Abstract — a brief summary of an article, conference paper or book.
Acronym — a new word or pronounceable and hence memorable name coined from the first or first few letters or parts of a phrase or compound term (HUD for Housing and Urban Development).
Almanac — annual publication that contains calendars, facts, statistics and other miscellaneous information.
Annotated bibliography — a list of works on a particular topic, with each entry accompanied by a note intended to explain, describe or evaluate the publication.
Bibliography — a list of citations for books, periodical articles, government documents or other materials.
Biography — a written account of a person’s life or the group of literature concerned with people’s lives.
Boolean logic/operators — words such as AND, OR and NOT that are used to combine search terms to broaden or narrow the results of a search.
Catalog — contains records of the items in a library's collection. The King's College Library catalog is available online.
Citation — information that fully identifies a publication; usually featuring the author, title, name of work, publisher and date. Page and volume numbers plus other information may be included.
Controlled vocabulary — a set of standard terms specifically chosen to describe the contents of items found within a database.
Compendium — a brief account or summary of a particular subject.
Copyright — legal protection of ownership of a creative work by the work’s artist, writer or photographer. Provides the copyright owner the exclusive right to authorize reproduction or other uses of the work for a specific period of time.
Database — a collection of information arranged into individual records to be searched by computer.
Descriptors — a word or a group of words used as a subject to describe the content in books, articles and other materials for the purpose of indexing or organizing these items by topic.
Dictionary — a book composed of an alphabetical listing of words with their definitions that often include pronunciation and usage.
Directory — a systematically organized list of persons, businesses, organizations or associations that provides addresses, affiliations, telephone numbers and similar information.
Encyclopedia — a reference source containing informational articles that provide brief but thorough overviews of a range of topics; usually arranged by subject with an index volume to help locate subjects that do not have their own alphabetical entry.
Field — a part of a record used for a particular category of data. For example, TI represents the title field.
Full-text — refers to the entire article located in a database that may be printed or downloaded.
Handbook — a collection of information on a subject, meant to be a concise and authoritative reference.
Hits — the number of results that are yielded by a database search.
Index — a systematic guide to the contents of a file, book, document or group of documents in an arrangement that represents the contents, references, page numbers, etc.
Internet — a worldwide network of computers that can be accessed via the campus computer network.
Journal — a periodical containing articles or other material such as reports, proceedings or transactions issued by a society, an organization or an institution.
Keywords — significant terms that are used to perform a database search.
Magazine — a periodical publication for general interest.
Microforms (microfilm, microfiche) — documents, often ones that are bulky or likely to deteriorate rapidly, which have been photographed and reduced in size to minimize storage space and for preservation.
Newspaper — a serial issued at stated, frequent intervals (daily, weekly or semi-weekly) containing news, opinions, advertisements and other items of current, often local interest.
Peer reviewed — refers to a scholarly journal article or other work which has been through a process of evaluation by one or more experts in the subject to determine whether it is worthy of publication.
Periodical — publication that is issued at least twice a year, including journals, magazines and newspapers. Current periodicals are those that have recently arrived. Bound periodicals are back issues that have been covered with a binding and placed on the shelves.
Periodical index and abstracts — a list of articles that have appeared in journals, magazines or newspapers and feature the author, title, name of periodical, volume, pages and date of publication. Abstracts are indexes that also contain summaries of the content of the articles.
Phrase searching — search more than one keyword exactly as written usually by enclosing the terms in quotes to form a phrase. Sometimes called a "character string." Example: "Bruce Springsteen" or "call of the wild."
Plagiarism — copying or closely imitating the work of another writer or composer for the purpose of passing the results off as original work.
Popular magazine — publications targeted for mass market sale at newsstands, supermarkets or chain stores.
Primary source — a manuscript, record or document providing original research or documentation.
Root word — the fundamental part of a word upon which other letters can be added to form new words.
Scholarly Journal — See "Journal."
Search strategy — a series of steps for planning and preparing an efficient way to collect pertinent information on a given topic.
Secondary source — materials or sources that contain information that has been cited, translated or based upon another primary or original source.
Subject encyclopedia — an encyclopedia devoted to a specific subject or field of study.
Subject heading — words or headings assigned to books and articles and used to index these items by topic.
Synonym — a word whose meaning is the same as that of another.
Thesaurus — a reference book that provides synonyms and antonyms, as well as broader and narrower terms.
Truncation — typing a special symbol (usually an *) at the end of a root word to retrieve all possible spellings or ending variations.
World Wide Web — a client-server information system that uses the Internet to access computers containing millions of hypertext documents.
Yearbook — an annual compendium of facts and statistics on a particular subject for the preceding year.