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Library Terms & Research Concepts

Abstract: An abstract is a summary. In some of the databases you will find abstracts of articles, books or book chapters. An abstract gives you an idea of the topic of the book, chapter or article before you read it.

Bibliographies: are lists of recommended books on a topic. Some bibliographies simply provide a bibliographic citation. Other bibliographies provide summaries or evaluations of the books listed; these are called annotated bibliographies. Sometimes bibliographies are called the List of Works Cited.

Bibliographic Citations: A citation provides you with information about a book or an article that helps you to locate the item. For example, a citation for an article tells you the journal in which the article appeared, the volume and issue number, the page numbers, and the length of the article.

Call Numbers: Most of the IU Libraries use the Library of Congress Classification system. Most books are usually shelved by call number, which help to group books on the same subject together.

Database: is a large collection of information organized especially for efficient search and retrieval. Read the Database Basics part of this tutorial to learn more about using databases.

IUCAT: is the Indiana University Library Catalog. This electronic catalog tells you what books, magazines, journals, movies, government publications and other materials the IU Libraries have. IUCAT keeps track of materials available in the Main Library, campus libraries, as well as libraries at other IU campuses such as IU South Bend.

Periodicals: the word periodical refers to magazines or journals. The word serial is also used to describe a magazine or a journal as well as a newspaper. Periodicals are good sources for contemporary or current information. There are different types of periodicals. For example, there are scholarly journals and there are popular magazines and they have different purposes.

Periodical Indexes: are special resources that refer you to periodical articles that contain information that you need. Until about 1980 most periodical indexes were books (print indexes); you would look up your topic by subject heading for a list of citations to periodical articles. Most periodical indexes today are computer databases.

Popular Magazines: cover news, current events, hobbies or special interests. The articles are targeted at the general public and do not assume familiarity with the subject. People, Time, Spin, Entertainment Weekly are examples of popular magazines.

Primary Sources are the original resources that first report research or ideas. These may include newspapers, research reports, scholarly journals, trade journals, conference proceedings, dissertations or Web sites. (see Secondary Sources) < /P>

Professional & Trade Journals: report industry news and enable professionals to stay up to date with important new developments. Sport Industry News, Travel & Tourism Executive Report, Variety, Advertising Age are some examples of professional and trade journals.

Reference Librarians: are familiar with the information resources available in the library and can show you how to use them. Always find the reference desk and ask for assistance.

Reference Books: are books that provide definitions, quick facts, statistics, and overviews on a topic. Directories, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries are all considered "reference books." In most libraries you cannot borrow these books, but you can take notes or make photocopies of the information you need. Reference books such as encyclopedias often have lists of recommended books or other sources of information on many subjects.

Stacks: are the areas where books and journals are located in the library.

Secondary Sources: Secondary sources are resources that analyze, describe, and synthesize the primary or original source. These include review articles, reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, and textbooks.

Scholarly Journal: contain articles written by experts and practitioners in a specific discipline. They report the results of original research. They are also called "peer reviewed" journals or "academic" journals. The Journal of Educational Research, Physician and Sportsmedicine, and the Journal of Communication, are some examples.

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