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Glossary List

Glossary List with definitions


A brief summary that evaluates or describes the important points in the content of a journal article or library resource.


The name of the person(s) or group credited with creating a library resource.


A list of works cited by an author at the end of an article, paper, book, or other research-based writing. There are also specialized subject bibliographies published separately.

bibliographic record

A description of a specific item in a collection. Bibliographic records list things like author, title, publishing information, and other facts needed to identify the item.

book number

The part of a call number, usually a combination of letters and numbers, used to differentiate items with the same classification number.

Boolean logic (search)

A system of logical thought developed by English mathematician George Boole (1815-64). A Boolean search combines key concepts or search terms with the logic operators AND, OR, and NOT to specify the exact information desired.

Boolean operators

The words AND, OR, and NOT used to combine concepts or search terms when searching a database for information.

call number

The notation used to identify and locate a particular item in a collection. A call number consists of a classification number and a book number. Think of it as an "address" for a book. You'll need all the letters and numbers as well as the "location" to find a book.


Items that may be borrowed from the library. Compare to reference.


The information given in an index or catalog about a particular title. The citation may include the article title, periodical title, book title, place of publication, publisher, volume, pages, and date. Refer to a style manual to learn how to format citations for your own bibliographies.

classification number

The part of a call number, usually a combination of letters and numbers, used to classify items by subject area.


A collection of resources assembled into a single unit for a specific purpose. Each entry in the database is called a record.


A value or option selected by the computer in the absence of specific instructions by the user.


A book that gives definitions of words. Dictionaries may be general (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary), or specialized (Dictionary of Economics).


Electronic mail. The exchange of computer-stored electronic messages.


A collection of information. Like dictionaries, these can be general (Encyclopedia Britannica) or specialized (Encyclopedia of World Cultures).

full text

The complete contents of a library resource that is text-based, as opposed to just an abstract and/or a bibliographic record.


The Hypertext Markup Language used in documents displayed on the Internet.


The collective resources owned--or held--by a library.


Interlibrary Loan. A resource-sharing system that makes items held by another library available to patrons in their local library.


Graphics used to clarify or enhance the content of electronic or paper text. These could be photographs, charts, maps, etc.


Helps researchers locate articles in periodicals by subject or author. EXAMPLES: Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, Education Index

International Standard Book Number

A unique ten- or thirteen- digit number assigned to each printed book.

International Standard Serial Number

A unique eight-digit number assigned to each periodical title published.


See International Standard Book Number.


See International Standard Serial Number.


A periodical publication usually devoted to scholarly subjects. Compare to magazine.


A word that conveys subject content in a search for library resources. Keywords are found in titles, notes, abstracts, summaries, descriptions, and subjects.

LC call number

Identification number derived from the U.S. Library of Congress classification system. Used to locate and/or retrieve a library book.


Learning & Technology Resource Center

Library of Congress Classification System

The system of letters and numbers used by most academic libraries to assign a call number to materials.


A general-interest periodical that has a broad, wide audience. Compare to journal.


Refers to microfiche (rectangular) and microfilm (roll) formats whereby printed information is transferred onto film for preservation. Usually, older issues of periodicals are transferred to microform. Special machines-called "reader-printers"-are needed to use microforms. Grossmont no longer has microforms nor the reader-printers needed to access them.


Items like compact discs, DVDs, videotapes and audio-cassettes.


Refers to accessing a remote computer via a terminal. Our Library Catalog is one example of an online database.


Portable Document Format. The Adobe Acrobat standard that enables display of the "page image" of documents using different browsers.


A journal, magazine, or newspaper issued at recurring intervals. Publication frequency varies, e.g., quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily.


The persons or companies responsible for placing a library resource on the market.

reference book

A book that contains facts, statistics, biographical information, which makes it a valuable tool for answering questions. These [physical] books may not be taken out of the library and are shelved separately from the circulating parts of the collection. Grossmont's Reference section is directly behind the Reference librarian on the Ground Floor. The Gale Virtual Reference Library and our subscription to CREDO Reference (Xreferplus) greatly expands our reference collection with electronic holdings.

reference librarian

A faculty member who has studied the field of library science at the graduate level. A librarian is the person to ask for research assistance in the library.


Diligent and thorough inquiry and investigation into a subject. This includes using ALL appropriate print and electronic sources, asking the reference librarian for help, and making use of bibliographies generated by other authors.


Where materials are placed to be used by all students in a class. Any type of material that an instructor deems appropriate may be put on reserve.


A publication issued over time in installments, a generic term that includes journals, periodicals, magazines, and newspapers.


The storage shelving for books and periodicals. In Grossmont's library, Reference books and periodicals are on the ground floor and the circulating (as well as Oversize) books are located on the top floor.

subject headings

Topical headings that describe the main focus of the content of a library resource. These are usually assigned from a "controlled vocabulary" or thesaurus of terms.

style manual

A book that tells a writer how to format a paper, with regard to footnotes, bibliographies, pagination, etc. Ask your instructor which style manual you should use.


The typed matter on a page (or in an electronic document) that is distinct from illustrations.

truncation symbols ( $ or * or ? )

Truncation allows you to search for a term and its variations by entering only the root of the term followed by a truncation symbol. Our Library Catalog uses a dollar sign ($). Other systems may use an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?). Check each vendor's "Help" screens to determine which truncation symbols are used.


Uniform Resource Locator, an electronic address used to find information on the Internet. Grossmont Library's url is

Many of these definitions were drawn from OCLC's First Search help screens.

updated 6/16/10.

Last Updated: 12/17/2014
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  • Cuyamaca
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