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Research Basics - All Subjects

Montgomery Library's Guide to Research Basics

Glossary of Useful Terms

Use this glossary to define some terms you need to know.

 

abstract - a summary of the work.

archive - an organized collection of documents providing a history of a place, institution, business, individual or group.

bibliography - a list of resources used by an author.

bibliography (annotated) - a list of resources with descriptive notes.

bibliographic tools (on-line) - tools available online to help compose citations: some are free, some are not.

Boolean search - a search strategy combining keywords and phrases used to search electronic databases for resources.

catalog - an all-inclusive list of materials in a specific collection organized by author, title, subject, etc.

circulation desk - the place where library materials are borrowed or returned and where questions may be asked.

citation - a description of a resource including information such as author, title, place of publication, publication date, and pages used.

citation style - the form a citation is to take: APA and MLA are two such styles.

copyright - the exclusive right, provided by law, for an author, artist, distributor, etc., to reproduce or sell a work.

database - a digital file of information holding uniform records arranged for ease of access.

DOI - a Digital Object Identifier assigned by the publisher when an article is published electronically, providing a persistent link to that article. 

fair use - an interpretation of how it is permissible to use copyright materials.

full-text - the work in its entirety.

interlibrary loan - the process by which resources can be borrowed from or lent to another library for the benefit of the user.

in-text citations - partial citation information which is given within the text. Complete citations appear at the end of the text.

literature review - an annotated survey of works published in a specific field of study.

peer-reviewed - the work has been reviewed and approved for publication by a panel of peers who are experts in the field of study.

periodical - a publication, also called a serial, that is issued at regular intervals. This includes journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.

plagiarism - using someone else's work without giving them due credit.

primary sources - documents consisting of first-hand information. Examples are diaries, letters, photographs, interviews and news reports.

reference - the act of searching within a resource or document to find specific information.

research - the process of gathering and using resources to provide facts and reach conclusions.

resource - for this purpose, it is a journal article, book, newspaper, transcript, etc. which can be used for research.

scholarly - written by a scholar or expert in the field of study.

secondary sources - documents providing a secondhand account of an event, often containing analysis of the event.

serial - a publication in any medium issued in successive parts in numerical or chronological order.

subject headings - a word or phrase, selected from a preferred list of terms, which describes the subject at hand.

works cited - a list of all the resources, also called references, found at the end of the text, which were used to complete the research paper or project. 

Access to Online Library Resources

Library Username and Password Information for Online Resources

To access the library’s online resources, begin your search. When prompted, enter your TigerNet username/password into the authentication screen.
This will be required both on and off campus.

Electronic Reference Works

Link to these general reference databases to find background info: