Library Lingo

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Abstract - A short summary describing the main idea or content of a work such as an article, book, or dissertation.

Access Services - A group of library units, including Borrowing/Circulation, Interlibrary Loans, and AV Services, that work to make the library's resources available to students, faculty, and staff.

Bibliography: - A list of citations which appear at the end of a paper, article, chapter, or book. There are also books entirely made up of bibliographies. These usually include a list of citations on a particular subject or on a particular author.

Call Number - A unique number assigned to an item in the library. Books are placed on the shelves in call number order. When you find a book that you are interested in the catalogue, note down its call number and go to the shelf to locate it.

Circulation/Borrowing - A library service desk that lends library materials (books, etc.), laptops, and reserve items.

Data & Statistics - the raw material from which statistics are produced. Data are collected through research or through administrative record-keeping, and summaries of these data are usually called statistics.

Databases - An organized collection of electronic records for periodicals, articles and books. Please go to the web address: to browse the library-subscribed databases by subject.

E-Journals - A digital version of a print journal, or a journal-like electronic publication with no print counterpart, made available via the Web, e-mail, or other means of Internet access. Please search the journal title in our e-journal portal: for electronic full-text articles.

Index - A guide to the contents of a file, document, or a group of documents. For example, there are indexes in the back of books that describe and point to the contents of that book. There are also very large indexes that describe the contents of journals and give you enough information to locate an article in a journal. Indexes are usually arranged by subject, author, or keyword. They can come in both paper and electronic form.

Interlibrary Loans (ILL) - If you could not find the materials that you need in our library, our ILL service will borrow them for you from other libraries. For ILL requests, please go to the web address:

Keyword Boolean - A search modifier used to refine the relationship between our searches term(s). The three major ones are AND, OR and NOT.

LibGuides - Web guides for specific subject areas or courses, created by U of R Librarians.

Liaison Librarians - Librarians assigned to specific faculties/academic departments. Liaison librarians have specialized knowledge about information resources in their assigned areas.

Microform/Micromaterial - A reduced sized photographic reproduction of printed information that can be read with a microform reader/printer.

Off-campus Access - Off-campus access means the remote access from your off-campus computers (e.g. your home desktop) to the library’s electronic resources, including browsing databases, electronic full-text journals and reading e-books.

Periodical - A serial published or issued usually at regular intervals. Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers are all periodicals. They are also called “Serials”.