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Library and Internet Skills Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Abstract
A statement summarizing the important points in a text. Abstracts in article databases are useful for evaluating the article. In scholarly journals, an abstract usually appears at the beginning of an article. Also called a summary.
 
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)
The code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. A plain text document with no other formatting is also called an ASCII file
 
Archives
A collection of documents and records of historical interest.
 
Article database
A catalog of references to articles that were originally published in other sources such as magazines, journals and newspapers. Some article databases only give citations and others are full-text. Also called a periodical index.
 
Article reference
An article reference gives the information needed to find a full-text copy. It identifies the author and title and tells where and when it was published. Also called a citation, a bibliographic citation or a source.
 
Asynchronous
Recipient need not be at his/her computer in order to receive the message you send.

Bibliography
A list of references used by an author or relating to a given subject.
 
Bookmark file
In Netscape, a collection of URLs that the user saved because of frequent use or to make them easy to find again. In Internet Explorer, these are called Favorites.
 
Boolean logic
Mathematician George Boole (1815-1864) discovered a way of reducing logic to simple algebra. Boole's system is useful as a way to define sets for search statements.
 
Boolean operator
Boolean Operators define the relationship between words in a search statement. The principal Boolean operators are: AND (intersection) OR (union) and NOT (difference)
 
Browser
Software which displays files on the Internet. Browsers send requests in HTTP to a WWW server. Another word for browser is client.

Call number
A library code number that identifies a work, gives its subject classification, and indicates its location on the shelf. Most research libraries and academic libraries use Library of Congress call numbers. Example: PN111 W7 2000 is the call number for "Writer's Yearbook 2000"
 
Case sensitive
In case sensitive applications, Capital letters (upper case) retrieve only upper case. When in doubt, type everything in lower case.
 
Catalog
A list of all the items in a specific collection
 
Citation
When you quote from a source, the citation identifies specifically where the quote was found.
 
Client
The software that allows users to access data served by a host computer on the Internet.
 
Client-server model
The model used for many popular Internet software tools. The client sends a request to the server and receives and displays the information.
 
Controlled vocabulary
An established list of terms (sometimes called a thesaurus) from which an indexer or cataloger uses to assign subject headings, subject terms or descriptors.

 
Database
A collection of structured information stored on a computer.
 
Descriptor
A controlled vocabulary or thesaurus term used as a subject heading to describe the content of a reference.
 

Email or Electronic mail
A system for sending and receiving messages on the Internet.
 
Electronic journal
A copy of a print journal with full-text articles that may be read off the Web, or sometimes, a journal that is published only on the Web and never on paper.
 
Electronic reserve
Course readings offered to students by faculty through the library Web site 
 
Emoticon
Punctuation used to express emotion in email messages. Example :-) means the writer is smiling or intending the message to be humorous.

Favorites
In Internet Explorer, a collection of URLs that the user saved because of frequent use or to make them easy to find again. In Netscape these are called Bookmarks.
 
Full text
The complete text of an article or book
 
Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)
A graphic file type used on Web pages.
 
Helper applications
Also called plug-ins. Extra software required to run some multimedia applications on the Internet (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, QuickTime, etc.)
 
Home page
The starting point for a particular resource on World Wide Web.
 
HTML tags
The codes that tell a browser how to display a document written using hypertext marrkup language.
 
Hyperlink or Hypertext link
A method to provide access to other information from within a hypertext document. The referenced item may be another section within the current document, or another document stored anywhere on the WWW.
 
Hypertext
The basis of the WWW--a document with hyperlinks. The user can click on highlighted words and connect to a new location.
 
HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
The standard coding language used to create all Web documents (Web pages).
 
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
The standard protocol used by World Wide Web to serve information.
 
Interlibrary loan
A library service that allows you to borrow a copy of material owned by some other library.
 
Internet
The collection of inter-connected computer networks that communicate with each other using the TCP/IP protocols
 
Internet protocols
The rules the Internet relies on in order to function.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG of .JPG)
A graphic file type used on Web pages.
 
Keyword
A significant word used in a search statement to find matching items in a database. Also called a search term.

Library catalog
A list of everything owned by a library
 
Library of Congress
http://lcweb.loc.gov/ The Library of Congress, founded April 24, 1800, serves the research needs of the U.S. Congress and offers centralized cataloging data for libraries.
 
Library of Congress classification system
A system for assigning call numbers to items in a library in order to identify unique items and group materials by subject.
 
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
A thesaurus of controlled vocabulary terms used to assign subject headings in library catalogs and some other databases.
 
Licensed databases
A library may purchase access to a database through a licensing agreement.
 
Listserv
A program that distributes email sent to the listserv address to all of the members who are currently signed onto the list.
 

Mailing list
Group discussions available via email on a wide range of topics. Some lists are moderated; others are free-wheeling. Various types of software facilitate mailing lists such as Majordomo, Listproc, Listserv, etc.
Multimedia
Combination of text, graphics, video and/or sound

Netiquette
The use of common courtesy and polite behavior while using the net.
 
Newsgroup or Usenet news
Newsgroups are forums for discussion or debate on a wide variety of topics via email.

 
Peer reviewed
In peer reviewed journals, articles are evaluated by at least one subject expert before they are accepted for publication.
 
Periodical
A publication that comes out at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly or monthly.
 
Periodical index
A guide used to find articles that were published in periodicals.
 
Popular press
Newspapers, magazines and television shows intended for general readers.
 
Phrase searching
Search statements that allow searching for words in a certain order.
Plain text
A text document with no other formatting such as from a word processor or HTML editor. A plain text document is also called an ASCII file
 
Plug-in
Also called helper applications. Extra software required to run some multimedia applications on the Internet (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, QuickTime, etc.)
 
Portable Document Format (PDF)
A way to put a copy of a document on the Web. To view PDF files, you need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
 
Primary source
An article written by a someone with first-hand knowledge of events or discoveries.
 
Protocol
A set of rules which enable communication between different kinds of computers.
 
Proxy server
A computer application that, among other things, allows students to access library databases from a personal Internet account.

Record
The listing for an item in a database. A record in a library catalog or article database may also be called a citation or a reference.
 
Reference service
A library service that offers research help in person, by phone , and sometimes by email.
 
Reference tool
A source that provides easy access to specific authoritative information.
 
Remote access
Access to library services and information from outside the physical library building.
 
Remote access service
A service that offers technical support and help for remote access to library resources.
 
Reserve
Materials selected by an instructor to support class research and study. When course support materials are made available on the Web, it is called electronic reserve.

 
Scholarly journal
A periodical that publishes research papers of interest to scholars. Most articles in a scholarly journal are written by college and university faculty
 
Search box
The box in a search engine where you type the search statement.
 
Search engine
A software tool that displays information related to specified keywords. Nerd definition: an algorithm for selecting items from a structured database.
 
Search terms
The combination of keywords and controlled vocabulary words used to form a search statement.
 
Search statement
keywords, Boolean operators, subject headings descriptors and or phrases entered in a search engine to find relevant matches.
 
Secondary source
Writing based entirely on information found in other published sources.
 
Server
A computer (located anywhere in the world) which sends requested information to a client.
 
Special collection
A collection of materials that are old and rare, important for local interest or that support a very specific field of research.
 
Subject heading
A word added to a citation to describe the subject of the source.
 
Synonym
A word that means the same thing as another word.

 
Text editor
A software tool for typing plain text documents. Windows Notepad and Macintosh Simpletext are examples of text editors.
 
Thesaurus
Controlled vocabulary with a list of synonyms
 
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
Standard computer protocols are a set of rules which enable communication between different kinds of computers.
 
Truncation
A symbol that substitutes for letters at the end of words in a search statement.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
URLs are the addresses used to access Internet resources.
 
Username
The unique name assigned to the user of an Internet account.

Verso
The back side of the page in a book.

Web page
A file or document on World Wide Web.
 
Web site
Web pages that are published and may be viewed on on the World Wide Web. A type or format of publication
 
Wildcard
A symbol that stands for one or more unspecified character
 
World Wide Web (WWW, W3 or The Web)
A distributed system of delivering linked documents over the Internet.
 
World Wide Web servers
Computer programs which use HTTP to serve information over the Internet.

 
Updated March 5, 2009 . Please send comments to Kathy Payne
Weber State University, Stewart Library. Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved.

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