A short summary of the main ideas expressed in an article, paper or book.


A list consisting of works cited in the text and other relevant works consulted. Another name for this list is "References".

Boolean logic

Named after the nineteenth-century mathematician George Boole, Boolean logic is the process of linking topics in order to narrow or expand a search through the use of the terms AND, OR, or NOT (Bell, 2001). Boolean logic is use to search computerised information systems (such as the library catalogue or periodical databases) using the Boolean connectors (AND, OR, NOT).

Boolean search statement

A search comprising of keywords that are connected by Boolean connectors (AND, OR, NOT) that can be entered into computerised information systems (such as the library catalogue or periodical databases) to find relevant resources. Usually includes truncation.

Eg (educat* or teach*) and (gifted or exceptional*) and child*

Call number

To locate an item in the library, you need a call number. Each library item is given a call number that allows items on the same subject to be shelved together. E.g., "428.112 ANDE" is a call number. It consists of the Dewey classification number and the first four letters of the item's title or of the author's name.


A reference to a work, such as a book or journal article. A citation includes the author, title, publisher (for books), place of publication, and year of publication.

Classification code

A combination of letters and numbers used to place items together, on the shelves or in a database, according to their subject.

Computerised information retrieval system

Is an electronic database such as a library catalogue or periodical database, which stores information to be easily retrieved (generally by searching using keywords).

Conference Paper

A conference paper is a written copy of a presentation delivered at a conference. A conference paper is similar in size and scope to a journal article.


The legal protection given to copyright owners (e.g., authors, artists), which protect them against, unauthorised copying of their work.


Organised collection of information stored in a computer. It may contain bibliographic or numerical data, which is generally structured so that it can be sought and retrieved automatically.

Dewey Decimal Classification

The Dewey Decimal Classification was devised by Melvil Dewey in 1873. In it he divided knowledge into ten main fields, which are then broken down in a hierarchy of increasing specificity. Each area of knowledge has its own number range.

Electronic Journal

A publication, often scholarly, that is published electronically and distributed over the Internet.

Field Searching

Ability to limit a search by requiring word of phrase to appear in a specifc field eg title, url

Full text

Generally refers to the complete article being available on the database.


A collection of synonyms for terms. It provides definitions for terms that tend to be unusual or are technical terms.

Home Page

The entry page for the web site of a particular group, organisation or person.


An alphabetical list at the end of a book or periodical that gives page references to where names and subjects can be found.


Contains articles, papers, or reports. Also called a periodical or serial.

Journal or Periodical article

An article is published research done by professional scholars and published in a scholarly publication such as an academic journal or periodical. Scholarly journals are refereed: i.e. Other researchers in the same field evaluate articles before they are published. Articles can also be found in magazines or newspapers. These tend to be written by journalists for general audiences. (Nowakowski, 2003)


Keywords are significant words from an essay topic that describe the main focus of the topic. Keywords are terms that you enter into the search field on a library catalogue, periodical database or a search engine to find relevant materials for the topic.

Liaison Librarian

Liaison librarians can help you to find information in the library and are responsible for certain subject areas.

Library Catalogue

A library catalogue is a type of database. It is an organised collection of information. It provides information about all items held by or accessible through a library. These items may be in physical or electronic format.


Anything that is accessible through a computer system or the Internet. For example many databases are available online.

Periodical collection

Holds periodicals in the library, shelved by a classification number. This collection is not for loan and has the prefix "P". Articles can be photocopied, within limits imposed by copyright law.

Periodical Database

An organised collection of journal/periodical articles which can be searched using keywords.


Publications issued on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, or annually). Examples of periodicals include: journals, magazines and newspapers. Also known as Serials.

Phrase searching

This means the database will look for the keywords you type in the search field as you have typed them (e.g. if you search for "Charles Darwin University", the database will look for those three words together in that exact order).

Proximity searching

This means the database will look for the keywords together (but not necessarily in that order) or within a few words of each other.


Is a unit of data in a field or database. For example a catalogue record contains data about a book that, includes: title, author, subject and publication details.

Reference collection

The Reference collection in the library holds specialised publications that are usually consulted for brief description or as an entry point to other literature. This collection typically holds dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, indexes, atlases, etc. This collection is not for loan and has the prefix "REF".

Reference materials

Typically includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, indexes, atlases, etc.


Bibliographic description of a book, periodical or article sufficient to identify and find the item.

Search Engine

A tool that is used to search for information on the World Wide Web.

Search statement

See Boolean search statement


See Periodicals

Stop Words

Stop words are small words that are not indexed by electronic databases such as the library catalogue, periodical databases and search engines. Stop words include words such as a, and, in, of, on and to


The ability to enter the first part of a keyword, insert a symbol (usually a *) and accept any variant spelling or word endings from the occurrence of the symbol onwards eg femini* retrieves feminine, feminism etc.


Uniform Resource Locator. The unique address of any web document. There is a logic to the layout of a url

http:// www cdu edu au
Hypertext Transfer Protocol World wide web Name of site Type of site Country