BRIEF EXPLANATION OF FREQUENTLY USED LIBRARY AND LITERATURE TERMS

aggregator:
A bibliographic service that provides online access to the digital full-text of periodicals published by different publishers. Because aggregator databases can be very large, tracking their coverage is not an easy task for serials librarians. A task group of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) is working on standards for analytic catalog records for serials titles available electronically from aggregator services. Currently, the top two journal aggregators in the United States are EBSCO and ProQuest. Recently, EBSCO has been building market share by offering higher up-front payments to secure exclusivity from the publishers of certain journals.

bibliography:
a systematic list or enumeration of written works by a specific author or on a given subject, or that share one or more common characteristics (language, form, period, place of publication, etc.).

In the context of scholarly publication, a list of references to sources cited in the text of an article or book, or suggested by the author for further reading, usually appearing at the end of the work. Style manuals describing citation format for the various disciplines (APA, MLA, etc.) are available in the reference section of most academic libraries and online via the World Wide Web.

call number:
A unique code printed on a label affixed to the outside of an item in a library collection, usually to the lower spine of a book or videocassette (see these examples), also printed or handwritten on a label inside the item. Assigned by the cataloger, the call number is also displayed in the bibliographic record that represents the item in the library catalog, to identify the specific copy of the work and give its relative location on the shelf.

In most collections, a call number is composed of a classification number followed by additional notation to make the call number unique. This gives a classified arrangement to the library shelves that facilitates browsing. Generally, the class number is followed by an author mark to distinguish the work from others of the same class, followed by a work mark to distinguish the title from other works of the same class by the same author, and sometimes other information such as publication date, volume number, copy number, and location symbol.

catalog:
A comprehensive list of the books, periodicals, maps, and other materials in a given collection, arranged in systematic order to facilitate retrieval (usually alphabetically by author, title, and/or subject). In most modern libraries, the card catalog has been converted to machine-readable bibliographic records and is available online. The purpose of a library catalog, as stated by Charles C. Cutter in Rules for a Dictionary Catalog (1904), later modified by Bohdan S. Wynar in Introduction to Cataloging and Classification (8th ed., 1992), is to offer the user a variety of approaches or access points to the information contained in the collection

a sample of printed catalog

katalog

a sample of online catalog from National Library of Indonesia

katalog online

circulation:
The process of checking books and other materials in and out of a library.

citation:
In the literary sense, any written or spoken reference to an authority or precedent or to the verbatim words of another speaker or writer. In library usage, a written reference to a specific work or portion of a work (book, article,dissertation, report, musical composition, etc.) produced by a particular author, editor, composer, etc., clearly identifying the document in which the work is to be found. The frequency with which a work is cited is sometimes considered a measure of its importance in the literature of the field. Citation format varies from one field of study to another but includes at a minimum author, title, and publication date.

citation sample:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) style is most frequently used within the social sciences, detailed examples click here
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities, detailed examples click here

classification:
The process of dividing objects or concepts into logically hierarchical classes, subclasses, and sub-subclasses based on the characteristics they have in common and those that distinguish them.

closed reserve:
An item on reserve that may be checked out by a registered borrower but may not be removed from library premises. Also, a reserve collection shelved in a closed stack from which requested items must be retrieved by a member of the library staff.

Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):
A hierarchical system for classifying books and other library materials by subject, first published in 1876 by the librarian and educator Melvil Dewey, who divided human knowledge into 10 main classes, each of which is divided into 10 divisions, and so on. In Dewey Decimal call numbers, arabic numerals and decimal fractions are used in the class notation (example: 996.9) and an alphanumeric book number is added to sub arrange works of the same classification by author and by title and edition (996.9 B3262h).

Developed and updated continuously for the past 125 years, most recently by a 10-member international Editorial Policy Committee (EPC), DDC is the most widely used classification system in the world. According to OCLC, it has been translated into 30 languages and is used by 200,000 libraries in 135 countries. The national bibliographies of 60 countries are organized according to DDC.

digital library:
A library in which a significant proportion of the resources are available in machine-readable format (as opposed to print or microform), accessible by means of computers. The digital content may be locally held or accessed remotely via computer networks. In libraries, the process of digitization began with the catalog, moved to periodical indexes and abstracting services, then to periodicals and large reference works, and finally to book publishing.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

A unique code preferred by publishers in the identification and exchange of the content of a digital object, such as a journal article, Web document, or other item of intellectual property. 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. DOIs and their corresponding URLs are registered in a central DOI directory that functions as a routing system.

The DOI is persistent, meaning that the identification of a digital object does not change even if ownership of or rights in the entity are transferred. It is also actionable, meaning that clicking on it in a Web browser display will redirect the user to the content. The DOI is also interoperable, designed to function in past, present, and future digital technologies. The registration and resolver system for the DOI is run by the International DOI Foundation (IDF)

digital repository:
Many academic and research libraries are actively engaged in building digital collections of books, papers, theses, media, and other works of interest to the institution served, as a means of preserving and disseminating scholarly information. Usually locally authored or produced, content can be either born digital or reformatted. Access is generally unrestricted, in compliance with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol for metadata harvesting, which makes such archives interoperable and cross-searchable.

electronic book:
A digital version of a traditional print book designed to be read on a personal computer or e-book reader.

electronic journal:
A digital version of a print journal, or a journal-like electronic publication with no print counterpart (example: EJournal), made available via the Web, e-mail, or other means of Internet access. Some Web-based electronic journals are graphically modeled on the print version.

electronic magazine:
A digital version of a print magazine, or a magazine-like electronic publication with no print counterpart (example: Slate), made available via the Web, e-mail, or other means of Internet access. Some Web-based electronic magazines are graphically modeled on the print version.

index:
An alphabetically arranged list of headings consisting of the personal names, places, and subjects treated in a written work, with page numbers to refer the reader to the point in the text at which information pertaining to the heading is found. In single-volume works of reference and nonfiction, any indexes appear at the end of the back matter. In a multivolume work, they are found at the end of the last volume.

impact factor:
In citation analysis, a quantitiative measure of the frequency with which the “average article” published in a given scholarly journal has been cited in a particular year or period, developed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) for use in Journal Citation Reports, a multidisciplinary tool for ranking, evaluating, and comparing journals within subject categories. The indicator is used by serials librarians in collection management, journal publishers in marketing, information analysts in bibliometric research, and authors to identify journals in which to publish. Caution is advised in using the indicator as a measure a journal’s prestige for purposes of academic evaluation for tenure or promotion.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
A unique ten-digit standard number assigned to identify a specific edition of a book or other monographic publication issued by a given publisher, under a system recommended for international use by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1969. In the ISBN system, media such as audiorecordings, videorecordings, microfiche, and computer software are considered monographic publications, but serials, music sound recordings, and printed music are excluded because other identification systems have been developed to cover them. The ISBN is usually printed on the verso of the title page and on the back of the dust jacket of a bookpublished in hardcover, or at the foot of the back cover in paperback editions.

The ISBN is divided into four parts separated by a space or hyphen: a group identifier one to five digits in length identifying the national, language, geographic, or other area in which the edition is published; a publisher prefix one to seven digits in length uniquely identifying the publisher; a title number one to six digits in length identifying the title, volume, or edition of the work; and a check digit that allows any transcription errors in the preceding sequence to be detected by a computer. For example, in the ISBN 0-8389-0847-0, the 0 at the beginning identifies the United States as the country of publication, the second element (8389) identifies the American Library Association as the publisher, the third element (0847) identifies the 2003 edition of the book Metadata Fundamentals for All Librarians by Priscilla Caplan, and the 0 at the end is the check digit. When a calculated check digit is the number 10, the letter X is used, but in the other parts of the ISBN only the arabic numerals 0-9 are used.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
A unique eight-digit standard number assigned by the International Serials Data System (ISDS) to identify a specific serial title, for example, 0363-0277, identifying the publication Library Journal. In 2001, the scope of the ISSN was extended to cover continuing resources in general. The ISSN is usually given in the masthead of each issue or on the copyright page of each volume or part of a series. When a continuing resource undergoes a title change, a new ISSN is assigned. In library cataloging under AACR2, the ISSN is entered in the standard number and terms of availability area of the bibliographic description. The ISSN International Centre located in Paris, France, maintains a Web site at: www.issn.org. Compare with local serial control number.

journal:
A periodical devoted to disseminating original research and commentary on current developments in a specific discipline, subdiscipline, or field of study (example: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology), usually published inquarterly, bimonthly, or monthly issues sold by subscription (click here to see an example). Journal articles are usually written by the person (or persons) who conducted the research. Longer than most magazine articles, they almost always include a bibliography or list of works cited at the end. In journals in the sciences and social sciences, an abstract usually precedes the text of the article, summarizing its content. Most scholarly journals arepeer-reviewed. Scholars often use a current contents service to keep abreast of the journal literature in their fields of interest and specialization.

OPAC:
An acronym for Online Public Access Catalog, a database composed of bibliographic records describing the books and other materials owned by a library or library system, accessible via public terminals or workstations usually concentrated near the reference desk to make it easy for users to request the assistance of a trained reference librarian. Most online catalogs are searchable by author, title, subject, and keywords and allow users to print,download, or export records to an e-mail account.

In UNS Library, OPAC can be accessed through this link, and read how to use it here

open reserve:
A reserve collection shelved in an open stack to afford library users unrestricted access.

reference book:
A book designed to be consulted when authoritative information is needed, rather than read cover to cover. Reference books often consist of a series of signed or unsigned “entries” listed alphabetically under headwords orheadings, or in some other arrangement (classified, numeric, etc.). The category includes almanacs, atlases, bibliographies, biographical sources, catalogs, concordances, dictionaries, directories, discographies andfilmographies, encyclopedias, glossaries, handbooks, indexes, manuals, research guides, union lists, yearbooks, etc.

In libraries, reference books are shelved in a separate section called the reference stacks and are not allowed to circulate because they are needed to answer questions at the reference desk.

research:
Systematic, painstaking investigation of a topic, or in a field of study, often employing hypothesis and experimentation, undertaken by a person intent on revealing new facts, theories, or principles, or determining the current state of knowledge of the subject. The results are usually reported in a primary journal, in conference proceedings, or in a monograph by the researcher(s) who conducted the study.

research guide:
A printed or online resource that provides detailed information, instructions, and advice concerning the best strategies, techniques, and resources for research in a subject or field of study. Book-length research guides are usually shelved in the reference section of a library (example: Shakespeare: A Study and Research Guide by David M. Bergeron and Geraldo U. de Sousa). Many academic libraries provide brief handouts on a display rack near the reference desk, explaining research techniques and listing finding tools appropriate to each discipline.

subject heading:
The most specific word or phrase that describes the subject, or one of the subjects, of a work, selected from a list of preferred terms (controlled vocabulary) and assigned as an added entry in the bibliographic record to serve as an access point in the library catalog. A subject heading may be subdivided by the addition of subheadings (example: Libraries–History–20th century) or include a parenthetical qualifier for semantic clarification, as in Mice (Computers).

UNSLA:
An acronym for UNS Library Automationis a library management information system developed by UNS for online cataloging and library circulation.


Common abbreviation in scientific writings

abstr. – abstract, abstracted
anon. – anonymous
bibliog. – bibliography: A bibliography is a list of references, to books or sometimes to articles in journals. Bibliographies can take a variety of forms.
c. – circa, about
ca. – circa, about
cc – carbon copy
cf. – confer, to compare one source with another
chap. – chapter
comp. – compiler
ed. – edition
(ed.) – edited by
Ed. – Editor
e.g. – exemplii gratia, for example
esp. – especially
et al. – et alia, and others
etc. – et cetera, and the rest
f. – following page
ff. – following pages
hbk. – hardback
ibid. – ibidem, in the same place, usually found in a list of references and which means in the same book, or journal, referring to the previously mentioned reference.
id. – idem, the same author
i.e. – id est, that is
illus. – illustration(s)
(illus.) – illustrated by
infra – below
loc. cit. – in the passage already quoted
ms. – manuscript
mss. – manuscripts
n.d. – no date
no. – number
No. – number (as in Number 6)
non seq. – it does not follow
op. cit. – opere citato, in the work quoted
p. – page
passim – here and throughout the work
pbk. – paperback
pp. or p.p. – pages
Pt. – part
rev. ed. – revised edition
ser. – series
[sic] – thus, so written
s.l. – sine loco, no place
s.n. – sine nomine, no name
Suppl. – supplement
supra – above
trans. – translated by
vol. – volume (as in one volume)
Vol. – volume (as in Volume 3)


Credit:

This library terms description refer to ABC-CLIO ODLIS, except for some local term.

Some other description also linked from Purdue Online Writing Lab

Credit also for Bristol University Library