Glossary of library terms

Abstract -   A summary of an article or book.

Athens -  Athens is a secure login system that allows you access to electronic resources – see also Shibboleth  

Bibliographic record - Complete description of a book, document, recording, magazine or journal article or other published item. The bibliographic record may include author, title, publisher, publication date, and other information about the item.

Bibliography - A list of source materials that are used in a preparation of a research paper. The list may be of items by one author or on one subject. A bibliography is a required component of a research paper.

Blackboard - A virtual learning environment (student Intranet) that uses the web provide access to the educational resources in the classroom. Also called WebCT.  

Boolean Operators - Words (especially AND, OR, NOT) used in electronic databases or catalogues to expand or limit the results of a search.

Borrow - To borrow library materials for a specific period of time. A valid library card is required.

Canvas - A virtual learning environment (student Intranet) that uses the web provide access to the educational resources in the classroom.  Replaced the old system of Blackboard. 

Catalogue - A bibliographic register of all items found within a library or collection of libraries.  

Circulate - To lend for use outside of the library for a specific period of time.  

Citation - The bibliographic information about a book or periodical article that you will need in order to locate the item.  A citation usually consists of author, title, publisher and date.  Also called a reference.

Classmark - Items in a library are grouped together systematically by subject.  At HSMC Library we use the Library of Congress system.  A famous system is the Dewey Decimal System.  Also called a shelfmark.  

COPAC - An online catalogue that provides access to the merged catalogues of many university libraries.  

Database - A systematically organised collection of information that can be accessed and searched.

Dissertation - A long essay in support of an academic qualification.  

DOI - A 'digital identifier'.  A unique character string used to identify an electronic document such as an article in an ejournal.   

eBook - An electronic version of a print book.  A book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices

eJournal - Also known as ejournals, e-journals, and electronic serials, are journals that can be accessed via the Web.

Field - A specified element of a bibliographic record, such as the "author field" or the "title field".

FindIt@Bham – the University’s’ new “single search” library catalogue.

Harvard – A method used for the citing or referencing of materials. 

Heritage - The name of the software of the library catalogue

HMIC - (Health Management Information Consortium). A key health management and related bibliographic database. It contains information from the both the King’s Fund and the Department of Health libraries.

Holdings - The books, periodicals, and other materials owned by a library.

HSMC - The Health Services Management Centre based at the University of Birmingham.  

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) - A means of borrowing an item from another library such as the British Library.  

ISBN - A numerical book identifier based upon a Standard Book Numbering (SBN) code.

Keyword(s) - Word(s) in the title, abstract or other field of a bibliographic record which is used as a search term.

NHS Athens - This is the name given to a secure logging in system that allows you to access subscription only resources.  You will have anNHS Athens username and password to log into NHS Evidence.   Another example of this is Shibboleth that is used by the University of Birmingham to access ejournals, ebooks and databases.

Online catalogue - A computerized catalogue of a library's collections. The online catalogue for the HSMC Library is HERITAGE

OPAC. - Open access public catalogue.  A library term used to describe the online library catalogue.  

Overdue - Material which is not returned to the library by its due date is considered overdue.

Reference -  The bibliographic information about a book or periodical article that you will need in order to locate the item.  A citation usually consists of author, title, publisher and date.  Also called a citation.

Reference book - A book you may use to find information on specific facts rather than to read through. Dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and almanacs are all reference books. Reference books are available for Reference only.

RefWorks - A web-based referencing software package that allows you to create your own personal bibliography by importing references from text files or online databases and other sources.

Reserve - Library materials may be placed "on reserve" if the item you require is on loan to another user.

Sconul.- A university library collaboration whereby you can borrow from university libraries near to where you live whilst you are a member another university.  

Shelfmark - Items in a library are grouped together systematically by subject.  At HSMC Library we use the Library of Congress system.  A famous system is the Dewey Decimal System.  Also callled a classmark.

Shibboleth - This is the name given to the secure logging in system that allows you to access subscription only resources such as ebooks and ejournals at the University of Birmingham.  Another example of this is Athens that is used the NHS to access NHS Evidence. 

Subject Heading – Or Medical Subject Heading (MeSH). The indexed term for which an item has been identified.

Thesaurus - An alphabetical list of terms showing synonyms and antonyms; or a set of controlled vocabulary used to indicate the subject matter of an item. An index term from a thesaurus is used as a subject point of access in computerized as well as print indexes.

Truncation - The $ truncation symbol is used to truncate search terms and can represent a single character, many characters, or no characters. For example, if you enter JAME$, the catalogue locates the specified records containing the terms "Jame," "James," "Jameson," and "Jamerton."

VLE - a virtual learning environment (VLE) or learning platform is an online educational system that models  conventional real-world education by providing virtual access to classes and class assessment. 

VPN - A Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet.

WebCT -  Web CT is a Virtual Learning Environment.  Also called Blackboard. 

Wildcard - Used in a search query to represent unknown characters – often a * or ? symbol and used within the body of a word – e.g. organi?ation would look for organisation and organization.