Glossary of library terms

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An abstract is a short summary describing the main idea or content of a work such as an article, book, or dissertation. Abstracts are provided along with citation information in many periodical indexes, and may be written by either the paper's author or an indexer
accession number
a number assigned to an item when it is added to the library catalog; it indicates only the chronological order in which materials were added
Adobe Acrobat Reader
A free program for viewing PDF files, used in many full-text electronic journals
Notification (by e-mail) about new publications added to the database
audio-visual materials
Audio-visual materials convey information mainly via sound and image instead of by text.
The process of identifying an individual by a computer, usually based on a username and password.
author search
A search for an article or book by a particular author in an electronic catalog or index
back issue
Any issue of a periodical older than the most recent issue.
barcode number
The 12-digit unique number appearing beneath the barcode found inside the front cover of a book
basic index
The Basic Index is a combined index of the terms from all title fields, keywords and abstracts.
bibliographic database
A database which provides descriptive records of items such as book(chapter)s, articles and conference proceedings.
bibliographic reference
A reference (or citation) is a brief bibliographic description of an article, book or other document.
boolean operator
Boolean operators, otherwise known as logical operators, are used to construct complex searches in a database. There are 3 logical operators: AND, OR and NOT.
boolean search
a search for an article or book using Boolean operators
broader term
In a hierarchical classification system, a descriptor that includes another term as a subclass, for example, "Libraries" listed as a broader term under "School libraries"
A program that accesses the World Wide Web and reads hypertext
To look through a library collection, catalogue, bibliography, index, bibliographic database in a casual search for items of interest, without clearly defined intentions.
call number
An alphanumeric code which identifies an item in the library collection and indicates its location on the shelves. Call numbers are listed in the catalog and marked on the book's spine label.
A working space for one reader, providing a somewhat secluded study area by means of front and side screening
CAS Registry Number
A unique identifying number assigned to a chemical by the Chemical Abstracts Service. Useful for searching for a particular chemical in some databases, including Chemical Abstracts.
A compilation of records describing the contents of a particular collection or group of collections.
Common Gateway Interface; a programming mechanism for web servers.
The pertinent information needed to find the full text of a publication. Citations are provided in bibliographies, indexes, and the lists of references in scientific publications.
citation index
A bibliographic index which allows the user to trace research forward in time by searching for articles that have cited a known relevant article
cited article
An article referenced in another scientific publication.
cited author
An author whose publication has been referenced in a scientific publication.
A program that allows DOS and Windows programs and databases to be run in a World Wide Web environment
The arrangement of knowledge into specific groups or systems
closed stacks
Library collections to which patrons have no direct access. Upon request, library staff will retrieve items to be borrowed or consulted.
A unique alphanumeric code assigned to titles of serial publications; can be used for searching in some catalogs and indexes
The physical description (e.g. number of pages, size, etc.) of an item in a catalogue record.
A piece of information sent to a browser by a Web Server, the browser then returns that information to the Web server. This is how some Web pages "remember" your previous visits
a form of protection (provided by law) to the authors of "original works of authorship".
corporate author
An organization (e.g., a business, government agency, institution, etc.) considered to be the author of a work.
In bibliographies, the range of years and number and type of publications included
Directions that lead you from one subject or name to another in a catalog or index.
cumulative index
A compilation of previously published indexes. The cumulation includes all the information in the prior, individual indexes, which can then be discarded.
Digital Academic Repositories (DARE is a project with the aim to store the results of all Dutch research in a network of so-called "repositories")
data bank
The actual, substantive, factual information which goes into a database
A standardized collection of information in computerized format, searchable by various parameters; in libraries often refers to online catalogs and bibliograpies.
depository library
A library which has been designated by a government to receive and keep a selection or all of that government's published documents
In bibliographies, a subject heading assigned to an item by the indexers
A treatise (thesis) written by a candidate for a Ph.D
Foundation for Agricultural Research (in Dutch: Directie Landbouwkundig Onderzoek), part of Wageningen University and Research Centre
DOI - digital object identifier
A unique code used by publishers in the identification and exchange of the content of a digital object. The DOI consists of two parts: a prefix assigned to each publisher by the administrative DOI agency and a suffix assigned by the publisher that may be any code the publisher chooses.
domain name server (DNS)
A DNS translates between a machine name (e.g. and that machine's numerical IP internet address
due date
The date of the last day of the loan period
electronic journal
A publication, often scholarly, that is made accessible in a computerized format and distributed over the Internet. An electronic journal or e-journal often has a traditional paper counterpart.
A single listing of a publication in a catalog or index
An exact replica of a book or manuscript, both in text and physical appearance
A list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
The part of a database record reserved for a particular type of data; for example, in a library catalog, author, title, ISBN, subject headings, etc. would all be stored in specific fields
A software program that limits access to a WWW site and provides a degree of security
full text
The entire content of an item, such as an article, book, or encyclopedia, available in electronic format.
An item identified or retrieved in a catalog or index search
A library's collection of materials
Abbreviation for Latin ibidem, 'in the same place.' Used in references and citations to refer to the last work cited, saving re-typing the author and title
impact factor
A quantitative measure of the frequency with which the "average article" published in a given scholarly journal has been cited in a particular year or period, this is used in citation analysis
Information about the publication of a book; usually: the publisher's name, place and date of publication
in press/to be published
In the process of being printed, but not yet available.
in print
Still being published, and therefore available for purchase
information specialist
An information specialist provides expertise in acquiring, evaluating and searching information resources in all formats. At Wageningen Ur Library, informatio specialists can perform online literature searches, define a customised search profile for your SDI, give advice on literature searches in general, perform citation analyses, search for patent information and give advice on personal documentation systems and appropriate software
interlibrary loan
A cooperative arrangement between libraries, whereby users can borrow items from other libraries within the system.
IP number
Internet Protocol Number; a 4-part number, separated by dots, which identifies a specific machine on the Internet.
International Standard Book Number; a numerical code given to a book which uniquely identifies it.
International Standard Serial Number; a numerical code given to a serial (periodical) which uniquely identifies it.
A periodical publication in which researchers report the results of their work to their peer community.
A significant word in the title, abstract or text of a work. Controlled keywords can be added to a publication by a librarian.
keyword search
Searching for books or articles in an electronic catalogue or index by using keywords
lending desk
The service point at which books and other materials are checked in and out of a library
library acronym
Abbreviation of the name of a library location
literature retrieval
Searching bibliographic databases for reference to scientific literature
loan period
The length of time for which a library patron may borrow an item.
loan request
Request to borrow a publication from the library
marked list
List of titles (records) found in a search that are marked by the user (to be saved, e-mailed or printed)
A small sheet (4" x 6") containing microfilmed images of pages, read with a microfilm reader.
A non-serial work, complete in one part or set, usually on a narrowly defined single topic.
my library
Personal library, allows the user to create an own list of shortcuts, to set up alerts and to have off-campus acces
narrower term
A term that is more specific in meaning than the more general term it is related to in a hierarchical structure
numeric data files
Numeric data files are those with significant numeric content, either statistical, coded, or graphically displayed
OCLC WorldCat
This database is an online catalog of the holdings of books, journals, and other materials held by thousands of OCLC member libraries.
off-campus access
Access to restricted library sources (e.g. electronic journals, bibliographies) from a location outside Wageningen UR
online literature retrieval
Searching bibliographic databases for referencec to scientific literature.
Acronym for Online Public Access Catalog
open access
Book stacks to which users have free access to browse and retrieve items on their own, as opposed to closed stacks
Any person who uses the resources and services of a library
PDF file
Portable Document Format; a document-encoding process developed by Adobe that maintains page layout, fonts and graphics and can include many other features, e.g. hyperlinks.
peer review
The process in which a new book, article, etc., is submitted by the publisher to experts in the field for critical evaluation prior to publication, a standard procedure in scholarly publishing
A serial (journal, magazine) which is published at regular intervals, is numbered, contains separate articles, and has no pre-determined end date
periodical index
A cumulative list of periodical articles in which the citations are entered by subject (or in classified arrangement) and sometimes under the author's last name.
photocopy request
Request to receive a photocopy of a publication from the library
A software module that adds a specific feature to a web browser, enabling it to perform specific functions.
A portion of a work printed and distributed in advance of the publication date announced for the whole, for example, an article to be published in a periodical
primary literature
The original writings on a subject. Includes technical reports, conference literature, patents, theses, and journals.
publication date
The date an item (book or journal issue) was published.
The person, company or organization responsible for placing a book, journal, or other publication on the market
record number
Number of a decription of a publication in the Library Catalogue
refereed journal
A journal in which articles have been evaluated by an independent expert in the field of research before acceptance for publication
An indication of where to find specific information, for example the references cited in scientific publications or bibliographic databases.
reference works
Materials such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, directories, etc., to which you can refer for authoritative facts.
refine search
Limiting search results by refining the search
related term
A descriptor closely related to another term conceptually but not hierarchically
An extension of the loan period on an item, granted to the current borrower.
A place where something is stored, e.g. a site with all publications originating from Wageningen UR
Reserve a publication that is not yet available or borrowed by someone else
restricted access
Access to sources for use only by students and staff of Wageningen UR
Selective Dissemination of Information: enables you to store a search profile and let it run automatically each time a new update of a database is loaded.
search results
A list of documents that match the search request
secondary literature
Material published about the primary literature (collections, reviews, popularizations, textbooks, encyclopedias, handbooks, etc.), and tools which point the user to primary sources (abstracts, indexes, bibliographies).
Any publication issued in successive parts, usually (though not always) at regular intervals, and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials include: periodicals, newspapers, magazines, annuals, yearbooks, journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, and numbered monographic series.
Group of separate items issued under a collective title, as well as under individual titles.
A collection of references resulting from a search statement in a bibliographic database.
SFX is a system for making direct links from references in databases and bibliographies.
Frequently used information resource, e.g. bibliography, catalogue, database or e-Journal
Special Collections
Part of Wageningen UR Library that administers the international collections of rare and old books, journals and nursery catalogues, as well as botanical and zoological illustrations, manuscripts, prints, photographs
Rows of bookshelves in a library
streaming video
Video stored on the Internet that plays as it arrives, rather than waiting until the whole file has downloaded
subject heading
A term, name, or phrase used as an access point in a catalogue or index which is arranged by topic
subject portal
Starting pages for scientific information by topic in Wageningen UR's fields of expertise
subject search
To seek information by topic (as opposed to author or title).
An explanatory phrase following a main.
Table of Content alert (TOC alert)
Notification by e-mail of the Table of Contents for each new online issue of the journal that is subscribed
An organised list of all the subject headings or descriptors used in a particular database, catalog, or index.
Often refers to the treatises written by candidates for the Master's Degree, as distinct from doctoral dissertations.
title search
To search for an item by (words from) its title
Truncation is a symbol put at the end or in the middle of a word in order to catch all variant endings or spellings of that word when searching a database.
union catalogue
A combined catalog for an entire library system or group of cooperating libraries.
Uniform Resource Locator; an address that specifies the location of a file on the Internet (e.g.
Wageningen UR
Wageningen University and Research Centre
web search
A search for information on the Internet, using a web search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
mail icon Wageningen Digital Library, 14 July, 2006