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The College: Glossary of library terms

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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 : A short summary of an article or document.  

Advanced search : A search option in iFind and many library databases. It allows you to improve your search by combining keywords. This should mean that you get more accurate and relevant search results.  

APA Referencing : An ‘author-date’ referencing style. It consists of two parts: an in-text citation that gives the author and the date it was published and a reference list at the end of the piece of work that gives full details of the sources used. There are more details in our APA referencing guides.

Article :  A short piece of writing on a specific topic. Often published in a journal, magazine or newspaper.

Articles & more :  A search option on iFind. Use this search to find journal articles, magazine, newspaper articles, conference papers and other similar resources. 

Audio visual : Audio visual is a ‘resource type’ in iFind and is normally video material (i.e. a DVD).  

Author : The person who has written the book, article or other information. 

Automatic renewals : Automatic renewals are in place on all normal loan items (4 week loans) for Swansea University staff and students. Provided that the items you have borrowed have not been recalled for use by another library user normal loans will automatically renew at the end of their current loan period. Automatic renewals do not apply to short loan items, 24 hour loans, theses, laptop loans, or any items borrowed by external borrowers. 

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B

Banwen Library : Banwen Library is a branch of the South Wales Miners' Library located in the DOVE workshop, Banwen, 25 miles from Swansea in the Dulais Valley. The Library supports Adult Education classes taught at the DOVE Workshop, and surrounding area. All Swansea University staff, students and members of the public are welcome to use the library. 

Bay Library : The library situated on the Bay Campus. It houses the library collections for the subjects taught on the Bay Campus as well as offering a variety of study spaces and support from library staff.  

Bibliography : A list of the materials (books, journal articles etc.) that have been referenced in a piece of work as well as background reading not referenced. Your assignments normally only require a reference list and not a bibliography.  

Boolean operators : Boolean operators are the words "AND", "OR" and "NOT". When used in iFind and library databases they can make each search more precise. More information about using Boolean operators can be found in our tutorial about Finding Journal Articles

Browser :  A computer program with a graphical user interface for displaying and navigating between web pages. Examples include Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. 

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C

Call number : Also known as class mark or shelf mark. The call number is a combination of letters and numbers that allows you to locate the item on the shelf. The library organises books by subject, so books on similar subjects will have the same call number and be found in the same location.  

Chat : The library offers an online chat service. This operates in core hours and allows you to ask questions and get a quick response.  

Citation : When you quote, paraphrase, summarise or refer to someone’s work or ideas you need to include a citation. A citation is placed in the text, near the point where the source is used. The citation is linked to a full reference.  

Cronfa : Cronfa is Swansea University's research repository.  It contains journal articles, books, book chapters, research theses, conference and workshop papers, data, reports, working papers and more authored or co-authored by Swansea University staff. 

Carmarthen Library : See St David's Park Library 

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D

Database :  A database is an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system. Library databases normally contain journal articles, but can also include, books, book chapters, reports, videos, data and many other types of information.  

Device functions (Printing): When using the printers and trying to copy documents, students need to click on the ‘device functions’ icon that appears after logging into the printer, which in turn presents the option to ‘copy’.  

Dissertation : A long piece of writing, usually on a topic chosen by the student. A dissertation is usually the last major assignment at the end of a course of study. 

Document supply : If Swansea University staff or students need essential content for their research which is not held by Swansea University libraries, then they can use the Document Supply service to obtain an interlibrary loan or copy from another library.  

DOI : A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web. A DOI will always refer to that article, and only that one. While a web address (URL) might change, the DOI will never change.

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E

eBook : An electronic version of a book 

Edition :  An edition is a particular version of a book, magazine, or newspaper that is printed at one time. 

Editor : The person who puts together a collection of documents (such as journal articles or book chapters) written by different authors. 

Embargo :  A period of time (often 6, 12 or 18 months) before you are able to access the full text of journal articles.  If you need access to an article which is under embargo use our Document Supply service

EndNote :  EndNote is a tool that can help you store and organise the references that you find during your research. You can then insert citations and a fully-formatted reference list into your Word documents. More information is in our EndNote guide.

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F

FiltersiFind and library databases have filters that can help you to limit your search results. Common filters include publication date, type of source, peer-reviewed (scholarly) sources, language and subject terms.  

Folios : If you find an item on iFind marked as Folio it means that it is very large (too large to fit on regular shelves) and shelved separately to the main book collection.  

Full Text : The complete text of a document is available for you to read. Often used in databases to indicate the complete journal article is available for you to read online.  

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G

Group study pod : There are group study pods in Singleton Park Library and Bay Library. Small groups of two or more students can book them to use for a maximum of two hours. These rooms have large screens so you can practice presentations. 

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H

(on) Hold : Whenever an item is requested by a student and that item becomes available for collection, the student receives an On Hold Collection Notification email, notifying them that the item will be kept for them at the library’s hold shelves for a specified period of time.   

Holdings : When libraries refer to their holdings they are talking about all of the material (books, journals etc.) in the collection. 

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I

iFind : iFind is Swansea University's library catalogue. You can use the iFind to search all our library items including books/ebooks, journals, journal articles and much more. If you log into iFind you can request items on loan to other people and access your library account.  

iFindReading : iFindReading is Swansea University's online reading list system.  More information can be found in our iFindReading guide

Information desk : The main place for queries located by the entrance of our libraries 

InterLibrary Loan (ILL) : A way or requesting a book, journal article, or other publication which is not available from our own library. Also see Document Supply.

ISS Service Desk : The ISS Service Desk is the way to make any IT service requests or report any IT issues.  

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J

Journal : A journal is a collection of articles (like a magazine) that is published regularly throughout the year. Journals present the most recent research, and journal articles are written by experts, for experts. They may be published in print or online formats, or both. 

Journal article : Journal articles are shorter than books and written about very specific topics. 

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K

Keyword : A word indicating the main concept or subject in a document. Keywords can be used to search iFind or databases to find information on that topic. 

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L

Law Library : The Law Library is located in the old section of Singleton Library (Level 4 East) and is home to the majority of our Law books, periodicals and journals. 

Library fine : Fines may be applied to any items not returned by the current due date. It is the borrower’s responsibility to check their account regularly to ensure that all items are returned on time. Full details can be found on the library website.   

Library Guide : Library Guides created by your librarians to help support students, staff and researchers to use the library and find subject resources. 

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M

Main Collection : The Main Collection of books in the library represents the majority of books in our library collection.

Mendeley :  Mendeley is a free tool that can help you store and organise the references that you find during your research.  This reference information can then be used to automatically insert citations and a fully formatted reference list into your Word documents.  There are more details in our Mendeley guide

MHRA Style: MHRA style is a set of guidelines for referencing, commonly used in humanities subjects. In MHRA, sources are cited in footnotes, marked by superscript numbers in the text. There are more details in our MHRA referencing guide

Microfilm : Swansea University staff and students have free access to newspaper archives in addition to sites available anywhere on the Internet. Some old paper versions of newspapers have been scanned and turned into a (digital) microfilm record for purposes of preservation. 

Miners library : South Wales Miners' Library is located on the Hendrefoelan Campus. This library supports  ACE (Adult and Continuing Education) courses but any registered student or member of staff is entitled to use the facilities and borrow items from the Library in person. 

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N

Newspapers : A daily or weekly publication containing news, opinions, advertising, and other items of general interest. 

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O

Online access : Some of the items found on iFind are available as virtual resources. Such items are identified as ‘online access’. It should be noted that many items are available both as physical copies in our library as well as virtual copies through online access. 

Open access :  Open Access (OA) provides free, immediate, online access to publicly funded scholarly research. Readers are permitted to read, download, copy and redistribute research outputs.  Open Access ensures that your research reaches a wide audience. 

OSCOLA :  OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) is the industry standard for referencing legal materials. The OSCOLA style is a footnote referencing system. This means it consists of three elements; a citation (When you acknowledge a source in the text), a footnote (a reference that appears at the bottom of the page) and a bibliography (a list at the end of the work of all the sources you cited).  More details can be found in our OSCOLA guide

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P

Pamphlets : A pamphlet is an unbound book. They are a typically significantly smaller than books and have a separate section in Singleton Park Library  

Peer reviewed journals : Peer-reviewed (refereed or scholarly) journals contain articles written by experts that are reviewed by several other experts in the field to ensure the article's quality. 

Periodicals : A publication like a journal or magazine that is published at regular intervals. . 

Permalink : A permanent static hyperlink to a particular web page. 

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Q

Quiet study area : When studying in these areas of the library conversation should be quiet and mobile phones on silent.

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R

Recalls : Items currently on loan, which have been requested by another user. If a book that you have on loan is requested by someone you may get a recall email asking you to return it. If any recalled items are not returned by their due date, your account will be frozen until all recalled items have been returned.  

Refereed journal : See Peer reviewed journal 

Reference : Details of the source of information used in a piece of work (essay, book, article, video etc.).  

Reference list : List of all the references used in a piece of work.

Reference only items : Some types of library material, including current issues of periodicals, theses and reference works, are designated as not for loan and cannot be taken out of the building.

Renew : If you require your books for a longer period of time, it may be possible to extend the loan so that you can keep it for longer. See Automatic renewals

Request : On iFind it is possible to request items, which we have in stock but are currently borrowed by another user. Placing a request on iFind would notify the holder of the item that it has been requested and they would have a period of one week after the request has been places to return the item. The request option ensures the fair access to resources by everyone at the university 

Request and Collect : The library has launched a new Request & Collect service to provide current students and staff with easy access items that are not available online. Requests should be placed via iFind. Full details of this service can be found on the Library website

Richard Burton Archives : The Richard Burton Archives is the corporate memory and archive repository of Swansea University and holds material of local, regional and national significance. The Archives selects, preserves and makes accessible to all the records of historical value created or acquired by the University. 

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S

Serial : A publication like a journal or magazine that is published at regular intervals. 

Scholarly journal : See Peer reviewed journal 

Silent study area : Study areas in the library where there should be no conversation, no food and no mobile phones.

Singleton Park Library : Singleton Park Library is located on Singleton Campus, Swansea. It holds a large selection of books, has numerous workspaces and computers, has a Document Supply service and is home to the Richard Burton Archives. Staff and students can also come here for help with IT. 

South Wales Miners' Library : South Wales Miners' Library is located on the Hendrefoelan Campus. This library supports  ACE (Adult and Continuing Education) courses but any registered student or member of staff is entitled to use the facilities and borrow items from the Library in person.. 

St David's Park Library : St David's Park Library is located on the St David's Park Campus, Carmarthen. This library supports Health Sciences students being taught at Carmarthen. The Library is primarily for the use of Swansea University health sciences students but any registered student or member of staff is entitled to use the facilities and borrow items from the Library in person. 

SWOTs : Swansea Online Library Tutorials. A series of online tutorials that introduce you to the library, different referencing styles and teach you how to find books, journal articles and other types of information. Swansea University students can access all of the tutorials via Canvas .  

Systematic review : A systematic review is a literature review that is designed to locate, appraise and synthesize the best available evidence relating to a specific research question to provide informative and evidence-based answers. More information can be found on our Systematic review guide. 

 

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T

Trade publication :  A journal written by practitioners or journalists with subject expertise.  These are aimed at people in a particular trade or profession. 

Thesis : An extensive written piece of work which discusses and presents research findings as part of a Postgraduate research degree. 

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V

Vancouver : The Vancouver system, also known as Vancouver reference style or the author–number system, is a citation style that uses numbers within the text that refer to numbered entries in the reference list. It is popular in the physical sciences. Full details of how to use the Vancouver referencing system can be found on our Vancouver guide.

Virtual browse : Virtual browse appears in the iFind results for print books. It allows you to browse other books that are in the same the location in the library. 

Vivian Tower Store : The library stores some infrequently used books and journals in the Vivian Tower Store. Only library staff can access this store, so if you want items kept here you need to request them via iFind.  

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