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Library Instruction


Bibliographic record:

Information about a book or other library material containing the title, author, publisher, date and place of publication, may also contain subject headings, table of contents, or summary

Boolean Operators:

AND, OR, NOT: used to combine terms when creating searches

Citation and Abstract:

In a database search: the return includes the title of the article, the author(s,) journal title, date of publication, and a summary (abstract) of the article. See also: Full text

Controlled vocabulary:

Specific terms applied to concepts such as subject headings or indexing terms used as search terms. Different databases will use different controlled vocabulary terms.

Full Text:

In a database search: In addition to the citation and abstract, the entire article is available to read, print, email, or save. See also: Citation and Abstract


Any important word in a record or document (not words like a, an, the) used as a search term

Peer reviewed (articles):

            Another way to refer to scholarly articles


To represent as one’s own work the words or intellectual content of another

Popular (articles):

Articles which have not been reviewed by experts in the field other than the author before publication, often found in magazines and newspapers. Published relatively quickly but may not be authoritative. See also “Scholarly”

Primary Source:

Provides first-hand accounts of the events, practices, or conditions. Primary sources are original, first-hand accounts of a topic from people who had a direct connection to the topic. Primary sources are created at the time under study and by people who have first-hand knowledge of the topic.

Refereed (articles):

another way to refer to scholarly articles

Scholarly (articles):

articles which have been reviewed by experts in the field in addition to the author(s) before being published. Sometimes also referred to as “peer reviewed” or “refereed.” Generally, more authoritative but take time to publish. See also: Popular

Secondary Source:

created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions. Secondary sources are one step removed from primary sources. Secondary sources often study, analyze, or interpret primary sources. Many scholarly articles are examples of secondary sources.

Tertiary Sources:

Tertiary sources are once removed from secondary sources. Tertiary sources tend to be encyclopedic in nature and often summarize, review, or digest primary and secondary sources to provide background information on a topic.