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Library Research Guides
Trinity College
Library & Information Technology Services

Getting Started with Library & IT at Trinity

What do these words mean?

Glossary of Library Terms:

Abstract: A brief summary of an academic journal article, providing an overview of the content.

Annotation: A brief summary or note added to a citation, describing the content or relevance of the source.

Archives: Collections of historical documents, records, and other materials preserved for research purposes.

Article: A written piece, essay, or text published within a journal. Scholarly articles are those that have undergone peer-review.

Bibliography: A list of cited references typically found at the end of a source, providing the sources used in the work.

Call Number: A unique combination of letters and numbers that indicates the location of a book in the library.

Catalog (OneSearch): A searchable database containing books, ebooks, journals, videos, and other physical resources available at the library.

Censorship: The suppression or restriction of information or materials deemed objectionable or offensive.

Check out: The process of borrowing library materials for a specific loan period.

Citation: A reference to a source used in research, following a formal citation style like MLA, APA, or Chicago.

Database: A searchable collection of full-text sources or citations to published literature, including journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and more.

Digital Learning: Any form of learning involving technology, including assignments that utilize digital tools.

Digital Scholarship: Scholarship that employs digital tools and methods for research purposes. Check out Trinity's annual Day of Digital Scholarship for examples.

Dissertation/Thesis: An extended written work presenting original research conducted by a candidate for an academic degree.

Due Date: The date by which borrowed materials must be returned to the library.

Ebook: A book that can be accessed and viewed online, either in its entirety or chapter-by-chapter, usually presented as a PDF.

Electronic Resource (E-resource): Resources available online, often accessible through the library's proxy.

Full Text: The complete content of an article or resource, often provided as a downloadable PDF.

Holdings: The volumes or issues of a journal available in the library. It may also refer to print books or ebooks available for use.

Information Literacy: The ability to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively for research and problem-solving.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): A service that allows users to borrow materials from other libraries not available in their own library's collection.

Journal (Periodical): A publication released regularly, focused on a specific subject area, containing articles by individual or multiple authors.

Keyword: A term used to search for relevant sources in a database or search engine.

Loan Type or Loan Period: The duration for which a book can be borrowed from the library.

Moodle: An online platform utilized by professors to share readings, assignments, and grades.

OER (Open Educational Resources): Research materials, such as books and journal articles, freely available online.

Open Access: Refers to research materials available online without cost or subscription.

Peer-reviewed: Refers to journal articles or works that have undergone formal evaluation by experts in the same field.

Plagiarism: Using others' work without acknowledgment or attribution, which can have serious academic consequences. It's important to understand when and how to give credit.

Primary Source: Original, firsthand materials created at the time of an event or experience, often used for historical research.

Proxy: A tool enabling access to library-paid resources even when off-campus. Accessed conveniently through the library's website.

Public Domain: Works whose copyrights have expired or were never copyrighted, making them freely available to the public.

Renew: Extending the loan period of borrowed materials for an additional period.

Reserve: Materials placed on reserve by professors for limited use by students for specific courses.

Resources: Materials available in print or electronic format, encompassing books, journals, audio-visual content, databases, and more.

Secondary Source: Interpretations or analyses of primary sources, providing insights or evaluations of historical events or experiences.

Source: Any resource utilized in research, with scholarly sources being peer-reviewed.

Special Collections: Collections of rare, unique, or valuable materials, often restricted to specific use guidelines.

Specialized Research Guide: A research guide created for a specific subject, course, or research area, offering targeted resources and strategies.

Stacks: Shelves or collection areas where books and other materials are stored in the library.

Subject Heading: A specialized tag in a catalog or database facilitating the discovery of related material.