Library & Information Literacy Terminology
A brief summary of the content of a book, article, speech, report, dissertation, etc. In scholarly journals, the abstract usually appears at the beginning of an article, after the article title and author(s) name(s), and before the text. *
An indexing service which provides both a citation and an abstract for each bibliographic item indexed. The entries, listed consecutively by abstract number, are published serially, in print, or on microform, or in an electronic database, usually accessible by author, subject, and keywords. *
A Microsoft technology used on the Internet to make interactive web pages that look and behave like computer programs, rather than static pages. ActiveX controls may be used with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to interact with web pages. ActiveX controls provide functions similar to Java Applets.
On the Internet, a software program that automatically gathers information.
An annual publication containing useful statistics and facts, both current and retrospective. *
A critical or explanatory note, usually included in a bibliographical reference or citation, which may provide information about the author and content of the work cited. *
The use of the FTP file transfer program to log on to another computer system via the Internet to obtain files from a public-access archive. Anyone is allowed access, since no login name or password is required.
On the Internet, a repository of stored files which is accessible by Anonymous FTP. The term also describes a collection of computer files that has been grouped together and stored under one file name.
An organized collection of the noncurrent records of an institution, government, organization, or corporate body, or the personal papers of an individual or family, preserved in a repository for their historical value. Managed and maintained by an archivist. Also refers to the physical repository itself. *
A network created in 1969 by the U.S. Defense Department's Advanced Projects Research Agency (ARPA) to develop a system of data communications for scientific and military operations. ARPANET adopted the TCP/IP communications standard, which defines data transfer on the Internet today.
A work of prose, usually on a specific topic, identified by its title (or heading) and often by its author(s), and published in a book or periodical containing several such works. *
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A seven bit code used for representing text, graphics, and keyboard control characters for computer use. For file transfer purposes, an ASCII file is a text file which should be readable on any type of computer.
Active Server Pages. A web server technology developed by Microsoft that provides an interactive session with the web user. ASP pages use programming code written in VBScript or JScript and are designated with an .asp file extension.
Communication which ocurs intermittently, not in "real time". E-mail is an asynchronous means of communication.
A term used to refer to nonprint materials such as films, filmstrips, slides, video recordings, audio compact discs, audiotapes, CD-ROMs, machine-readable data files and computer sofware. See also: media.
A list of references for further research and reading at the end of a book or article. Long bibliographies may be published separately in book form and are usually written by a bibliographer. Style manuals for various bibliographical formats (APA, MLA, etc.) are usually available at the reference desk in academic libraries. *
A computerized file consisting of electronic entries or records, each of which represents a document or bibliographic item retrievable by author, title, subject heading, descriptor or keywords. Although some bibliographic databases are general in scope and coverage, most are indexes and abstracting services which provide access to the literature of a specific field or discipline. *
In the online catalog, the description of a specific item, designed to differentiate between copies or versions of the same items. The descriptions consist of the title and statement of responsibility (author, editor, etc.), edition, type of publication, publisher information, physical description, series, notes, etc.
A representation of a bibliographic item, which contains the data required for cataloging in a specific bibliographic format, such as MARC. Bibliographic formats include the following descriptive elements: title and statement of responsibility (author, editor, etc.), edition, material type, publisher/distributor, publication date, place of publication, physical description, series, notes, standard number (ISBN, ISSN, etc.), and terms of availability (price).
A file that contains characters other than the standard ASCII characters. You can't read binary files on a computer screen until they are uncompressed or executed. These files include compressed files which must be unzipped and executable programs which must be run on the systems for which they are created.
A binary digit, the smallest piece of information that a computer can hold. A bit is always one of two values, written as 1 or 0, corresponding to the on or off state of a digital switch or the high or low of electrical impulses. Single characters of information are represented by a combination of bits called bytes. For personal computers, a byte equals eight bits.
bits per second
The data transfer rate that specifies the number of bits that a computer system can transmit per second. The latest computer modems are designed to allow transfer rates up to 56 thousand bits per second although the quality of telephone lines can reduce the transfer speed. Cable modems and network connections provide much higher transfer speeds than computer modems.
A short form for weblog, a personal journal published on the Web. Blogs frequently include philosophical reflections, opinions on the Internet and social issues, and provide a "log" of the author's favorite web links. Blogs are usually presented in journal style with a new entry each day. Also used as a verb, to produce a weblog.
A collection of leaves of paper, parchment, vellum, or other material (whether written, printed, or blank), affixed in in some manner to one another, with or without a case or cover. Also, a literary work or one of its volumes. *
A word (AND, OR, or NOT) that helps you narrow, broaden, or refine the scope of a keyword search. On the Internet, you can use Boolean operators with most search engines.
A method of refining a search by combining concepts in a keyword search with three logical commands called "operators".
The OR command is used to expand or broaden search results by including synonyms and related terms.
- Search statement: violence or conflict or aggression
The AND command is used to narrow search results. Each time another concept is added using "and" the search becomes more specific. In some online catalogs, and electronic databases, the "and" command is implicit -- there is no need to type it in a keywords search.
- Search statement: violence and television
- Or just: violence television
The NOT command is used to exclude unwanted records from search results.
- Search statement: television not video
When two different Boolean commands are used in the same search statement, parentheses must be included to indicate which command is to be performed first. See also nesting.
- Search statement: television and (violence or aggression)
- Or just: television (violence or aggression) *
See web browser.
Bulletin Board System (BBS)
An electronic version of a bulletin board, a place to leave and collect messages and information files. Usually operated by volunteer computer enthusiasts, BBS systems usually offer files for downloading, local e-mail, discussion forums, and often provide access to the Internet and Usenet.
Abbreviation for Binary Term, a combination of bits representing one character. On most computers, a byte is equal to 8 bits.
A list of books, periodicals, maps, and other materials, arranged in a definite order. In most modern libraries, the catalog is online (computerized). *
A system which allows real-time (occurring immediately) communication between two or more computer users. Chat systems may have numerous channels or rooms which users may enter. See also IRC.
A virtual room in which chat discussion takes place. Also referred to as chat channel.
A communications network, such as the telephone system, that works with a dedicated channel between the sender and the receiver of a message. The entire channel is devoted to the link for the duration of the communications session.
A written reference to a specific work (book, article, dissertation, report, musical composition, etc.) by a particular author or creator which identifies the document in which the work may be found. Citation format varies from one field of study to another. Citation style manuals are usually available at the reference desk in academic libraries. *
A computer program that works on the searcher's behalf to contact a compatible information source, called a server, elsewhere on the Internet. A client is like a librarian working for you. You need information and the librarian goes out and gets it. One of the earliest clients on the Internet was telnet. You can use telnet to contact library catalog and database servers all over the world. Netscape and Internet Explorer are client programs for the World Wide Web which provide hypertext connections to information.
A set of instructions, written in a specific programming language, which a computer follows in processing data, performing an operation, or solving a logical problem. See also software. *
A search for documents related by concept to a word, rather than specifically containing the word itself. See also keyword search.
A small file sent by a web server to an Internet user's computer that stores information about the computer user. Cookies may contain usernames, passwords, shopping cart information, personal preferences selected by a user, etc. Cookies allow advertisers to target users with personalized advertising banners and are viewed by many Internet users as an invasion of privacy.
The exclusive legal right granted to an author, editor, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to publish, produce, sell, or distribute a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work, within certain limitations. In the United States, copyright is controlled by laws passed by Congress. Notice of copyright usually appears on the verso of the title page of a book. Restrictions may apply to the use of copyrighted material by persons other than the author or creator of the work. See also fair use.* Stanford University Library's Copyright and Fair Use site provides more information.
Campus-Wide Information Systems provide information about academic programs and services available on college and university campuses, including directory information, current catalogs, calendars, bulletin boards, and databases.
The electronic space created by a computer system or computer network which the user can explore. The sensation of cyberspace is that of being inside a virtual space that has been created by a computer system. In linking millions of computers worldwide, the Internet eliminates distance with almost instantaneous links and constructs a new space rich in hidden resources.
A continuously updated file of related information, abstracts, or references on a particular subject, arranged for ease and speed of search and retrieval using a computer. Most library databases are periodical indexes, abstracting services, and full-text databases which are leased annually from a database provider. Access may be limited under the terms of a licensing agreement to registered borrowers. * See also subscription-based database.
A book of words in a language, arranged alphabetically, which provides information about spelling, meaning, etymology (origins), function, pronunciation, etc. *
Data represented as discrete and discontinuous binary digits, as opposed to analog data which exists in continuous and variable form such as voltage, pressure, etc. *
A list of the names, addresses, phone/FAX numbers, and affiliations of a specific group of people, companies, organizations, publications, etc. Some directories include additional information. In most libraries, current directories are shelved in the reference collection. *
A group of people who exchange online messages about particular topics. Includes newsgroups, bulletin board forums, and mailing lists. *
distributed subject tree
A web subject directory which is compiled by subject specialists who are experts in their subject fields.
DLLI (Distance Learning Library Initiative)
A cooperative library program among community college, university and public librararies to support distance education programs in Florida. Pronounced "dillie".
DNS (Domain Name System)
The worldwide system which regulates Internet host names. Each host must have a unique name. Top-level domains in the United States include .com, .edu, .gov, .net, and .org. Two letter country codes such as .se (Sweden) and .ca (Canada) are used for other countries. Some U.S. sites also have a state and country designation, such as .fl.us. See also domain name.
A physical or digital entity which records all or part of a work or several works. Documents appear in a variety of formats including books, pamphlets, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, graphics, audiorecordings, videorecordings, motion pictures, microfiche, microfilm and digital files. *
The act of creating citations to identify resources used in writing a work. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers are examples of two widely used style manuals which provide formats for documenting resources.
A name that uniquely identifies an Internet computer site. The domain name for LINCC, Florida's community college library network, is lincc.ccla.lib.fl.us. Domain names always have two or more parts, separated by dots. The first part is a specific computer site name. The second part indicates the type of site. Site types include .edu (educational), .com (commercial), .gov (government), .lib (libraries), and .org (organizations). See also DNS (Domain Name System).
On the Internet, to transfer a file from another computer to your computer by means of a modem and telephone line (or cable) or network connection. File Transfer Protocol assures the transmission is free from errors.
An electronic version of a print book that can be read using a computer or e-book reader.
A person who selects and prepares the works of other writers for publication, by selection, arrangement, and annotation. Some collected works (and most periodicals) have more than one editor. Multi-volume reference sets may require a general editor to supervise the work of a staff of editors. *
e-mail (electronic mail)
A means of computer-based communication in which you send an electronic message or letter to one or more recipients who do not receive your message until they log on to their computer system and start their e-mail client.
A series of characters, such as email@example.com, that uniquely identifies the mailbox of a person who can send and receive electronic mail. The address includes the person's mailbox name (joe in the example) followed by an @ (pronounced "at") and an Internet domain name (college.edu) which precisely identifies the host computer on which the person's e-mail account is registered.
An electronic newsletter, published online, often distributed through e-mail.
Short for emotion icon, a series of punctuation characters that indicates the writer's mood or how an e-mail or chat message should be interpreted. For example, :-) stands for a smiling face and indicates that the message should be interpreted lightly. Emoticons are also referred to as smileys.
A book, or set of books, or digital version of such, containing authoritative information about a variety of topics, Print encyclopedia arrange entries in alphabetical order, digital versions are usually searchable by keyword or subject. Multi-volume encyclopedias often include an index in the last volume. Also spelled encyclopaedia. Synonymous with cyclopedia. *
A short literary composition dealing with a single subject usually written from the personal point of view of its author who may not attempt completeness. Essays are often published in collected works. *
A binary file containing a program which is ready to be executed or run by a computer.
Conditions under which copying is not an infringement of U.S. copyright. law which permits copying for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Although fair use is not explicitly defined in U.S. copyright law, it must meet the following criteria:
- The use must not impair the value of the copyright by reducing demand in the marketplace for the original
- The copier must not have used the efforts of the copyright owner as a substitute for his or her own intellectual effort
- The use must be "fair" by the standards of any reasonable person, not damaging to the original work. * Stanford University Library's Copyright and Fair Use site provides more information.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
A posted document that contains lists of questions typically asked by new Internet users (newbies) with informative answers. Pronounced "fack."
A facsimile; to transmit a facsimile electronically.
A space allocated for a particular item of information. A library catalog record, for example, contains a number of fields: author, title, publisher information, date, etc. In database systems, fields are the smallest units of information you can access. A collection of fields is called a record.
A means of narrowing a database search in specific fields such as author, title, date, type of resource, type of website, URL etc.
A UNIX program that lets you retrieve basic information about an Internet user or host. Finger is available at various sites on the World Wide Web.
An online search service provided by a company called OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) which provides access to over sixty indexing, abstracting, and full-text databases covering a wide range of fields.
A feature supported by the latest versions of web browsers than enables the web author to divide the browser display area into two or more sections (frames). The contents of multiple frames are displayed as different web pages and may be opened individually in a new browser window.
A community-based Internet host that is designed to bring free network access to a community. Access is often provided through public libraries or through dial-up access. Often local bulletin boards, information about community activities, e-mail,and Internet access are available to registered users.
Software which is distributed free by the author. Although it is available for free, the author retains the copyright, which means that it cannot be altered or sold.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
An Internet protocol or standard which provides the capability to transfer files to and from other computers or hosts. These may be text files or computer programs.
The entire text of a work. A full-text journal database contains, in addition to citations, the complete text of a significant proportion of the articles indexed. A full-text journal, magazine, or newspaper article which was originally published in a paper version may have been reformatted from the original and may not include graphics, charts, or maps in their original format.
An archaic computer program that permits browsing in search of Internet resources. Gopher was prevalent on the early Internet but is rarely found on the Web. Gopher was a rudimentary tool using the client-server retrieval method. A Gopher client available on a host system would contact Gopher servers on other hosts. Gopher organized information into a hierarchy of menus so it was easier to find. Two search programs, called Veronica and Jughead, provided keyword searching of Gopher sites. Gopher was developed at the University of Minnesota and named after the university's mascot.
Publications of U.S. federal government, including hearings, reports, statutes, treaties, periodicals (example: Monthly Labor Review), and statistics (U.S. Census). In libraries, government documents are usually shelved in a separate section by SuDocs number, or are available on the World Wide Web. *
Gray (or grey) literature consists of documentary material that is not commercially published and includes technical reports, conference proceedings, working papers, business documents, memoranda, technical specifications, theses, dissertation, government reports and documents, etc. Gray literature may be published in print or electronic formats and is frequently found on the Web.
In World Wide Web, the hypertext page that appears by default when you access a Web host. Typically, a homepage serves as a contents page for the host and provides links to other Web pages.
The name given to an individual computer attached to the Internet. A host computer runs TCP/IP software and functions as an end point of data transfer on the Internet.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
The standard markup language for documents available to the World Wide Web. HTML is a variation of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) which is frequently used to mark up or identify the parts of electronic texts for display and analysis. HTML provides tags to format World Wide Web documents.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
The protocol which allows browsing on the World Wide Web. The protocol allows a user browsing a hypertext document to jump to another document that may be located on another host thousands of miles away, and to retrieve the information in that document.
In a hypertext or hypermedia document, an emphasized word, phrase, image or other element that, when selected, leads to another document. Sometimes called a hot link.
A hypertext system that can display multimedia, including graphics, sounds, animation, and video.
A non-sequential method for reading a document displayed on a computer screen. Instead of reading the document in sequence from beginning to end, the reader can jump to topics by selecting a highlighted word or phrase embedded within the document. This activates a link, connecting the reader to another place in the same document or to another document. The resulting matrix of links is called a web.
A world-wide network of computer networks that exchange data by means of the TCP/IP protocol, a standard means of computer communication. The result is a cyberspace of enormously valuable global resources and collaboration.
An alphabetically arranged list of names, places, and topics treated in a printed work which gives the page number(s) on which each topic is discussed. Usually located at the end of a book, or in the last volume of a multi-volume work. More broadly, a finding-guide to the contents of published material in a library collection, or in a specific field of research. *
If a book or other item needed by a library user is checked out or not available for some other reason, or if the library does not own the item, a registered borrower may have the privilege of requesting the item from another library. Some libraries permit interlibrary loan requests to be submitted electronically via e-mail or the World Wide Web.
A private computer network that can only be accessed by authorized users, usually members or employees of the organization that operates it.
Also called an Internet address. The unique address for each computer on the Internet. The IP address appears as a set of four numbers separated by periods. The numbers indicate the domain, the network, the subnetwork and the host computer. Each IP address usually has an equivalent domain name address, which is spelled out with letters.
An acronym for Internet Relay Chat, a chat system developed in the late 1980s. In order to logon an IRC client program is necessary, along with an Internet connection. IRC provides many channels worldwide.
A scholarly periodical devoted to disseminating current information about research and developments in a specific field or subfield of human knowledge. Many journals are published quarterly. Most journal articles are longer than five pages and include a bibiography or list of works cited. Journal articles usually include a paragraph at the beginning, called an abstract, which summarizes the main points of the article. Compare with magazine. *
KiloBits Per Second. The unit used to measure how fast data is transferred on a network. One kilobit is 1024 bits.
A significant word in the abstract, title, subject headings (descriptors), or text of an entry in a bibliographic database which can be used as a search term in a free-text or natural language search. *
A search for documents containing one or more keywords that are specified by a user. See also concept search.
A collection of books and other materials maintained for reading, consultation, study, and research and organized to provide access to a specific clientele, with a staff trained to provide services to meet the needs of its users. Modern libraries also serve as gateways to online and Internet resources, and provide instruction in the use of electronic resources. *
Library of Congress
Established by act of Congress in 1800 as a research library for the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government, it eventually became the national library of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., LC also administers the U.S. copyright system and serves as the nation's copyright depository. The machine-readeable cataloging (MARC) program originated at the Library of Congress. *
The Library Information Network for Community Colleges (LINCC) is an automated information system for Florida community college library users. LINCC includes a catalog of the holdings of the libraries of Florida's 28 public community colleges as well as access to a wide array of electronic information resources. LINCC is operated and maintained by the College Center for Library Automation (CCLA). LINCCWeb is accessible on the World Wide Web at http://www.ccla.lib.fl.us *
A mailing list software program that automatically distributes mailing lists on a particular subject. Listserv is sometimes used as a synonym for mailing list.
The procedure by which a user closes or terminates communciation with a computer in a time-sharing mode. The opposite of logon. Also written log off or log-off. *
The procedure by which a user gains access to, and initiates communication with, a computer in a time-sharing mode. Usually requires an authorized username and password. The opposite of logoff. Also written log on or log-on. *
A text-only browsing program for the World Wide Web that provides hypertext capabilities for users. To navigate the Web's hypertext links, use the up or down arrow keys to select a link, and press enter or the right arrow key to jump to the next document. Lynx also provides key word searching and the ability to display a history list of the jumps you have made. Lynx will not display graphic or multimedia files.
A popular or general interest periodical containing articles on a variety of topics by different authors. Usually includes color graphics and advertising printed on glossy paper. Articles tend to be short (1-3 pages). Most magazines are issued weekly or monthly. Compare with journal. *
An e-mail discussion group or forum. Participants subscribe to a list, receive copies of messages sent by other members, and can e-mail their own comments. Some mailing lists employ a moderator who receives and screens all messages, and decides which messages to pass on. Unmoderated lists simply redirect all mail received to the list of recipients. Mailing lists may be scholarly, technical, social or recreational. The advantage of mailing lists over public Usenet groups is that the discussion is usually limited to interested and committed participants, and therefore more focused.
MAchine Readable Cataloging. An international standard digital format for desecribing bibliographic items, developed at the Library of Congress to facilitate the creation and dissemination of computerized cataloging in LC format from one library to another and between countries. For more information on MARC format read about MARC Standards. See also: online catalog.*
A language that has codes for indicating layout and styling (such as boldface, italics, paragraphs, placement of graphics, etc.) within a text file. Widely used markup languages include SGML (Standard General Markup Language) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language.
A generic term for nonprint materials such as films, filmstrips, videorecordings, audio compact disks, audiotapes, and computer software. Synonymous with audio-visual materials. More broadly, material in all formats which carry and communicate information. *
An HTML tag which provides information about a web document. Unlike regular tags, meta tags do not provide formatting information for the browser. Instead they provide such information as the author, date of creation or latest update for the page, and keywords which indicate the subject matter.
A search tool that queries multiple search engine databases simultaneously.
A card-shaped piece of photographic film, usually 4x6 or 3x5 inches in size, used for storage of miniaturized text in a grid pattern which can be read only with the aid of magnification by a reader/printer machine. *
A continuous roll of photographic film, used for storage of miniaturized text which can be read only with magnification by a reader/printer machine. In some libraries, back files of periodicals are routinely converted to microfilm to save space. Reader/printer machines are usually available in libraries with microfilm holdings for viewing and making copies. *
Stands for "modulator-demodulator"--a device for translating digital signals from a transmitting computer terminal into analog data for transmission over a telephone line, and for reconverting analog to digital at the receiving end. See also remote access. *
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A protocol which defines multimedia files and allows Internet users to exchange non-ASCII files such as audio, video, and graphics files in e-mail messages. To use MIME, both sender and receiver must use MIME compatible e-mail programs.
A scholarly piece of writing of essay or book length on a specific, often limited subject.
The combination and integration of more than one media format into a presentation or program, for example: computer graphics with audio. *
A human language whose rules have evolved from current usage, as opposed to an artificial language whose rules are prescribed prior to its construction and use, as in the case of a computer language. In database searching, a natural language search allows the user to type words as input in the same way that a person normally speaks them. *
In Boolean searching, using parentheses to embed a logical operation within another logical operation, thereby indicating the order in which the logical operators or commands are to be executed by a computer (syntax). In the following example, the Boolean "or" command will be executed first, followed by "not" and then "and."
Search statement: children and violence and ((television or media) not cartoon*) *
Short for Internet etiquette. Rules of behavior governing communication on the Internet.
A collection of interconnected computers.
An electronic discussion group or bulletin board that is devoted to discussion of a specific topic. A newsgroup consists of postings, which are messages that have been addressed to the newsgroup rather than a specific individual. Newsgroup postings are uncensored. As a result, some very explicit and candid discussions occur, ranging from political arguments, to religious opinions, to very explicit stories. Unlike mailing lists, which send postings directly to subscribers' mailboxes, newsgroup postings are available on Usenet computers and must be accessed by the user. Usenet is the world-wide conferencing system, encompassing thousands of newsgroups.
A publication printed on newsprint and distributed daily or weekly, containing news, editorials, regular commentary by syndicated columnists, cartoons, advertising, and other items of general interest. In libraries, newspaper back files are usually converted to microfilm or microfiche to save space. Reader/printer machines are usually provided for viewing and making copies of material in microform format. Most major newspapers distribute current issues on the World Wide Web. *
Connected to a computer service. In library usage, generally synonymous with automated, computerized, or electronic. *
A library catalog whose records are in machine-readable (digital) format and maintained on a computer which provides interactive access via terminals or PCs which are in direct, continuous communication with the computer during each transaction. *
The software that runs a computer, including scheduling tasks, managing storage, and handling communication with peripherals. Examples include DOS, Windows 95 and UNIX.
A unit of data which is small enough that it can be transmitted efficiently over a packet-switched network. Packets contain data and the destination address. *
A communications network, such as the Internet, in which a message or data file is broken into segments called packets which contain the destination address. The packets travel independently through the network, taking the most efficient path to their destination, where they are reassembled into the original file.
A non-serial publication consisting of at least five but not more than 48 pages, fastened together but not bound, usually enclosed in a paper cover. Synonymous with booklet and brochure. *
In logging on to an online database or computer file, the user is often required to provide a word or sequence of characters to identify himself (or herself) as a person authorized to access the desired resource(s). A password must be renewed or changed periodically for security reasons, in contrast to the username which remains constant. *
On the World Wide Web, the sequence of directories leading to an Internet document. When dissecting a URL, the path is the part of the address following the protocol and domain name. It may consist of any number of directories and a file name..
An abbreviation which stands for personal computer, a type of microcomputer designed for personal use by an individual. A PC may function as a stand-alone workstation or be connected to a computer network. *
The process of evaluating manuscripts submitted by potential contributors by at least one subject specialist in addition to the editor prior to acceptance for publication. Journal articles are usually peer-reviewed. Internet documents are not usually peer-reviewed. *
A publication with a distinctive title issued in softcover more than once, usually at regular intervals, without prior decision as to when the final issue will appear. Includes newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and journals. Sold at newsstands and by subscription. Libraries usually bind all the issues which appear during a specific calendar year in a single numbered volume. *
A cumulative list of periodical articles, arranged alphabetical ly by subject and by author's last name. Most periodical indexes are devoted to a specific field (example: PsycInfo in psychology) or type of periodical (example: New York Times Index). In libraries, periodical indexes may be available in print, on CD-ROM, via the online catalog, or as separate online databases.*
A means of narrowing a database search to display documents which include a particular phrase. Search engines usually require quotation marks to indicate phrases.
Copying the work of another writer or composer and then passing the results off as original work. In most colleges and universities, professors impose penalties on students who plagiarize the works of others. To avoid plagiarism, it is wise to paraphrase or quote and then cite the original source in a footnote or endnote.*
A website that functions as a gateway, providing all of a web user's Internet needs. Portals often provide services such as e-mail, chat, web searching, news, travel information, financial information, weather, games, etc. Portals may be personalized, using cookies or other personalization technology, to provide resources that reflect an individual user's interests.
A message published in an online discussion group.
A standard that governs network communications by providing a set of rules for its operation.
A book designed to be used to find specific items of information, rather than read cover-to-cover. Reference books include dictionaries, concordances, encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, and atlases. Reference books are usually shelved in a separate section known as the reference stacks, or may be available online. In most libraries, reference books may not be checked out because they are needed on a daily basis to answer questions at the reference desk. *
A librarian employed in a reference department who is responsible for providing helpful information in response to questions posed by users of the library. Reference service may be delivered in person, or by phone or e-mail. *
Communication with a distant computer system or computer network. May require the user to type or enter an authorized username and password, and special software or hardware, such as a modem. *
Systematic, intensive, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, usually employing the techniques of hypothesis and experiment, whose purpose is to reveal new facts, theories, or principles.*
A computer program that runs automatically. Two types of robots are agents and spiders.
RDF Site Summary or Rich Site Summary (sometimes referred to as Really Simple Syndication); a set of XML communication standards created by Netscape. RSS allows a web developer to share the content on his/her site. RSS repackages the web content as a list of data items, to which you can subscribe from a directory of RSS publishers. RSS content usually includes news stories, headlines, content from discussion lists, or corporate announcemnets and is primarily used by news websites and weblogs. RSS "feeds" can be read with a web browser or special RSS reader called a content aggregator.
Generally, a program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. More specifically used for tools such as AltaVista, Go Network, HotBot and Northern Light which allow users to search for web and Usenet documents. Search engines work by sending a computer program called a spider out on the World Wide Web to gather as many documents as possible. A second program called an indexer creates an indexed database which is searched when the user queries the search engine. Compare with subject directory.
See Search string.
In a search for information, a systematic plan in which the first step is to formulate a topic statement, the next step is to identify search terms appropriate to the topic, and the following step is to combine the terms in search statements acceptable to the database or other tool used in searching. Reference books and subject thesauri can be very helpful in identifying and selecting search terms. See also Boolean searching.*
A string of words or a phrase that is used to search and locate or retrieve a specific piece of information or file from a database or a set of documents. With some searchable databases, or with advanced searches, the search statement may include words, Boolean operators and other characters such as +, = or *. Sometimes called "search statement". See also Boolean searching.
In database searching, a word or phrase expressing an information need or query which is acceptable to a specific search software system. *
A program that receives requests for information from a client program, locates the information, and sends the information back to the client and the user.
Software distributed on an honor system. Most shareware is free for an evaluation period but requires payment if you continue to use it beyond the evaluation period. After paying the registration fee, you may be eligible for technical assistance and updates. Shareware is protected by copyright laws.
A generic term for computer programs, including systems programs which operate the computer itself, and applications programs which control the particular task at hand. *
Any document which provides a library user, researcher, or database searcher, with the information he or she seeks. Also refers to any document which provides information, such as a quotation, which is copied or reproduced in another document.*
An automated program (sometimes called a webcrawler) which crawls over the World Wide Web, gathering web pages for search engines. Large search engines employ many spiders. Spiders are a type of robot.
A guide which gives the prescribed format for typing footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies for a specific field of study. In academic libraries, the latest editions of leading style manuals are usually available in the reference section. *
- Chicago Manual of Style
- Complete Guide to Citing Government Documents (American Library Association)
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
A secondary heading added to a subject heading, usually following a dash or some other punctuation, to divide entries under the subject into more specific subcategories. *
An Internet research tool on the World Wide Web that organizes Internet resources by subject headings and subheadings. Subject directories are usually compiled by human beings who apply some selection criteria to resources included in the database. Yahoo! is the largest and most popular subject directory. Compare with search engine.
In libraries, a word or phrase assigned to a work to indicate its subject, and to serve as an access point in an index, catalog, or database. *
See subject directory, distributed subject tree.
The right granted by a publisher to receive a periodical for a fixed period of time, or for a fixed number of issues, in exchange for payment of a fixed sum in advance. Subscriptions may be delivered by mail or online and are usually renewed annually. *
A database which is provided by a database vendor for a specific period of time by lease or subscription.
An acronym for the two fundamental protocols that make the Internet possible, the Transmission Control Protocol and the Internet Protocol. The Transmission Control Protocol defines data flow, acknowledges data, and retransmits lost or damaged data. The Internet Protocol defines the basic unit of data transfer, the packet, and the exact format of all data as it passes across the Internet.
A protocol that allows users to log on to remote hosts and allows users of one type of computer hardware and software to access other computers that use different hardware and software.
A program that allows you to create and edit text files. Text editors, such as Wordpad, provide fewer formatting options than word processors.
A subject for research or discussion. The first step in a research project is usually to formulate a workable topic statement. See also search strategy.
The addition of a symbol to a word root in a keyword search to retrieve variant endings on the root. Truncation is particularly useful in retrieving both the singular and the plural forms of a word in the same search. In most online catalogs and electronic databases, the truncation symbol is the asterisk (*), although other symbols may be used. *
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
As the Internet has grown, the need for a way to name specific resources has become critical. The URL naming system can be used when referring to a particular resource, by people naming the source, and by computers when giving directions on how and where to access the resource. The following is a sample URL:
This describes a website (ccla.lib.fl.us), the directory (www) in which the file is stored, and the file name (dblist.html). The file is a Web page called Electronic Information Resources which provides links to research databases for Florida community college students.
A popular operating system, developed by AT&T in 1969, that was very important in the development of the Internet. UNIX allows more than one user to access a computer system at the same time. An early version of UNIX, which was used by most colleges and universities, incorporated TCP/IP and made Internet connections possible.
A network of computer systems that have agreed to share and maintain a huge set of electronic discussion groups, called newsgroups. Each newsgroup focuses on a specific topic. Messages posted to a newsgroup on one system are eventually distributed throughout the Usenet network.
A code name which an authorized user must type or enter into a computer system to logon and gain access to its resources. See also password. *
An archaic search tool used in the early days of the Internet that located files on Gopher servers. Veronica allowed you to search with keywords, select an information file from a menu, and connect directly to the Gopher source.
The World Wide Web. The word Web is usually capitalized when referring to the World Wide Web. The word web need not be capitalized when it refers to technologies that are typically but not exclusively used with the World Wide Web.
A client program that provides tools for exploring the World Wide Web. A browser retrieves and displays HTML documents and provides access to other types of Internet resources. The latest versions of graphical browsers can present multimedia information, including audio and video files, but require plug-ins for some file formats. Examples of widely-used browsers are Netscape, Internet Explorer and Lynx. Netscape and Internet Explorer provide a graphical interface; Lynx provides text-only access.
A conference conducted via the World Wide Web between two or more participants in different locations. Text, audio or video may be used to communicate in "real time" or in an asynchronous environment.
A site or location on the World Wide Web. A website contains a homepage, or contents page, which is the first document users see when they enter the site. The site may also contain additional pages. Each site is owned and managed by an individual, company or organization. Also written web site.
In a keyword search, a symbol may sometimes be inserted in the middle of a search term to retrieve words containing any character in the designated position. The wildcard symbol may vary from one type of search software to the next. See also truncation and Boolean searching. Example: In some databases, the keywords search wom+n (or wom?n) will retrieve records containing both "woman" and "women." *
A program that allows you to create and format documents. Word processing programs provide more formatting features than text editors, including file management and the ability to incorporate graphics into the document.
World Wide Web (WWW or "the Web")
A worldwide hypermedia information retrieval system which aims to provide global access to the Internet. The Web uses hypertext rather than menus to move through the Internet maze. When you activate a hypertext link, the web browser automatically makes the connection to the host that houses the requested document, and retrieves the document while hiding the details of the file transfer process.
Extensible markup language; a standard for creating special mark-up languages, which may describe many different types of data. XML allows web developers to create their own tags to support interactive functions not provided by HTML. HTML tags provide a format or style in which data displays; XML tags can provide meaning in describing the data (with tags such as author or subject). This is a more functional way of sharing information on the Internet because it makes the data computer readable, allowing reformatting or extraction of the data for use in many functions.
A data compression format that creates smaller files for storage or transfer via the Internet. ZIP files usually end with a .zip extension.
- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition was used for spelling, capitalization and word division. The following additional sources were used to compile definitions for this glossary:
- High Tech Dictionary. January 1999. Computer Currents Magazine. 8 Jan. 1999.
- Howe, Dennis. FOLDOC: Free Online Dictionary of Computing. 2004. 8 Jan. 2004.
- Jenkins, Stephen. Glossary of PC and Internet Terminology 1 Jan. 1999.
- Krol, Ed and Paula Ferguson. The Whole Internet For Windows 95. Sebastopol: O'Reilly, 1995.
- PC Webopaedia. Westport, Internet.com, 2003. 12 July 2003.
- Pfaffenberger, Brian. Internet in Plain English. 2nd ed. New York: MIS, 1996.
- Reitz, Joan. ODLIS: Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science 2004. 15 Jan. 2004.
Definitions marked with an * are reproduced verbatim from ODLIS.
- Sullivan Danny. Search Engine Glossary. Westport, Internet.com, 1999. 1 Aug. 1999.