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Information Competence Vocabulary


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Letter A

abstract
A general summary of contents usually related to periodical articles
analytical thinking
The process of looking at the pieces/components to gain an understanding of the whole. Break the ideas open and dig underneath the surface to understand
annotated bibliography
A list of information sources on a subject with specific notes on each source
annotation
A note that specifically relates source to the topic of your research
archives
A repository for preserved public or historical documents
ASRS
Automated storage and retrieval system. Compact storage system that uses robotics to store/retrieve little-used materials
atlas
A book of maps

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Letter B

bibliographic citation
The complete identifying publication information for a source. Usually includes the author's name, title(s), publication date, etc.
bibliography
A citation list of sources on a subject
blog
An online personal journal consisting of personal observations, reflections, comments, excerpts from other sources, and often hyperlinks typically run by a single person
Boolean logic
The method used to specify the relationship between terms when using indexing sources. Uses the words "and", "or", and "not" to express the relationship. Example:
(Chicanos or Chicanas or Mexican Americans) not (Hispanics or Hispanic Americans) and marriage
bound periodicals
Individual issues of periodicals that have been joined together under one hard cover
browser
Short for web browser; search engine, a software program for searching and viewing web pages
 
 

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Letter c

cache
temporary memory that stores the web pages viewed/retrieved on your computer. Too much in the cache may slow down retrieval time or affect other computer functions
call number
The classification/codes numbers with letters assigned to library material based on subject. Used to systematically shelve or store material
capture
To save/download information to a hard or floppy disk
catalog
An inventory/indexing device that systematically and descriptively lists items
CD ROM
Compact Disk Read-Only Memory. Electronic storage device for information read by lasers. Often contain periodical indexes.
circulation desk
Service desk where materials are checked out. Usually also the site where a "search" or a "hold" may be placed.
citation
Complete identifying, bibliographic information giving the exact publication information for a source
controlled vocabulary
Thesaurus of subject headings or descriptors from a predetermined list of possible terms that reflect the content of the item. Many databases have an online thesaurus which provides the controlled words or phrases used for that database
creative thinking
The process of developing new ideas or solutions to problems through the use of analytical and critical thinking
critical thinking
The process of effectively examining and questioning information in order to weigh evidence and make choices and/or take action

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Letter D

database
Organized collection of related information. Can be bibliographic with summaries/abstracts or full-text.
debit card
A credit card sized, plastic card that electronically debits/subtracts charges for copies made or printed
default
A word, action, and/or procedure that is assumed and taken unless other, overriding information or instructions are commanded
descriptor
A word that describes the subject/content of a source; a subject term/controlled vocabulary terms
directory
An alphabetical or classified list usually giving names and addresses
document delivery
Process for obtaining a document not owned. May be printed, interlibrary loaned, faxed, emailed, or ordered through such services as Academic Search Elite, Ingenta, FirstSearch, or Find Text. See also Interlibrary Loan.
domain name
suffix added to end of www address that identifies the organization providing information to the server. Examples are: .edu, .com, .org, .mil, .net, .gov
download
The act of saving or "capturing" electronic information to a hard or floppy disk or portable memory drive

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Letter E

electronic journal
A regularly published periodical that is distributed electronically journal and usually includes all the same information as a print version
endnotes
Notes, including bibliographic citations, found at the end of a document

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Letter F

fields
Indexing elements/categories such as descriptor (subject), author, journal, date, title that can usually be searched.
footnote
Found at the bottom of the page, complete bibliographic information for sources cited on that page. Includes specific page numbers for each citation.
forward/preface
Introductory text section that summarizes or details the purpose and content of the book
full-text index / database
Periodical index in which the indexing includes all the words from the text entered on computer
full title
Short title + subtitle. Required in bibliographic citations

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Letter G

gateway
A web site that serves as an interface or entry point to another network

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holdings
Specific items that a library owns or "holds"
home page
The first or introductory screen on a web site
HTML
hypertext markup language; coding used in design of web pages
http
hypertext transport protocol; command that takes you to location
hyperlink
element in an electronic document that links to another place. Most essential ingredient of all hypertext systems
hypertext
highlighted text that has links; heavily cross-referenced text links. A special type of database system in which objects can be creatively linked to each other

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Letter I

ill.
An abbreviation for illustration. Indicates that material contains graphic information.
index
A device, usually alphabetical, which indicates the specific location of the contents of a source. Also a tool to locate an specific citation for a periodical article
Information competence
The ability to identify an information need and to find, evaluate, effectively use and communicate appropriate information
information desk
A service desk where general and directional questions can be answered
Interlibrary loan (I.L.L.)
The process of one library borrowing materials from another library. See also document delivery.
internet
An international network of computers originally established for military and scientific communication which has grown to include educational, commercial, and recreational uses
IP address
Internet provider (AOL, campus server, etc.) address which may look like this: 130.166.59.59
ISP
Internet service provider

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Letter J

Java
A programming language based on C++ software that permits more flexibility in accessing files like video clips by retrieving a software application known as an "applet"
journal
A scholarly/academic/professional periodical publication

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Letter K

keywords
Significant or important words/phrases that describe the contents or topic. Often used for indexing purposes. May be found in the title abstract, text, etc.
 

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Letter L

list of works cited
Bibliographic citations for specific sources cited within a work

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Letter M

metasearch
function that allows you to search more than one database at a time, especially periodical article databases
microform
The reduced format of material that originally appeared in print. Can be either microfilm, microfiche, or microcard

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Letter N

Netscape
A graphical browser software program that facilitates the use of the internet

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Letter O

online
Direct electronic interaction
online catalog
The computerized list/inventory of library's materials
outline
Organization of ideas for research paper into clear, logical categories with main heading or topic sentences and one or more levels of subheadings

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Letter P

paraphrase
The act of using your own words to express the idea of another. A restatement giving the meaning in different words
parenthetical references
Common convention using parenthesis for citing and giving credit to sources within text whether quoted directly or paraphrased. Also known as "in-text" references.
PDF
Portable document format. An Adobe Acrobat desktop publisher application format that "captures" and displays the original look of a formatted document for viewing on a monitor.
peer-reviewed
Scholarly/academic articles that are read by academic or scholar "peers" for advice and evaluation of content when submitted for publication. Peers recommend to the editor/editorial board whether the article should be published as is, revised, or rejected. Also sometimes know as "refereed" articles
periodical
An information source that is published on a regular/periodic schedule
plagiarism
The act of stealing or passing off another's words or ideas as your own. The use of information within your writing from another source without appropriate reference or credit given.
popular sources
Sources intended for general audiences
portal
One-stop web site that serves as a gateway to Internet and features targeted content and services.
protocol
Standard procedure/steps
proximity searching
Search technique that allows locational limits for searching terms. Proximity refers to the relationship that items develop when they are close together. Proximity operators are words or symbols (connectors) placed between search terms to specify the order and closeness of the search terms. Proximity operators are particularly useful when searching the Web or full-text databases. For example: "college w/5 graduation" will search or the first word within 5 words of the second word.
PURL
Persistent uniform resource locator. A system that connects an old and unusable web address to the new, useable address

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Letter Q

qualitative research
A research methodology that includes an inquiry process of understanding a social/human problem through the words of the informants and conducted in a natural setting. Also known as the traditional, positivist, experimental, or empirical approach or the interpretative approach
quantitative research
A research methodology that inquires into a social or human problem based on testing a theory composed of variables, measured in numbers and analyzed with statistical procedures for predictive abilities

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Letter R

record
A complete and individual set of information that identifies each item in a "results" list which is produced by a database search. Generally, the records in the results list are bibliographic citations with specific information for each book and/or periodical article identified by the search.
reference desk
Service desk where librarians answer questions regarding sources, tools and strategies for information access
references
Complete bibliographic citations for specific sources cited. Found at the end of the written research and includes specific page numbers
refereed
Scholarly/academic articles that are read by academic or scholar "referees" for advice and evaluation of content when submitted for publication. Referees recommend to the editor/editorial board whether the article should be published as is, revised, or rejected. Also sometimes know as "peer-reviewed" articles
reserve book room (RBR)
Service desk where materials are placed on a limited loan basis

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Letter S

scholarly source
A source written by scholars or experts in the subject. An example of a scholarly periodical is called a journal. Scholarly sources usually include a list of references and the credentials of the scholar
search engine
A software tool that simplifies subject searching on the Internet
short title
The first part of the title statement that proceeds the subtitle and the first point of punctuation
SMGL
Standardized generalized markup language coding which is used in the design of web pages
spiders
An automatic program that retrieves web pages and links in response to the use of a search engine, such as Alta Vista. Also sometimes known as a webcrawler. Spiders may work simultaneously and in parallel.
stacks
Shelves where the books or other library materials are placed
subtitle
The portion of the title that follows the short title that usually explains or describes the contents of the source. Needed for correct bibliographic references.

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Letter T

table of contents
A list/outline of the information contained in a source arranged with page numbers in the order in which the information appears. Outlines and organizes contents
truncation
The shortening and use of word roots in searching that allows for variant spellings of desired terms

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Letter U

URL
Uniform/Universal Resource Locator; internet address; case sensitive
user-friendly
Easily understood and available instructions

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Letter W

web portal
A service or web site that offers a wide selection of resources, i.e. a search engine
wiki
An interactive, collaborative web site that lets people freely create and edit Web content using any Web browser. From the term "wiki-wiki" (very quickly) in Hawaiian. (Wikipedia.org)
works cited
The sources to which references are made within a research paper. May differ from the bibliography for a work.
world wide web
Also known as WWW. The hypertext part of the internet. Includes graphics and the ability to link easily between internet/web sites.

This page was created by Karin Durán and maintained by Mary S. Woodley.

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