Glossary of library terms
A brief description or summary of the content of a document, such as a journal article.
This is an automatic web service that allows you to have updated information sent to you regularly.
A note added to a document to provide an explanation or a comment on the text. An annotated bibliography is an organised list of sources which includes a summary or evaluation of each one.
An alphabetical list of all the items that form the background reading for a piece of work or assignment.
The terms and, or, and not, which can be used to widen or narrow your search when using electronic sources.
To look for something via an alphabetical listing of subjects, authors or titles.
To refer to another source/someone else's idea in your own work. A citation contains the details (e.g. date. title, publication) of those individual items.
A copy is a single item. There may be several copies of the exact same item.
The law relating to what you can and cannot do with other people's work(s) e.g. under Copyright Law you can legally copy up to one chapter of a book.
A collection of searchable information. The library pays for many online databases that you can search to find information for your research and assignments, including journal articles.
This stands for Digital Object Identifier, which is a system for identifying an object such as an electronic document. A DOI for a document is usually a series of characters or numbers.
This is the date that you should return the item you have borrowed.
An individual publication that you can access online, often through databases.
A book that can be read online. Many of these are available via the Library Catalogue.
The Latin abbreviation which means 'and others'.
Find My Reference
Find My Reference allows you to check whether a specific journal article is available through the library's online databases. When you are searching the journal databases, you may follow a 'Find It' button to check for full text availability of an item you have found.
This is the complete text of a document or journal article.
A print/paper version of an item.
This is displayed in the Library Catalogue to show an item that is in the library and is being prepared for the shelves.
An online collection (or archive) of documents or resources produced by a particular institution. The Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research (NECTAR) is The University of Northampton's institutional repository. Its purpose is to showcase University research.
Inter-Library Loan (ILL)
An item that is obtained for loan via the British Library. The ILL service allows you to request items for your dissertation/final year project that are not available in the University library.
An ISBN is a unique 10 or 13-digit number of a book. Multiple copies of a book will have the same ISBN as long as the format and edition matches. Journals have an 8-digit ISSN number.
To check out an item from the library using your card.
A journal is made up of several journal articles written by different authors. Journals are published at regular intervals throughout the year and usually have a volume number and issue/part number. These are sometimes called periodicals.
A paper usually written by an academic or professional that contains the latest research, findings or trends on a topic. Each article will have a title and author(s). Several articles are published together in a journal.
Words which describe the topic or specific item you are looking for when searching online.
The Catalogue is where you can search online for items held in the library, including books, e-books and dissertations.
To borrow an item from the library.
NELSON is where you will find all of the resources that are useful for your subject.
The name given to the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is where you will find documents and information relating to your modules, provided by your tutors.
You can borrow the item for three weeks.
The library has ordered an item, but it has not been delivered yet. These items may not be reserved.
An item you have borrowed has passed the date it was meant to be returned
This is passing off someone else's work, either intentionally or unintentionally, as your own for your own benefit.
A list, usually found within a module guide, containing all core and recommended books/journal articles.
An alphabetical list of all the items that have been cited in a piece of work or assignment.
These items may not be taken out of the library.
The details of individual works that have been used in a piece of work or assignment.
Citing and acknowledging other people's work/ideas that you have referred to in your own work. There are different systems of referencing including Harvard, APA, Running Notes and MLA.
To extend the length of time that you have to borrow a book.
To add your name to a waiting list for an item that is currently on loan.
SCONUL Access is a scheme that UK national and university libraries belong to. It allows students and staff to access other institutions' libraries in the scheme for research.
Services that allow you to help yourself. For example, the library has self-service machines that allow you to check out and return books without having to see a member of staff.
The specific location details for the item you are looking for. The shelfmark will contain both numbers and letters, which you will need to be able to locate the item on the shelves.
Short loan items may only be borrowed overnight and must be returned by 10am the next week day.
Items obtained by the library which require ongoing payment.
Plagiarism detection software used by the University.
A four-digit number that is needed to print, photocopy and borrow items. This is emailed to all new students.