Abridge: To shorten, condense, or reduce the length of a written work by rewriting. See also Unabridged.
Abstract: A summary or brief description of an article, report, document, or book that includes the author’s main points and/or an overview of the item’s content. It helps, at a quick glance, to decide whether to explore the full item in depth.
Academic Library: A library that serves the needs of a college or university.
Acquisitions: 1. The department in a library where materials are selected, ordered, and received. 2. Newly received library materials.
Acronym: A word—usually pronounceable—formed from the initial letters of a longer name or phrase; for example, ERIC for Educational Resources Information Center and RADAR for radio detection and ranging. Initials such as IBM (International Business Machines) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) are not acronyms.
Almanac: a reference book containing lists, tables, and charts.
Alphanumeric: A combination of alphabetic and numeric characters. The call numbers used in the BRTC library are in alphanumeric order.
APA Style: (American Psychological Association) is a set of rules and guidelines used when submitting papers.
Annotation: A note, description, or explanation in a bibliography, reading list, or catalog that describes, explains, or evaluates the item to which it refers.
Archives: A unique collection of materials on historical or public records which are generally noncirculating materials such as collections of personal papers, rare books, ephemera, and so on. This word can also refer to the space which houses these records. The BRTC archived materials are in the archive/video vault located in the library staff work area.
ARKLink: BRTC students, faculty, and staff may check out materials from other Arkansas academic libraries through the ARKLink Reciprocal Borrowing Program. Before visiting a participating Arkansas academic library, BRTC patrons must be issued an ARKLink card. These are available from your instructor or at the BRTC library. ARKLink participating libraries have agreed to honor the ARKLink card. However, lending libraries set their own policies and procedures. ARKLink library users must present both an ARKLink card and a photo ID to the circulation desk of the lending library. Borrowers must abide by the rules and regulations of the library they are using. Any fines incurred must be paid by the borrower. To see a list of the participating academic libraries, click on the following link: http://arklinklibraries.org/reciprocal/reciprocal.asp
Article: A relatively brief work on a topic which is usually found in periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers) and reference works (encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, almanacs).
Attachment: A separate file (for example: text, spreadsheet, graphic, audio, or video) sent with an email message.
Audio books: A sound recording of a book. Some recordings are abridged, meaning that some parts of the book (not the key parts) are omitted. Others are the unabridged, or complete.
Autobiography: The life story of a person written by the person himself or herself.
Authentication: A security process that uses usernames and passwords to validate the identity of users before allowing them access to certain information. Using library databases from an off campus site requires authentication.
Author: The person(s) or organization(s) that wrote or compiled a document. Looking for information under the author’s name is one option in searching.
Bibliographic Information: The data that specifically identifies books, periodicals, articles audiovisual materials, and web pages.
Bibliography: A list containing citations to the resources used in writing a research paper or other document. This list is used in writing a research paper or other document. See also reference and works cited.
Biography: the life story of a person written by another person.
Book: A relatively lengthy work, often on a single topic. It can be in print or electronic form (see eBook).
Book Review: See Review.
Boolean Operator: A connecting word such as AND, OR, or NOT that is used to combine search terms. Using AND or NOT can narrow searches and reduce the number of results while using OR can broaden searches and increase the number of results.
Browse: To inspect something in a leisurely or casual manner; for example, to look at books in a bookstore or to look for information on the World Wide Web.
Browser: A software program providing access to sites on the World Wide Web. It retrieves and displays content. Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer, and Safari are all browsers.
BRTC ID Card: the official Black River Technical College identification card that is required when students check out books.
BRTC Library: Positioned near the west edge of the campus, the library opened in February 1995 and houses more than 350,000 books, documents, and multimedia materials. The library provides online access to book, periodical, and selected newspaper holdings. The library also provides six group study rooms.
Call Number: A combination of letters, numbers, and decimal points used to uniquely identify a specific item in the library. It provides a way to organize the library collection of books and directs patrons to the shelf locations of library materials. This number is printed on a label that is affixed to the spine of the book and appears on the corresponding catalog records. An example of a call number is the following:
Case-Sensitive: Indicates that a person must specifically use upper and/or lower case characters when typing in order to get the correct response from a computer. Passwords are often case sensitive to aid in make them more difficult to guess.
Catalog: A database that lists and describes the items held by a library. It is an organized collection of information about any and all materials purchased by the libraries in support of the curriculum taught at BRTC. This includes books, journal, periodicals, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and videos. It is used to direct the patron where to go in the library to find a particular item. The BRTC catalog is available online and is organized according to the Library of Congress classification system. It can be searched by the more common fields: title, author, subject, or keyword. In addition, the catalog allows the patron to search by call number and ISBN (for books). An online catalog is sometimes called OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog).
CD: An abbreviation for compact disc. A CD is used to store digital information.
Check Out: This is the process of borrowing an item from the library for a fixed period of time. The checkout period at BRTC is two weeks. If the item is needed longer, it can be rechecked for two more weeks. After that time, the item must be returned. If the item is not check in on time, the patron must pay a fine of ten cents per day until the material is returned to the library. If an item is lost or destroyed, the patron is responsible for paying to replace the item. Items are checked out at the circulation desk.
Circulation: The process of borrowing materials from a library by using a BRTC student ID card (or driver’s license if the patron is not enrolled in classes) at the circulation desk. Noncirculating materials such as periodicals and reference books may not be checked out.
Circulation Desk: The large, semicircular desk where materials are checked out, renewed, and returned. A student can also place a hold on an item, report an item missing, or pay late fees or fines at this desk. It is located on the east side of the library. If you want to reserve one of the library’s group study rooms, this is where you go to request its use. This desk serves several other service functions as well: interlibrary loan (ILL) pick up and return, as well as borrowing and returning equipment. It is also the area where patrons can ask for research guidance as well as general help.
Citation: A written reference to a source of information. It can include the author, the title of the article, or report, or book chapter; the name of the journal or book in which it appeared; the volume, issue, and date of the journal; the publication year of a book or report; and the page number. Citations make up a bibliography or works cited page.
Citing Materials: This is the act of giving credit where credit is due. If you read an article (or book) and use any ideas or statements made in the article, you must cite the source, giving the title of the article or book, its author, the source of the article (name of the journal), and the publication information―volume, issue, date, pagination. This data can be presented in a number of different formats, depending on the publishing preference of the academic discipline―APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style being the more widely used citation styles.
Controlled Vocabulary: Standardized terms used in searching a specific database.
Copyright: This is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work). A copyright is legal protection for authors, composers, and publishers. It grants them exclusive rights to publish, sell, and distribute their works. It legally prohibits unauthorized reproduction or sale of copyrighted material.
Copyright Date: the year in which a copyright is granted.
Course Reserves: Materials faculty members have request to be set aside for use by the students in a particular class. This material may be an entire book or an article.
Critique: A critical evaluation of a literary or artistic work.
Cross-Reference: An instruction listing other terms under which related materials might be found; for example, DOGS, see also Domestic Animals.
Current: Recent issues of periodicals that are still held in the original format—soft paper copies.
Database: A collection of information (such as periodicals, journals, magazines, and newspapers) stored in electronic format that can be searched online. BRTC provides access to many databases. BRTC subscribes to these databases just as they subscribe to actual, physical journals, periodicals, magazines, and newspapers. Searching a database, although delivered via the Internet, is not the same as searching an open web site. You must be a BRTC student or faculty/staff member to access these resources.
Dissertation: An extended, usually written, treatment of a subject submitted for a doctorate degree (Doctor of Philosophy—Ph.D).
Domain: Part of an Internet address. The network hierarch consists of domains and subdomains.
Download: To transfer information from one computer or system on a network to another computer or storage device.
DVD: Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc. It is a high-density compact disc for storing large amounts of data.
eBook: An electronic version of a book that can be read on a computer or other device.
Editor: A person or group responsible for compiling the writings of others into a single information source. Looking for information under its editor’s name is one option in searching.
Email: electronic main. Messages sent or received via a computer network.
Encyclopedia: A work containing information on all branches of knowledge such as history or chemistry. Entries or articles are usually arranged alphabetically.
Endnote: an explanatory note or bibliographic information placed at the end of the text.
Fair Use: A legal doctrine that stipulates portions of copyrighted materials may be used without permission of the copyright owner provided the use is fair and reasonable, does not substantially impair the value of the materials, and does not curtail the profits reasonably expected by the owner.
Flash Drive: A reusable, portable device used for storing digital files. A Universal Serial Bus drive is plugged in to a computer’s USB port so that files can be transferred between the computer and the device.
Footnote: An explanatory or bibliographic information placed at the bottom of the relevant page of the text.
Full Text: A complete electronic copy of a resource usually an article viewed on a computer display screen. The term, full text, is often used to refer to the electronic version of an article or book that is also published in print.
Glossary: a listing of terms usually in alphabetical order and limited to a specialized field with the definition of each term.
Government Documents: Print materials published by the United States and state governments.
Handbook: A concise manual providing specific information or instructions.
Hold: A request by a patron that a book checked out to another person be saved for that user when it is returned. A Hold can be placed on any regularly circulating library materials at the circulation desk.
Holdings: The materials owned by a library.
HTML: Hypertext Markup Language. The computer language used to create documents on the World Wide Web so that they are readable by Web browsers.
Icon: A small picture or symbol on a computer screen that represents a computer operation or data file.
Index: 1. A list of names or topics usually found at the end of a publication that directs a user to the pages where those names or topics are discussed within the publication. 2. A printed or electronic publication that provides references to periodical articles of books by subject, author, or other search terms.
Information Literacy: It is similar to computer literacy, but in the context of information. It is the ability to articulate one’s information need; to identify, locate, and access appropriate sources of information to meet the information need; to use information resources effectively, regardless of format; to apply the information critically and ethically; and to determine whether the need has been adequately met.
Instant Messaging (IM): An Internet-based service allowing real-time, text communication between two or more users. Instant messaging is also known as chat when two or more people are communicating.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL): A library service that obtains materials from other libraries that are not held in our collection.
Internet: A worldwide network of computer networks that allows for the transmission and exchange of files. The World Wide Web is part of the Internet.
ISBN: International Standard Book Number. This is a unique number that identifies a specific publication of a book. It is like a social security number for a book. If there is a paperback edition, it will have a different number even though it is the very same title and content as the hard cover book.
ISSN: International Standard Serial Number. This is a unique number that identifies a specific journal, magazine, or other serial publication. Like the ISBN, this number serves a purpose like a social security number. It identifies a specific serial publication. If two journals have the very same name but are published by different entities, they will have different ISSN numbers.
Issue: a particular publication of a periodical.
Journal: A publication issued on a regular basis which contains scholarly research created by subject matter experts for the advancement of knowledge. The articles are in-depth and they are supported by a bibliography of the author’s source materials. Rather than being broad-based like a magazine, journals generally are focused on a narrow aspect of a field of study. The research is published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports.
Key Drive: See Flash Drive.
Keyword: A significant word that will lead a researcher to books or articles that have made use of this word somewhere in the text. A keyword, although important, may not be the subject of the article or book.
Leased books: In our library, leased books are a separate collection of books—both fiction and nonfiction—that have been rented from a vendor for temporary use. These books include best sellers as well as heavily advertised or talked-about books.
Lending (or borrowing): The act of using materials not belonging to yourself. The library lends the materials; the patron borrows the materials. When you borrow materials, there is an understood contract that you will return the materials in a timely fashion and in good condition or face the penalty of a fine.
Library of Congress (LC): The national library of the United States established as a congressional library in Washington, D.C., in 1800. After much of the original collection had been destroyed during the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson sold 6,487 books, his entire personal collection, to the library in 1815.
Library of Congress Classification: This is a method of organizing materials in a library. It was originally developed by Herbert Putnam in 1897. This system replaced a fixed location system which had been developed by Thomas Jefferson. This method of classifying books, videos, and so on, is now maintained by the staff of the Library of Congress. It is the system used by most research and academic libraries, since it provides the means for organizing large amounts of materials on a specific subject. K-12 school libraries and public libraries generally use the Dewey Decimal system (which was introduced by Melvil Dewey).
Link: Typically, a text or graphic element in a Web page that opens another document or page on the Web when it is clicked. Textual links are underlined and displayed in a different color than other text on a Web page. It is also referred to as a hyperlink.
Magazine: A regularly published periodical (weekly or monthly) written by journalists, not scholars or experts in a field. It is for general interest reading. Magazines are most often printed on glossy paper and filled with advertisements. Examples are People, Sports Illustrated, Time.
Manual: A book of rules or instructions on how to do something.
Microsoft Word: Computer software used to create and print text documents. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite which includes Excel and PowerPoint.
MLA Style: (Modern Language Association) is a set of rules and guidelines used when submitting papers.
Multimedia: Any information resource that presents information using more than one media (print, picture, audio, or video).
Newspaper: A publication containing information about varied topics that are pertinent to general information, a geographic area, or a specific subject matter (for example, business, culture, education). It is often published daily.
Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC): A database that lists and describes the items held by a library, such as books, journals, government documents, audiovisual, and other materials. Catalogs can be searched in a variety of ways—by keyword, title, author, or subject. Library catalogs are usually available online.
Oversized Books: A designation for books that are generally larger than the average book (taller or wider). These large books will not fit safely on standard bookshelves. In the BRTC Library, these books are shelved on the west side. They can be borrowed by patrons just like books in the Core Collection.
Patron: In this context, a library patron—this is someone who uses the library. The person checks out books or uses the computers available in the library.
PDF: An abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe that allows files to be transmitted from one computer to another while retaining their original appearance both in electronic and printed forms.
Peer Reviewed: (See Scholarly Journal in conjunction with this definition.) Peer review is a process by which articles or books submitted for publication are evaluated by other experts in the field (the writer’s professional peers) before being published. The peer-reviewed process helps to ensure the quality and validity of published information. Peer-reviewed journals are sometimes called refereed journals or scholarly journals.
PDF: Portable Document Format. A document format often used for electronic journal and magazine articles. It can display graphics as well as text. This format requires Adobe Reader to view the page image. If printing from a PDF file, be sure to use the printer icon that is part of the Adobe interface toolbar.
Periodicals: An information source published in at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, biannually). Journals, magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals. See also Serial.
Plagiarism: Using someone else’s words and/or ideas and passing them off as your own. For example, quoting or paraphrasing material from a book, article, or web page in a research paper with documenting or giving credit to the author of the original material by providing appropriate bibliographic information is plagiarism. It is a serious violation of academic standards to plagiarize.
Primary Source: An original record of events, such as a diary, a newspaper article, a public record, of scientific documentation.
Project Gutenberg: Named in honor of Johannes Gutenberg, the fifteenth century German printer who invented mechanical movable type printing. Project Gutenberg has over 38,000 free eBooks you can download or read online. The project was started by Michael Hart who is considered the inventor of eBooks. Most of the items are the full texts of public domain books. Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library.
Public Domain: Works whose intellectual property rights or copyrights have expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Examples are the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven.
Recall: A request for the return of library material before the due date.
Refereed Journal: A process by which articles or books submitted for publication are evaluated by other experts in the field (the writer’s professional peers) before being published. The peer-review process helps to ensure the quality and validity of published information.
Reference: 1. A service that helps people find needed information. 2. Sometimes reference refers to reference collections, such as encyclopedias, indexes, handbooks, directories, almanacs, atlases, and so on. 3. A citation to a work is also known as a reference.
Reference Book: A book intended for consultation, not for sequential reading; for example, a dictionary. The reference book must be used in the library—reference books are not available to be checked out.
Reference Desk: The Circulation Desk at the BRTC library. The point of service where patrons can ask for research guidance as well as general help. It is located on the east side of the library.
Remote Access: The ability to log onto (access) networked computer resources from a distant location. Remote access makes available library databases to students researching from home, office, or other locations outside the library.
Renewal: A lengthening of the loan period for library materials.
Research Guides: Sources of help and guidance for students searching in a variety of fields. These may include a list of subjects recognized in this field, a general overview of the topic, a list of the library’s databases that are particularly useful in conducting research in this field, and they may also include some noteworthy open web sites related to this field.
Research Paper: A student exercise in expository writing in which an argument is supported with information taken from a variety of sources. The sources are documented and include the appropriate bibliographic information written in a specific style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian).
Reserve: A service that sets aside certain library materials, such as books, articles, or lecture notes for a specific class. The students must use the materials in the library. These materials are set aside at the direction of the instructors.
Scholarly Journal: Scholarly journals contain articles written by and addressed to experts in a discipline. They are concerned with academic study, especially research, and demonstrate the methods and concerns of scholars. The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report original research or experimentation and to communicate this information to the rest of the scholarly world. The language of scholarly journals reflects the discipline covered and it assumes some knowledge or background on the part of the reader. Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. Many scholarly journals are published by professional organizations.
Search Query: Words entered into the search box of a database or search engine when looking for information. Words relating to an information source’s author, editor, title, subject heading, or keyword serve as search terms. Search terms can be combined by using Boolean operators and can also be used with limits/limiters.
Secondary Sources: Materials such as books and journal articles that analyze primary sources. Secondary sources usually provide evaluation or interpretation of data or evidence found in original research or documents such as historical manuscripts or memoirs.
Serial: Publications such as journals, magazines, and newspapers that are generally published multiple times per year, month, or week. Serials usually have number volumes and issues. The words journal, magazine, periodical, and serial may be used interchangeably.
Stacks: Book shelves in the library where materials—typically books—are stored. Books in the stacks are normally arranged by call number.
Student Assistant: A BRTC student who is employed to assist the library staff by providing services to the library patrons.
Study Rooms: Sometimes called seminar rooms. Small rooms equipped with a large table and big white board. The rooms can be used by up to eight people. Go first to the circulation desk to request use of one of these rooms.
Subject: Significant word(s) that have been listed by an author (or sometimes an editor) as succinctly identifying the focus of his/her article. If a searcher conducts a subject search, he/she can be assured that the resulting articles are going to focus on this topic, not just mention this topic. A thorough understanding of this concept is necessary in order to be an effective and efficient researcher.
Style Manual: An information source providing guidelines for people who are writing research papers. A style manual outlines specific formats for arranging research papers and citing the sources that are used in writing the paper.
Thesis: A document that presents the author’s research and findings and is submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification. This term is used in conjunction with a master’s degree.
Title: The name of a book, article, or other information source.
Turabian Style: is a set of rules and guidelines used when submitting papers. It is based on Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
Unabridged: Not shortened or condensed. It is a complete or comprehensive edition. An example is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.
Upload: To transfer information from a computer system or a personal computer to another computer system.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator. The unique address for a Web page which is used in citing it. A URL consists of the access protocol (http), the domain name (such as www.brtc.edu), and often the path to a file or resource residing on that server.
USB Drive: A portable device used for storing digital files. A Universal Serial Bus drive is plugged into a computer’s USB port so that files can be transferred between the computer and the device.
User ID: A number or name unique to a particular user of computerized resources. A user ID must often be entered in order to access library resources.
Wireless: The name given to any electronic device that sends messages through space via electric or electromagnetic waves instead of power cords.
World Wide Web: Part of the Internet, the World Wide Web is a system of interconnected hypertext documents that can include text, graphics, audio, video, and other media. It is also abbreviated as the Web or www. Web content is typically accessed using a browser.