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Library Terms: words to know when you use the library
A periodical containing scholarly articles in a recognized field of study.
In some databases, an option for searching which enables a more complex combination of choices of subject, author, format, etc.
A word used to narrow an online search, e.g.:
arrow finds 86 items
bow finds 309 items
but bow and arrow finds only 12 items, because both terms must be found in the same record.
Saved (in storage or online) in a retrievable form.
historical records or public documents stored for posterity and researchers. Also the places where these are kept.
A small machine-readable symbol composed of black and white lines. In the library these are 13 characters long. Used for checking out books. The barcode number allows access to library resources from home.
List of citations to articles, books, etc. May range from a works-cited page to a whole book listing works on a certain subject. An annotated bibliography has brief explanatory notes for each citation.
A complete year’s issues of a journal bound together as one volume.
The “address” of a library book. UK Libraries use the Library of Congress call numbering system, e.g., HQ4319.5 .G52 and this determines where the book will be shelved. Books on the same subject will be shelved at the same call number. In some libraries, look for stacks maps which show call number locations.
In a library, a list of its books, journals and other materials. Available online; UK’s catalog is called InfoKat.
The library department responsible for checking books in and out and shelving them.
Information about a book or article that will enable it to be identified:
book: author, title, publisher, place and date.
article: author, title, journal title, volume, issue, page and date.
The exact form of the above depends on the style used: MLA, APA, etc.
A library shelving system that restricts access to the books in the library to library employees only. This system is found in many private collections but may also be found in open libraries for particular parts of the collection like Reserves or Special Collections.
A word, phrase or term expressing an idea. Searching a database requires the use of one or more concepts, often in combination, to retrieve the exact results needed.
See also thesaurus or subject headings. Standardized terms used for subjects which enable efficient and comprehensive searching. Most scholarly databases use a thesaurus, listing terms, with their scope and meaning, e.g., the library catalog, Medline, PsycInfo, etc.
Articles, books or other materials selected by the instructor and held (reserved) at the circulation desk for a particular class or course. They may be checked out, briefly, and are often for in-house use only. May also be available online (see e-reserves).
current periodicals (journals)
Recent issues of journals or magazines not yet bound together in one volume.
Word or phrase used to identify a topic or idea. May be used as a search term. Part of a controlled vocabulary, normally listed in a thesaurus.
Able to be viewed and reproduced online.
a. government publication
b. letter, deed, etc.
c. “to document” means to accredit the source of information used, as in a bibliography.
Also known as an electronic book, it is a traditional print book that is made available digitally, in which format it is searchable. Available through the library's catalog and through subscription services made available by the library system.
Also known as an electronic journal, it may be a digital version of a print journal or a journal-like publication with no print counterpart. E-journals can be accessed through the E-Journals Database. In addition, links to many e-journals are included in the library catalog.
Links to journals, magazines, and newspapers in which entire articles can be found in a digital format. This database must be searched by the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper.
Also known as electronic reserves or online reserves, these are academic materials that a professor wants to make available to students in digital format. E-reserves are accessed through the library catalog. An ID and password supplied by the professor/library are needed to obtain the material.
Name of the proxy server used at UK. A proxy server enables a UK user who is off-campus to access databases that are restricted to UK use only.
In a database, the part of a record used for a particular category of data. Usually abbreviated, frequently-used fields include:
au = author
la = language
py = publication year
jn = journal title.
The physical medium in which information is recorded. Common formats include print, microfilm, and DVD.
full-text electronic database
Database containing the entire content of an article or work, usually also including an abstract and citation. Full-text availability may be indicated with a symbol, such as a book icon; the words "full-text"; or by file type extensions, such as ".txt" or ".pdf."
An online search strategy in which an entire document is examined to see if any of the entered words appear.
Any publication from a municipal, state, federal or foreign government, which may be in print, microform, or digital format. Federal publications are usually shelved using the SuDoc call number system.
guided search or guided keyword search
A search option in the library catalog and various databases which allows more complex searching. Often includes drop-down menus to specify, for example, results come from certain fields.
Books, periodicals, audiovisual resources, databases, etc.) in the library's collections. Especially used in relation to the issues of a journal.
An abbreviation for Interlibrary Loan, a service allowing users to obtain materials from non-UK libraries.
A searchable list of articles using subjects, names, titles, etc. An index may be in print or electronic format.
The status of a book listed in the library catalog (InfoKat), indicating it has been handed in at one library and is being returned to the library to which it belongs.
International Standard Book Number, a unique ten-digit number assigned to every newly-published book.
International Standard Serial Number, a unique eight-digit number assigned to a periodical (journal).
A periodical, devoted to a specific field of study, in which the articles are written by researchers and other experts. Journal articles usually include a bibliography, unlike magazine articles.
Example: PN1891 .T3
Begins with a letter or letters that represent a subject area. Used to locate materials on the shelf and to group related materials together.
"Library of Congress Subject Headings." This standardized listing of subject headings is used by many information resources, including the online catalog, InfoKat. Access this listing in the catalog by performing a Subject search.
Resource that lists the holdings of a given library. The University of Kentucky Libraries' catalog is called InfoKat. It includes listings of the books and periodicals available in the libraries on campus.
In the online catalog you may choose to view information in this format (MAchine-Readable Cataloging). This underlying code shows all the information connected to the descriptive record of the item you are viewing in the catalog.
microcards, microfiche, microfilm, microform
Microcards are heavy-stock paper sheets with miniaturized writing on them that require special reader-machines to view.
Microfiche are rectangular film sheets that also require special machines to enlarge the print and images that appear on them.
Microfilm is similar, but comes in spooled rolls.
Microform is a general term used to describe all of these types of resources.
These formats are used to preserve space and extend the life of the content of vulnerable publications (e.g., heavily-used magazines and newspapers). The online catalog indicates when an item is available in a microformat.
Usually refers to a non-fiction book or other stand-alone publication (as opposed to a periodical or article).
My Library Account
In the library catalog, the location of the list of resources you have checked out from the library system. Click on the button on the blue navigation bar at the top of most InfoKat pages:
Use your last name and barcode from your student ID or library card (or your social security number) to logon to your account. You can renew borrowed materials through your library account and make requests, etc.
A computer-accessible database that lists the holdings of a library collection. UK Libraries catalog is called InfoKat.
A library shelving system which allows users access to the books in the stacks. Users are free to browse the selection and select the books they wish to use without involving library personnel.
PDF (Portable Document File)
A file format that requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view. This format is often used by resources to make available a copy of an item (particularly journal articles) on the Internet. PDF files can preserve the exact duplication of the original paper copy, including graphics, tables, fonts, layout, colors and pagination, in effect serving as a photocopy.
Another term for scholarly journal, indicating that the articles published in the journal have been reviewed by appropriate subject scholars to determine the validity and value of the publication.
Any publication issued at regular intervals (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly) that has no specified ending date: e.g., journals, magazines, newspapers.
Using another person's ideas or exact wording without due credit.
The uninterpreted original document that contains the words of the witnesses or the first recorders of an event or creative work. Examples of primary sources include: lab reports; experiments; observations; historical documents; official papers; first–person accounts, including newspaper accounts; recordings; artifacts (manufactured items such as clothing, furniture, tools, buildings); government publications (e.g., statistics, court reports); Internet resources, especially digitized versions of historical documents; manuscript collections.
To request that a book already checked out to someone else be returned to the library prior to its due date. When the book is returned to the library, it will be set aside for you and you will be notified.
A description of a resource such as a book, journal article, website, etc. In the online catalog or any other database, there is one record for each item.
A periodical which contains articles that have been reviewed by other professionals (peers) in the field and accepted for publication. Sometimes these periodicals are also called scholarly journals or academic journals.
Complete information about a specific source; a citation for a book includes author, title, place of publication, publisher, and year. A citation for an article in a periodical includes author, title of the article, title of the periodical, volume number, pages, and date. A group of citations gathered together is usually called a bibliography. A reference can also have a more general meaning: anything that points to some other location for the information it represents.
Items in great demand and/or material on professors' reading lists which are kept for short-term checkout by students; requested at the service desk of the appropriate library. Many reserves are available online: see e-reserves.
Periodical on a specialized topic. It contains articles that have been reviewed by other professionals (peers) in the field. May also be called refereed journal or academic journal.
Published materials where primary sources have been used. e.g., biographical works, commentaries. A source one step removed from the original; e.g., critical reviews, biographies, journal articles, historical studies. An article in a newspaper that reports on a scientific discovery or a book that analyzes a writer's work is also a secondary source.
Published on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, annually, etc.) and containing articles written by various authors. Any publication issued in successive parts, appearing at intervals (usually regular intervals), and, as a rule, intended to be continued indefinitely. Although the terms periodical, journal, magazine and serial have slightly different definitions, they are often used interchangeably.
In a database, the journal title, volume, page and date for an article.
Also, in research, a firsthand document or primary reference work.
A part of the library system dedicated to collecting and preserving material of historical importance to the state or the university, or that are rare or unique. These materials will not be lent or checked out but may be consulted in the library.
A library's bookshelves or the area where these are located.
A word which cannot be used as a search term in a particular database. Tend to be small and frequently occurring words like "from," "or," "in," "of" that are often ignored when keyed as search terms.
An alphabetical listing of the terms used in a database as descriptors or subject headings. The thesaurus is a standardized word or phrase list, also known as a controlled vocabulary. It also suggests synonyms for effective searching and indicates relationships between and among ideas.
A periodical restricted to the interests of a trade or industry. Example: Manufacturing Chemist and Aerosol News.
truncate (v.), truncation (n.)
In an online search, a word root followed by a truncation symbol will retrieve words that begin with that word root, e.g., educat* will retrieve educator, educators, education and educational all at the same time. The most common symbols used for truncation are the asterisk and the question mark.
The WildCard is the official University of Kentucky student identification card and is needed to checkout books and other materials at campus libraries.