A - Z

See below words used in the InfOasis modules. If you can't find the meaning of a word here, please try an online dictionary. To download an Arabic version of this Glossary, please click here.


A summary of the important points in a text. Abstracts in article databases are useful for evaluating the article and always contain. In scholarly journals, an abstract usually appears at the beginning of an article. Also called a summary.


To express recognition of the words or ideas of another author by citing them in your work.


An annual publication containing a calendar of events for the coming year, the times of such events and phenomena as anniversaries, sunrises and sunsets, phases of the moon, tides, etc., and other statistical information and related topics.


Supplementary material at the end of a book, article or document.

Article database

An index of 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.


Listeners, readers or viewers.


The writer, creator or originator of a piece of work.


An accepted source of information, advice etc.


A list of sources used by an author or relating to a given subject.

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 strings.

Boolean operator

Boolean Operators define the relationship between words in a search string. The principal Boolean operators are: AND (intersection) OR (union) and NOT (difference)


Software which displays files on the Internet such as "Internet Explorer". Browsers send requests in HTTP to a WWW server.

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".


A list of all the items in a specific collection.


When you quote from a source, the citation identifies specifically where the quote was found.


A collection of structured information stored on a computer.

Database Title

The name of a database used to find journal articles or other information. Academic Search Elite is the title of a database within the EBSCOhost group.

Database Vendor

The name of a commercial company which provides information databases for a fee. EBSCOhost and ProQuest are vendors.


A book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings and pronunciations.



A book containing an alphabetical index of the names and addresses of people in a city, district, organization, etc., or of a particular category of people.


Adequately to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.


Accomplishment of a job with a minimum expenditure of time.


A book or set of books containing articles on various topics, usually arranged in alphabetical order.

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.

Full text

The complete text of an article or book.

Home page

The starting point for a particular resource on World Wide Web.    

Interlibrary loan

A library service that allows you to borrow a copy of material owned by some other library.


The collection of inter-connected computer networks that communicate with each other using the TCP/IP protocols.

Invisible college

The "invisible college" is informal information (ideas, speech, and other communication) taking place among individuals and groups before it becomes officially published.


A significant word used in a search statement to find matching items in a database. Also called a search term.

Library catalog

A web site list of resources held by the library.

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.


Combination of text, graphics, video and/or sound.

Peer reviewed

In peer reviewed journals, articles are evaluated by at least one subject expert before they are accepted for publication.


A publication that comes out at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly or monthly.  Examples of periodicals are newspapers, magazines and journals. 

Popular press

Newspapers, magazines and television shows intended for general readers.

Phrase searching

Search statements that allow searching for words in a certain order.


Primary source

An article written by a someone with first-hand knowledge of events or discoveries.


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 such as an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, etc.


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 professors.


Search terms

The combination of keywords and controlled vocabulary words used to form a search statement.


Search string

A search string is two or more keywords connected by Boolean operators. This is also sometimes called a search statement.

Secondary source

Writing based entirely on information found in other published sources.

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.


A word that means the same thing as another word.


A dictionary of synonyms and antonyms.


A symbol that substitutes for letters at the end of words in a search statement, for example child#  will search for children or childish or child's.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

URLs are the addresses used to access Internet resources.


A symbol that stands for one or more unspecified character.