve: Select books, articles, videotapes, or other materials that instructors want students to read or view for a particular course. These materials are usually kept in one area of the library and circulate for only a short period of time. See also Electronic reserve.

  • DELCAT Discovery: The UD Library catalog, which you can use to search for books, journals, articles, videos, and other sources held by the UD Library and libraries worldwide. 

  • Database: A collection of information stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer. The library offers access to hundreds of databases, many of which are aligned to specific academic fields (majors).

  • Descriptor: A word that describes the subject of an article or book; used in many computer databases.

  • DOI: Acronym for Digital Object Identifier. It is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by the publisher to a digital object.

  • Electronic reserve (or E-reserve): An electronic version of a course reserve that is read on a computer display screen. See also Course reserve.

  • Graduate Carrel: A study desk assigned to one or two students with a locker for each student attached above the desk.

  • Interlibrary Loan: A service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries through the UD Library. 

  • 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: 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.

  • Limits/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.

  • Trade Journal: A publication containing articles written for people in a particular industry. 

  • Microfilm: A photographic reproduction on a roll of film that stores periodicals or other information in a reduced form.   You must use a special piece of equipment, known as a microform reader, to view the text. 

  • Microfiche: A 4 x 6-inch photographic reproduction on a sheet of film that stores information in a reduced form.  You must use a special piece of equipment, known as a microform, reader to view the text. 

  • Multimedia: Any information resource that presents information using more than one media (print, picture, audio, or video).

  • Newspaper: A publication containing information about varied topics that are pertinent to general information, a geographic area, or a specific subject matter (i.e. business, culture, education). Often published daily.

  • Peer-reviewed journal: Peer review is a process by which editors ask experts in a field to review articles their peers have submitted for publication. Peer review helps to ensure the quality of an information source. A peer-reviewed journal is also called a refereed journal or scholarly journal.

  • Periodical: An information source published in multiple parts at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, biannually). Journals, magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals.

  • Permalink: A link that will return you to the same page every time you click the link.

  • Primary source: An original record of events, such as a diary, a newspaper article, a public record, or scientific documentation.

  • Publisher: An entity or company that produces and issues books, journals, newspapers, or other publications.

  • Reserve: 1. A service providing special, often short-term, access to course-related materials (book or article readings, lecture notes, sample tests) or to other materials (CD-ROMs, audio-visual materials, current newspapers or magazines). 2. Also the physical location—often a service desk or room—within a library where materials on reserve are kept. Materials can also be made available electronically. See also Course reserve, Electronic reserve.

  • Secondary sources: Materials such as books and journal articles that analyze primary sources. Secondary sources usually provide evaluation or interpretation of data or evidence found in original research or documents such as historical manuscripts or memoirs.

  • Stacks: Shelves in the library where materials—typically books—are stored. Books in the stacks are normally arranged by call number. May be referred to as “book stacks.”

  • Subject heading: Descriptions of an information source’s content assigned to make finding information easier. See also Controlled vocabulary, Descriptors.

Glossary largely adapted from ACRL-IS Multilingual Glossary Definitions

Glossary of Locations within the Morris Library

  • Reflection Room: A room on the second floor of the Morris Library (Room 233) in which you can relax, clear your mind and take a brief retreat from studying

  • Library Commons: Adjacent to the Library’s lobby, the Commons provides students an area to study or meet. It now offers modern, collaborative seating for groups of all sizes, lounge chairs to relax and a cozy fireplace. Electrical outlets and USB charging ports are available throughout the space.

  • The Nest: The Library Commons is surrounded by three eateries, which make up The Nest. Tasting Grounds, a coffee bar features freshly brewed coffee, specialty coffee drinks, hand-crafted beverages and smoothies by Java City Coffee.  The Marketplace provides fresh on-the-go food items, snacks and bottled beverages with a convenient self-payment system.  Additionally, the Pop-up once opened, will provide lunch. The UD community will be able to go on a culinary adventure each week with chef-inspired, made-to-order lunch entrees Monday through Friday.

  • Atrium: A quiet study area filled with long desks with lamps attached located at the top of the main stairs leading to the second floor of the Morris Library