Common Library Terms & Acronyms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

abstract

Brief summary of the content of a book, article, speech, or other material.

access point

Name, term, heading, or code in a bibliographic record with which library materials may be searched, identified, and retrieved.

accession number

Identifying number for a document in a database.

ACMS

UCSD's Academic Computing & Media Services; visit this page for information on passwords and printing accounts.

acquisitions

Materials are purchased for library use. Activities related to obtaining library materials by purchase, exchange, or gift, including pre-order bibliographic searching, ordering and receiving materials, processing invoices, and the maintenance of the necessary records related to acquisitions.

almanac

Annual compendium of facts & statistics, current & retrospective, of practical use to readers.

analytic

Bibliographic record for a part of a publication, such as part of a book, or an individual volume of a multi-volume work or monographic series, where each volume has its own unique title.

annex

Off-site storage facility for UCSD library materials. Request delivery of materials from the annex to campus through the online catalog.

annotated bibliography

List of works with descriptions and a brief summary or critical statement about each.

annotation

Critical or explanatory note, sometimes included in a bibliography or citation.

anthology

Collection of stories, plays, or poems, selected by an editor.

APA style

Set of rules and guidelines for citing references, as well as preparing & submitting manuscripts for publication from the American Psychological Association; detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

appendix

Part of a written work, not essential to the completeness of the text, which contains complementary information such as statistical tables or explanatory material.

archive

Organized collection of documents and records of an institution, government, organization, or corporate body, or the personal papers of an individual, family, or group, preserved in a repository for their historical value.

Ask-A-Librarian

Service allowing library users to ask questions through email or live-chat instead of visiting the library reference desk to ask in person. Also referred to as online, digital, or e-reference.

atlas

Book of maps and geographic tables.

author

Writer of a book, essay, story, play, poem or other work. Some works have two or more co-authors, while authorship for others is attributed to an organization, conference symposium, or institution. Other individuals such as an editor, playwright, director, composer, performer, or other, may also be considered an author.

authentication

Security process that typically employs usernames and passwords to validate the identity of users before allowing them access to certain information.

autobiography

Account of one's life written by oneself. See also biography.

Avanti

Electronic photocopy delivery service that lets members from selected user groups request articles for transmission to you via the web; visit this page (page works) for eligibility, restrictions, and other details.

TOP

B

barcode

Printed label containing machine-readable data in the form of vertical lines or bars. Used to identify books & other materials in the library; read by a scanner when item is checked out. Also the 14-digit number found on the back of one's campus ID card.

bibliographic record

Description of a specific document consisting of the title, statement of responsibility (author, editor, etc.), edition, type of publication, publisher, date and place of publication, physical description, series, notes, and standard numbers (ISBN, ISSN).

bibliography

List of references used in a book or article. Long bibliographies may be published separately as books or online.

bindery

Books that need repair and loose issues of journals that are combined or bound into a single volume are sent out of the library system to a company which binds them. These items are not available to users until they come back to the library system.

biography

Account of a person's life, written by another person, referred to as the biographer.

BLB

UCSD's Biomedical Library Building.

book return

Place to return books borrowed from the library; located near library front desks, main entrances, and other locations on campus.

book review

Evaluation of a new book expressing an opinion on the quality of the material.

bookmarks/favorites/tagging

Method of marking and retrieving specific Web sites. Many Web browsers enable you to store bookmark collections on your personal machine; tagging allows you to store favorite sites in a web-based bookmark account (example: del.icio.us).

Boolean searching

Using special commands (operators) to tell a database system how words being searched relate to one another. The three basic Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT. AND will narrow a search. OR will broaden a search. NOT will remove a concept from a search.

bound periodical

Older issues of periodicals that have been bound together as a book to preserve them and make storage easier.

browser

Software used to access the World Wide Web. Browsers are client software that accesses information from the World Wide Web Servers. Examples include Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, etc.

TOP

C

call number

Unique location code that appears on the spine of a book or other item to tell you where it should be found on the shelves. UCSD uses the Library of Congress (link works) call number system.

catalog

Online database with detailed descriptions and location information for materials in a library collection. UCSD's local catalog is called Roger. The UC-wide catalog is called Melvyl.

chat reference

Real-time service provided by librarians over the Internet that allows you to ask reference questions from anywhere. UCSD offers an Ask-A-Librarian chat service, as well as reference & information by email and text.

check out

Borrow materials from a library for a fixed period of time. Loan periods, borrowing limits, and renewal policies vary depending upon the status of the borrower (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate).

circulate

To loan library materials to users. Most UCSD library materials circulate (can be checked out).

Circulating

Library materials that can be borrowed/checked out.

Circuit, San Diego:

Service allowing UCSD library cardholders to borrow books from local partner libraries (San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos, University of San Diego, San Diego City & County public libraries). If a book is not available at UCSD, link to Circuit from the UCSD catalog and use the Request feature to have items sent to UCSD for pick-up and use. Additional details here.

circulation desk

The area where you can check out, return, or renew library materials; generally near the main entrance; also referred to as the Front Desk.

citation

Brief description of a text (book, article, web page, etc.) that has been quoted or used as a source. Exact arrangement and formatting of a citation is dictated by a style manual, which varies by discipline or subject matter. A citation in MLA style would appear as follows: Burns, Tom, and Sandra Sinfield. Essential Study Skills: The complete guide to success at university. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2003. The same citation in APA style would appear as follows: Burns, Tom, & Sinfield, Sandra. (2003). Essential Study Skills: The complete guide to success at university. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

citation index

Special type of index which lists works cited in later works, with a list of the sources from which the citations were gathered. Used by researchers to locate sources related by subject to a previously published work (e.g., Science Citation Index).

Citation Linker

Online form that lets you input a citation for an article, dissertation, book chapter, etc. to see if the library owns or has access to it.

CLICS

Formerly the Center for Library & Instructional Computing Services in Galbraith Hall; closed as part of the UCSD Library in summer 2011.

classification

A method of arranging materials like books or journals, often by topic. The UCSD library uses Library of Congress (LC) Classification for most materials. Use of classification allows library users to browse shelves to find additional items on the same or related subjects.

collected work

Book of works by different authors (essays, stories, poems, plays) selected for publication by an editor.

compact shelving

Type of library shelving using movable shelves to maximize storage capacity and space. Currently used on Geisel's 1st Floor.

controlled vocabulary

List of descriptors or subject headings used to describe items in a bibliographic database.

cookie

Built-in computer mechanism which remembers passwords, computer addresses, and other personal information and repeats it when needed; may be disabled.

copy card

Card that enables its user to print from a computer, or to make copies of a document at a photocopy machine. At UCSD, student, faculty and staff ID cards also serve as copy cards.

course management system

Integrated online applications that allow users to view and complete class materials and post messages, which facilitate discussion beyond the classroom. May also be referred to as "Learning Management System" (LMS) or "Course Management Software."

copyright

Legal right granted to an author, editor, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work.

course reserves

Service in which, at faculty request, certain library materials are temporarily assigned a much shorter loan period, to ensure that all students taking a course can share materials. Restrictions on use of reserve materials vary.

cross reference

In a catalog or index, a direction that leads a user from one entry or subject heading to another.

current periodicals

Most recent issues of a journal or magazine that a library has received.

TOP

D

dial-up

Device using telephone lines that allows a computer to access the Internet.

database

Comprehensive collection of related data (articles or other materials) organized for convenient, online access. See the UCSD Library list of available databases.

depository library

Library legally designated to receive all or some the government publications provided free by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and other federal agencies.

descriptors

Subject terms, usually from a thesaurus, used in a database to describe the content of a book or article.

dictionary

Alphabetical list of words and generally accepted definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, and other information.

directory

List of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of a specific group of persons, companies, organizations, or publications.

dissertation

Formal and lengthy written discourse, required by universities in partial fulfillment of requirements for a Ph.D.

document delivery

Service that retrieves, or provides photocopies or electronic delivery of information sources for library users.

due date

Date on which materials must be returned to the library.

TOP

E

East Asia Collection

Collection located on 4th floor of Geisel Library which focuses on collecting modern and contemporary Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) language materials in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, sociology, linguistics, and philosophy pertaining to the region. With over 150,000 volumes in print, 1,200,000 digital titles (in 12 CJK databases), 19,000 visual images, and 3,000 films, this expanding collection is rapidly becoming recognized as a regional as well as national resource center for researchers and students in the field of East Asia area studies.

e-book

Also known as an electronic book, it is a traditional print book that is made available digitally, in which format it is searchable. Available through the library's catalog and through subscription services make available by the library system, e.g., NetLibrary: www.netlibrary.com.

edition

Some books are revised and republished, with new versions often called "revised" or "second" editions, and later editions numbered sequentially.

editor

Person who selects, prepares, and compiles the works of other writers for publication.

e-journal

Web site graphically modeled on an existing print journal, or which provides access to an online journal for which there is no print counterpart; also called electronic journal.

embargo

Period during which articles in a periodical are not available in full-text online; usually the 3, 6, or 12 most recent months.

encryption

Method of encoding data so that it cannot be read except by someone with the key to decode it. Theoretically, encryption could guarantee the privacy of information sent over the Internet, but some encryption codes have been broken by unauthorized people.

encyclopedia

Reference book (one or more volumes; sometimes available online) containing information on all subjects, or limited to a special field or subject.

EndNote

Citation management tool similar to RefWorks; learn more here.

endnotes

Notes (or statements explaining the text or indicating the basis for an assertion or the source of material quoted) that appear at the end of a work.

eRes

Online system used for library course reserves; look up your course reserve materials here.

e-reserves

Also known as electronic or online reserves, these are academic materials the library has made available to students in digital format at faculty request. E-reserves are accessed through the library catalog or here. ID & password supplied by the professor are needed to obtain the material.

TOP

F

FAQ

Acronym for Frequently Asked Questions, generally a web page addressing questions asked regularly by new users.

field

Category of information, such as title, author, abstract, or subject which the user can specify to be searched in an online catalog or database.

folio

Designation after the call number of a book that indicates that the item is large or oversize, often shelved separately from other materials. Oversize currently on Geisel's 8th Floor.

footnote

Explanatory information about material in the text, numbered consecutively, and usually placed below the text.

full-text

Refers to a database or other electronic resource which provides the entire text of the works it contains (e.g., journal articles), in addition to the citation and abstract of each work.

TOP

G

gazetteer

Dictionary or index of geographical names with locations.

Geisel

Large library building at UCSD which was renamed Geisel Library in 1995 in honor of Audrey & Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) for the generous contributions they made to the library and their devotion to improving literacy.

GIS

Geographic information systems; library service allowing you to organize, explore, visualize, and analyze information geographically, by using a system based on layers. Located on 2nd Floor West of Geisel Library. Learn more here.

government documents

Publication created by a government (hearings, reports, treaties, periodicals, statistics, etc.). The government documents collection for the UCSD Library are on 2nd Floor West of Geisel Library.

TOP

H

handbook

Reference book providing concise data & other information on a specific subject.

hardcopy

Printed material, as opposed to information in microform or digital format.

hold

Service of the Libraries by which a user may request to be emailed as soon as a book that has been checked out becomes available. The book is kept at the Front Desk for a limited time for pickup. Holds can generally be placed on any regularly circulating library materials.

holdings

All materials (print, non-print, and electronic) owned by a library.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

Coding language focusing on data-display, used to create web pages so that information (text and graphics) can be displayed in various different web browsers.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Internet Protocol used to transfer hypertext documents from an internet server to a client computer. Other common Internet Protocols are gopher and ftp.

hypertext

Document that has links to other documents imbedded in it.

TOP

I

imprint

Place of publication, the name of the publisher, and the date of publication of a book.

Imprints

Campus unit offering digital document service for campus faculty, administration, and students (including document capture, retrieval, and printing). Main Imprints service is in Price Center; smaller unit on 2nd floor of Geisel Library.

InfoDesk

The Information Desk, just inside Geisel Library's entrance, is one place to ask general questions about the library.

information literacy

Ability to define problems in terms of information needs, and subsequently locate, evaluate, and apply information effectively and ethically.

index

Alphabetical list of names, places, and subjects discussed in a book and page number(s) on which each is discussed.

interlibrary loan (ILL)

Library service whereby students, faculty, and staff may request to borrow materials from another library if the item is not owned at UCSD.

IP address

IP stands for "Internet Protocol". An IP Address is a four part number used to uniquely identify a particular computer on a network using the TCP/IP (Internet) Protocol. For example, 130.126.33.246 could be an IP address.

IR/PS

Formerly the International Relations & Pacific Studies Library at UCSD; closed as part of the Library in Summer 2011 and its library collections moved primarily into Geisel Library.

ISBN (International Standard Book Number)

Unique 10- or 13-digit number given to every book or edition of a book before publication to identify the publisher, title, edition, and volume number. The four-part code identifies the item concisely, uniquely, and unambiguously. The four parts of the ISBN are: Group identifier (e.g., national, geographic, language, or other convenient group), publisher identifier, title identifier, and check digit.

ISSN (International Standard Serial Number)

International numerical code that identifies concisely, uniquely, and unambiguously a serial publication.

issue

All copies of a specific periodical title published on the same date.

TOP

J

journal

Publication distributed periodically (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.), devoted to a specific field or subfield of knowledge. Journals usually contain scholarly articles written by professors, researchers, or experts in a subject area.

TOP

K

keyword

Word used in searching catalogs and databases to describe a topic in a document.

TOP

L

LibGuides

Research assistance, subject guides, and useful resources compiled by librarians to assist with particular classes, subjects, resources, and more.

librarian

Person responsible for the care of a library and its contents, including selection and processing of materials, delivery of information, instruction, loan services, and more.

library card

Your UCSD ID cards serves as your library card; no special library activation is needed prior to use. Always have your ID card available for checkout of library materials.

Library of Congress (LC) Classification

Classification system used by the Library of Congress, and also for most UCSD Library collections.

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

Standard list of words or groups of words under which books and other material on a subject are entered in a catalog. These are helpful when searching the online catalog and are included in catalog records.

literary criticism

Books or articles that discuss and/or judge an author's writing.

loan period

Amount of time library materials may be borrowed; varies depending on type of material borrowed and the borrower's status (student, faculty, staff).

login/logon

Needed to access protected databases or services, these character strings provide information that indicates that you are a valid user. For example, you may be required to supply an appropriate user-ID and password to use library services from off-campus.

TOP

M

magazine

Periodical intended for the general public rather than for scholars (e.g., Newsweek, Time, Business Week).

Mandeville Special Collections (MSC)

Special Collections is part of the library system dedicated to collecting and preserving material of historical importance to the state or the university or that are rare or unique. These materials may not be checked out, but may be consulted in the library. Mandeville Special Collections (MSC), on Geisel Library’s 2nd Floor, is one part of the Library’s Special Collections & Archives (SCA) program. The SIO Archives, located on the SIO campus, is the other part (appointment required).

media

Non-print materials such as films, filmstrips, videocassettes, audio compact discs, audiocassettes, and vinyl LPs. Many of these materials are kept in the Arts Library on the 1st floor of Geisel Library.

MESH

"Medical Subject Headings" used to provide consistent access to medical resources; used in online catalog, the MEDLINE database, and other related medical databases.

metadata

Meaning “data about data,” metadata is used in libraries to describe both printed publications and digital objects.  For example, information such as title, author, ISBN, subject, publication year, and more is inserted into the online catalog or database records for books, articles, digital objects, and other library materials to enable users to easily search for and confirm the identity of desired items.

metasearch

A metasearch sends search terms entered by users into an online catalog, search engine, or database to multiple databases or search engines, consolidating the results into a single list and enabling a user to enter search criteria only once while searching several sources simultaneously.

microfiche

4x6 inch sheet of film used for storage of miniaturized text. Many of these materials are kept in the Social Sciences & Humanities Library on the 2nd floor of Geisel Library.

microfilm

Continuous roll of film used for storage of miniaturized text (usually journals or magazines). Many of these materials are kept in the Social Sciences & Humanities Library on the 2nd floor of Geisel Library.

microform

Film medium for storage of miniaturized text, including both microfiche and microfilm.

modem

Device that connects a PC to the Internet and converts digital signals from the computer to a form that can be sent using a voice (analog sound signal) telephone line and vice versa. Short for modulator/demodulator.

monograph

Publication that appears one-time only. Books or reports are usually monographs; periodicals are not.

My ILL / My ILL Requests

The list of resources you currently have checked out from the library through interlibrary loan (ILL). Visit this page to access your ILL account or read more details about the service. You can view and request renewal of materials from here.

My Library Account

The list of resources you currently have checked out from the library. Click on My Library Account from within the catalog or from the upper right of the library homepage and log in using your barcode (14-digit number on the back of your ID card) and password. You can view and renew materials from here.

TOP

N

newspaper

Serial publication printed & distributed daily or weekly containing news, opinions, advertising, and other items of general interest. UM Libraries subscribe to newspapers, including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

non-circulating

Items that must be used in the library such as reference books, periodicals, and some reserve materials.

NRLF

Short for the Northern Regional Library Facility, a large cooperative library storage facility housing infrequently used library materials belonging to northern California libraries. Use Melvyl to request physical items from NRLF be delivered to campus, or to request delivery of an electronic or paper copy of articles/excerpts.

TOP

O

off-campus access

To access most library e-journals and databases from off campus, you need to set up your computer using the instructions provided here.

OPAC (online public access catalog) / online catalog

Electronic database with information describing materials contained in the library; indexed by keyword, author, title, and subject. Access tool used to learn whether the library owns a particular book, government document, or periodical and to find out where it is located. UCSD's local catalog is called Roger. The UC-wide catalog is called Melvyl.

overdue

Item checked out that the borrower has kept past its due date. Overdue reserve items are subject to a fine.

TOP

P

pager

Pagers may be given at the front desk to alert users when a checked out reserve item of interest is returned and available for the next user (with the pager)

patron

Term often used to indicate a library user.

patron record

Data kept by a library's electronic system containing information about a borrower's account (address, telephone number, items checked out, holds, unpaid fines, etc.).

PDF (Portable Document File)

File format requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader to download & view; often used by resources to make a copy of an item such as a journal article available online. PDF files can preserve the exact duplication of the original paper copy, including graphics, tables, fonts, layout, colors and pagination, in effect serving as a photocopy.

peer review process

Method used by scholarly journals to assure the quality and relevance of the articles they publish. When an article is submitted, the editor sends copies to several reviewers (or "referees") who are recognized experts in the subject of the article. Each reads the article and offers an opinion on whether it is worthy of publication in the journal, using such criteria as soundness of investigative method, whether the author shows adequate knowledge of research on the subject to date, and whether the articles adds to knowledge in the field. Only if the reviewers agree that it meets the relevant criteria will the article be published.

peer-reviewed article

Scholarly article published in a peer-reviewed journal.

peer-reviewed journal

Also called a "refereed" journal. A scholarly journal that used the peer review process to select material for publication.

periodical

Publication distributed on a regular schedule (e.g., weekly or monthly). Popular periodicals are called magazines and scholarly periodicals are called journals. Newspapers are also periodicals.

plagiarism

Using another person's ideas or exact wording without due credit; learn more here.

PLUS information Service

Former library service providing research & document delivery to businesses & individuals on a cost-recovery basis; service no longer available.

podcast

Digital audio file either hosted on a webpage or, strictly speaking, distributed to the listeners via RSS subscription.

preservation

Process of maintaining library and archival materials in condition suitable for use, either in their original form or in some other, usually more durable, form.

primary source

Source providing first-hand knowledge used in the preparation of a later, derivative work. Primary sources include correspondence, diaries and other personal papers, photographs, interviews and transcripts, government documents, historical records, and newspaper clippings. (See also secondary and tertiary sources.)

proxy server

Enables a UCSD user who is off-campus to access databases that are restricted to UCSD use only. Visit this page to set up your home computer using the proxy server.

public domain

Material in the public domain is not copyrighted and may be used freely for any legal purpose. Works may be in the public domain for several reasons, including when copyright has expired or the owner has given up the copyright. Material published by the federal government is not copyrighted.

TOP

R

rare book

Valuable book which so difficult to find that it seldom appears in the antiquarian market. Most libraries keep their rare books in special collections to which access is restricted.

recall notice

All borrowers of UCSD library materials are entitled to use the materials for a minimum of two weeks. After that, if another user makes a recall/hold, library staff will email the borrower to return the material for the next user.

record

Each item or document in a database (could be a citation, table, or complete full-text document).

refereed

Said of a periodical or other serial when manuscripts are evaluated by at least one subject specialist in addition to the editor before being accepted for publication.

reference materials

Resources that allow users to locate facts or identify information quickly; housed as a separate reference collection. They contain many sources of information, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes, abstracts, almanacs, directories, or statistical compilations. Reference materials usually cannot leave the library.

reference (or service) desk

Place in the library where reference librarians and assistants give directions, answer questions, and show how to find and use library materials.

reference librarian

Reference librarians have a master's degree in library science and often other graduate degrees as well. They help you find materials needed for research, show you how to use online and other resources, and teach you about the research process.

RefWorks

Citation management tool similar to EndNote; learn more here.

renew

Extend the loan period of library material; multiple renewals are generally permitted for UCSD library material unless another user has requested the item; reserves may not be renewed.

repository

Location, usually within a library or archive, where manuscripts, rare books, papers, photographs, government documents, and other records of historical interest are usually stored. Digital repositories are accessible electronically.

reserves

Service in which, at faculty request, certain library materials are temporarily assigned a much shorter loan period, to ensure that all students taking a course can share materials. Restrictions on use of reserve materials vary. E-reserves are accessed through the library catalog or here; call numbers for physical reserves are also found in those locations. Take the call number to the designated service desk.

reviews

Critical commentary in a material typically including analysis, evaluation, interpretation, or critique of the content and quality of books, movies, software, etc.; often includes the author's/reviewer's opinion.

revised edition

Edition of a book which incorporates changes made by its author or editor since the publication of an earlier edition. In certain fields where timeliness is very important (science, medicine, technology, etc.), the reader should be particularly alert to updated, revised editions of earlier works.

Roger

Name of UCSD's Library catalog; named after Roger Revelle.

RSS

Rich site summary or really simple syndication. XML-based application that allows a "subscriber" to get automatic notification when content on a website is updated.

TOP

S

S&E

Former Science & Engineering Library, located on the east side of Geisel Library's 1st & 2nd Floors. As of Summer 2013, the UCSD Library is no longer organized by these discipline-specific units.

San Diego Circuit

Service allowing UCSD library cardholders to borrow books from local partner libraries (San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos, University of San Diego, San Diego City & County public libraries). If a book is not available at UCSD, link to Circuit from the UCSD catalog and use the Request feature to have items sent to UCSD for pick-up and use. Additional details here.

scholarly journal

Periodical containing scholarly articles on research and development, usually characterized by a list of references at the end of the articles and written by person (s) trained in the subject area.

search engine

Navigational tool to search the Web by topic or keyword using natural language searching; examples include Google, Ask, Yahoo, etc. Note: Search engines will return a list of sites containing your search terms, but the results are not "reviewed" for you. Be sure to review all search engine results for credibility and reliability.

search strategy

Methodology for focusing your research on a particular topic; plan or steps taken to locate research materials. Creating a search strategy involves determining the information needed and kinds of resources needed (primary, secondary, books, articles, etc.), and establishing appropriate keywords and concepts.

secondary source

Interpretations & commentary on primary sources; these may include biographies, dissertations, journal articles, and indexes or bibliographies.

self-checkout

Machines for self-service checkout of library materials are located near the entrances of both the Geisel and Biomedical Library Buildings. UCSD ID card is required, but a PIN is not.

serial

Term describing a wide range of publications issued in successive parts with no predictable end in sight. Magazines, journals, newspapers, annual reports, some conference proceedings, and annual reviews are examples.

SIO

Former Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, located on the SIO campus; much of the facility is no longer part of The Library, but SIO Archives, managed by The Library, is located on the 3rd Floor. By appointment only.

Special Collections

Special Collections is part of the library system dedicated to collecting and preserving material of historical importance to the state or the university or that are rare or unique. These materials may not be checked out, but may be consulted in the library. Mandeville Special Collections (MSC), on Geisel Library’s 2nd Floor, is one part of the Library’s Special Collections & Archives (SCA) program. The SIO Archives, located on the SIO campus, is the other part (appointment required).

SRLF

Short for the Southern Regional Library Facility, a large cooperative library storage facility housing infrequently used library materials belonging to southern California libraries. Use Melvyl to request physical items from SRLF be delivered to campus, or to request delivery of an electronic or paper copy of an article.

SSHL or SS&HL

Former Social Sciences & Humanities Library, located in Geisel Library. As of Summer 2013, the UCSD Library is no longer organized by these discipline-specific units.

stacks

Areas of a library where books & periodicals are shelved.

stop word

Words which cannot be used as a search term in a particular database; they tend to be small, frequently occurring words like from, or, in, and of that are often ignored when entered as search terms.

style manual

Guide providing rules & formats for arranging footnotes, citations, and bibliographies. Examples include MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. Choice of style manual depends on discipline or subject matter.

subtitle

Portion of a work's title following the semicolon or colon.

SuDocs number

Classification number assigned to and used to arrange U.S. federal government documents.

supplement

Section added to a book or journal after it has been published to provide more up-to-date information or to focus on a special topic.

TOP

T

tertiary source

These consist of information which is a distillation & collection of primary and secondary sources. Examples include almanacs, encyclopedias, and fact books.

thesaurus

  1. Book of synonyms and sometimes antonyms.
  2. Alphabetical list of terms and concepts representing the specialized vocabulary of a particular field. One example is the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms. Used by librarians and others to conduct focused searches in online databases.

thesis/theses

Publication(s) reporting original research typically required for a Masters Degree.

title page

First important page in a book; contains the title, author(s), editor(s), or organization responsible for the intellectual content of the work, edition (unless it is the first), and place of publication, publisher, and date of publication. (The date is sometimes located on the reverse side of the title page.)

trade journal

Periodical restricted to the interests of a trade or industry. Examples include Manufacturing Chemist and Aerosol News.

truncation

Search technique in which you use a symbol to search for variations on a word. For example, use ? or * at the left, right, or middle of a search term to retrieve multiple possible words (furni? to retrieve furniture or furnishings; cardio*y for cardiology or cardiopulmonary; or ?pane for windowpane or counterpane). Or use # to find words with alternative spellings (arch#eology for archeology or archaeology), or use ! to find single-letter spelling variations (wom!n for woman or women).

TOP

U

UCOP

University of California Office of the President.

unabridged

Complete (not shortened) version of a novel or dictionary.

URL (uniform resource locator)

Distinct address of a web site; method for stating the exact address or location of resources on the Web. URLs are case sensitive, so they must be entered exactly as given. For example, the URL for the UCSD library is http://libraries.ucsd.edu/.

TOP

V

volume

Single book or bound periodical, often part of a set of books or series of periodicals.

VPN (Virtual Protected Network)

Enables a UCSD user who is off-campus to access databases that are restricted to UCSD use only. Visit this page to set up your home computer using the VPN.

TOP

W

wildcard

Symbol used in searching to represent one or more letters; most often used to find plurals & other variants of words. Commonly used symbols include "?" "*" and "+". A wildcard symbol may replace a single letter (as in wom*n to search for women or woman in one search) or any number of letters (as in psycholog* to search for psychology, psychologist, and psychological). See also truncation.

wireless

Name given to any electronic device that sends messages through space via electric or electromagnetic waves instead of via power cords.

withdrawn

Items no longer in the library collection.

works cited

Name for references or bibliography hen using MLA citation style.

TOP

X

XML

eXtensible Markup Language: Coding language designed to focus on describing data rather than on displaying data (like HTML). In describing data, XML makes the content/data of an XML document more "portable." (For example, an RSS feed in XML allows the content/data of a web page to be displayed in any number of ways in RSS readers.)

TOP

Y

yearbook

Annual documentary, historical, or memorial publication containing information about the previous year.

TOP

Z

Z39.50

Prepared by the National Information Standards Organization, Z39.50 is an information retrieval service definition & protocol specification for library applications which defines how one computer system can co-operate with other systems for the purpose of searching databases & retrieving records.

Zotero

Free tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources, which in the web browser itself where you do your work.

Last updated: K. Goodson, August 2013

Your ID card is also your Library card!

UCSD ID Card

See Also