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Glossary of Library Terms*

This is a list of library vocabulary and jargon, which researchers use as they research.  Below is a compiled list of terms commonly used during library research and use.

ABSTRACT: A summary or basic idea of an article or book.

ACCOUNT: A record of all the library items you have checked out, requested, or received.  Login with your StarID from the My Account button located at the our library home page.

ANNOTATION: Detailed notes which summarize information about a resource.

ATTRIBUTION: Documenting the person responsible for the creation of an item (book, article, quote…).

BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD: the data/information used to describe and identify a resource. This could include author, title, publisher information, ISBN, ISSN, description, subject headings+.

BOOK, MONOGRAPH: An item composed of pages with subject matter around a subject or a collections of writings. EBOOK would be the online version of a book.

BOOLEAN SEARCHING: The use of words  in between keywords such as AND, OR, NOT. This allows for you to combine, eliminate or include all subjects/concepts.

CATALOG, LIBRARY CATALOG, MnPALS CATALOG, ONESearch, WORLDCAT: These are all terms/names for different catalogs, each has its own set of bibliographic records and some overlap each other in their coverage of resources. A catalog is a listing of all the print items in a library collection. Modern electronic catalogs can be searched by titles, authors, topics, and unique identifiers such as an ISBN or ISSN. Each item in the catalog has a record with location and holding information. 

ONESearch – This searches our traditional library catalog (WSU books, videos, ebooks+) and it also broadly searches some of our article databases and includes articles or citations.

WORLDCAT – This is a catalog of not only WSU’s holdings, but libraries around the United States and world. If something has been published and a library has collected it, it will usually found in this catalog (books, journals, videos, ebooks, other publications).

CIRCULATION, CIRCULATION DESK:  At Krueger Library we use the term "Front Desk" for the circulation desk. This is the service unit which assists with checking out, renewing, and returning materials, such as books and videos.  They also coordinate our COURSE RESERVES.

CITATION: Basic information about an item (author, title, date published, publisher, urls etc.) See APA Citation Basics at the Purdue University OWL site

COLLECTION: A group of items which have connections, something in common. This could

COURSE RESERVES: Books, articles, theses, your professor has placed on “RESERVE” which is a limited time check out or available by your course online. These may also be located in your course’s BrightSpace/D2L.

DATABASE: A collection of articles, books, images, videos or other information. A subscription database is paid for by the library. 

DISCOVERY LAYER: A tool for finding articles and book information across platforms, such as databases and the library catalog. OneSearch is the Krueger Library's discovery layer; OneSearch search tool searches, the library's catalog AND some article databases and data collections.

DISTANCE STUDENT: A student who does not attend classes on the Winona campus or does not live near Winona. For any Resource Sharing-Interlibrary Loan (ILL) book requests. Please let our Resource Sharing-ILL department know you are a distance student (either in your ILL request or respond to our email when an item is available).  We will mail the book to you with return address (Note: you will need to pay return postage). All articles are sent via email.

INTERLIBRARY LOAN, ILL, DOCUMENT DELIVERY, or RESOURCE SHARING: This service is an essential part of your graduate research experience.  We will work to get the materials (books, articles, reports etc.) you need for your research.  Articles are usually sent via your WSU email. Books are sent by mail. If you only need a chapter, please let us know that in your online request; we can scan and get it to you quicker than mailing the full book. Regardless if you are researching at a distance or in Winona or Rochester, you will need to research well ahead of a paper deadline, to allow for time to get materials. We work to get items to you as fast as possible, yet we are reliant on other libraries for some materials. You will find our Resource Sharing-Interlibrary loan contact information via the link called "Resource Sharing" on the library's home page directly under the OneSearch search box. You can also find a link to it on the Student Services in the lower grey horizontal navigation bar on our homepage.*

LIBGUIDE, LIBRARY GUIDE: A web page guide created by your librarian and your professor to provide access to library databases and resources to help you with your research.

LIBRARY RESOURCE or RESOURCE: Items you find useful for your research, such as a book, article, report, statistics, interviews and more.

ONESearch: The search functionality on the WSU's Library Homepage. It searches the library's catalog and many article databases (not all databases).

PEER-REVIEWED or SCHOLARLY: Sometimes used interchangeably. A peer-reviewed article is a scholarly article which has been reviewed by another professional. 

PERIODICAL: A periodical is an item which is published periodically and on an ongoing basis: Journal, magazine, newspaper. There are three main types you will need to distinguish the differences. Each has a different purpose and appropriateness for your research. Please review "Sources: Types" page for more information.

Popular magazine: A periodical written for a popular, general audience. Articles usually written by professional journalists.

Scholarly: A periodical/journal or book publisher which publishes academic research. Articles written by scholars in an academic field.

Peer Reviewed: Scholarly/referred articles are written by experts in a discipline for other experts in their field. Articles are reviewed by other experts in this discipline. 

Trade or professional journal/magazine: A periodical which publishes articles written for professionals in a specific profession. These articles can be more practical and may include citations or may be more newsy.

PROXY SERVER: This is the mechanism used to login to library databases/resources/interlibrary loan.  The proxy server checks to make sure you are a WSU student and then will let you have access to our library resources anywhere there is an internet connection. You use your StarID to login for all library processes.

REFERENCE DESK or RESEARCH HELP:  Librarians provide research assistance at a reference desk and digitally through our Chat and Email services.  Please see our Research Help page for contact information and for our hours of service.

RESOURCE SHARING (see Interlibrary Loan, ILL, Resource Sharing entry):  Resource Sharing is now the term we use at WSU for InterLibrary Loan and Document Delivery. These terms are use interchangeably.

SCHOLARLY: a periodical/journal or book publisher which publishes academic research.

UNIQUE IDENTIFIERS: Numbers assigned to published objects that are unique to the item and its specific format, edition and publishing information. Examples of unique identifiers are: ISSN (magazines), ISBN (books), DOI (online articles) and PMID (PubMed articles). 

* Some but not all of this list was created by Antioch University Library How to Talk Like a Librarian: Library Lingo Glossary