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Step by Step with Literary Reference Books - Handouts: Glossary of Library Terms

Learn to find both print and electronic, literary criticism, reference books and definitions for specialized, literary criticism and library terminology.

Glossry of Library Terms

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Glossary of Library Terms

Abstract: A short summary of a book or article that helps you understand the main idea.

Annotation (as in annotated bibliography): A short summary of an article or book that not only describes its content, but may also give information about its format or help you access the item.

Bibliography: Commonly called a "Works Cited," it is a list at the end of a paper or PowerPoint that includes books, articles, and web pages used to create the project.

Blog: A web site frequently updated by an individual or small group. A blog may include news, opinion pieces, and/or links to articles. Many credible authors have blogs, and credible publications also sponsor them.

Biography: A book or an article about a person's life and work.

Call number: A combination of letters and numbers assigned to books and nonprint materials that help you find them. In the Clarkston Library, books with call numbers A-M are on the 3rd floor, while books with call numbers N-Z are on the 4th floor.

Citation (or Reference): An individual item in a "Works Cited" or bibliography. A citation usually includes a work's title, author, and enough information to find the work itself. For more information on citation style, consult the library's style sheet handouts and web pages.

Credibility: A book, article, or web site is credible if you can believe its information and trust its source. Judging credibility is NOT EASY. Please ask a professor or librarian for help and/or use articles from GALILEO and books from GIL.

Database: An organized and searchable collection of book or article references that may or may not contain the books' or articles' full text.

Flash Drive (USB Drive or Thumb Drive): A portable drive to store full text articles as well as your own papers.

Full text: Complete text of a book or an article that is available online.

GALILEO: A collection of databases covering many subjects. Many GALILEO databases include the full texts of articles or historical documents

GIL: The library's catalog for books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials.

HTML: Many full text articles from GALILEO are available as HTML web pages. These contain the text of the article, but they usually don't have the photos, charts, tables etc...

Information Literacy: Knowing how to find, evaluate, and use information.

Journal: A periodical, usually scholarly or professional in nature. Nature and Explicator are scholarly journals, while RN is a professional journal.

Keyword: Words used to describe your topic's main ideas. You can use keywords to search GALILEO, GIL, and the Internet.

Magazine: A news or popular periodical, although some magazines have the "educated reader" as their intended audience. Magazines are credible and timely sources for information about current events.

MLA (Modern language Association) Style: A set of instructions for writing references and "Works Cited." MLA is the most popular style at Perimeter College at Georgia State University.

APA (American Psychological Association) Style: A set of instructions for writing for references/citations and "Works Cited" for papers in the social sciences (such as psychology) and health sciences fields.

MyEBSCOhost, My JSTOR, My Wilson etc...: A database feature that lets you store articles for later reading. It is an alternative to print, email or saving to a flash drive.

Non-full text Articles: When an article is not full text, only the citation/reference and abstract are available.

PDF: A format for full text articles that resembles a photocopy and is an exat image of the article from its source.

Peer Review: A process used by many scholarly and professional journals to ensure the longer articles' accuracy and quality.

Periodical (or Serial): Anything published on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, etc...). Periodicals include magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Plagiarism: Using other writers' words, images, or ideas and not giving them proper credit. Paraphrasing can also result in plagiarism if there is too much reliance on others' work. Consult your professor for a more detailed definition.

Primary Source (humanities and history): Historical documents produced during a studied period, and/or material written by the author of a work that you are studying.

Secondary Source (humanities and history): Critical analyses and reviews of literary works and/or historical research articles.

Primary Source (social, physical, and natural sciences, excluding history): Research articles published in scholarly journals.

Research Guide: A set of web pages that includes links to databases, handouts, games, and other material often surrounded by helpful text. A Research Guide's audience may be members of a specific class or students with a particular information need.

Social Networking: Sites that allow users to share content and communication among their friends. Examples include MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr. Many web sites, including blogs and Research Guides, have some social networking features.

Subject Headings: Descriptive words that experts assign to a book or article to make it easier to find. For certain subjects, particularly literary criticism, subject headings are a powerful and effective way to search.

URL: Stands for universal resource locator and is the address for a web page.