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Research Help

Know Your Library Lingo

1. What is an ABSTRACT?  An abstract is a summary of a larger work such as a journal or magazine article. You can read the abstract to decide if an article will be helpful in your research. Reading an abstract is NOT the same as reading the entire journal article. An abstractor discusses the most important information from the journal article.

2. What is a BIBLIOGRAPHY?  Published bibliographies are lists, often with descriptive or critical notes, of writings relating to a particular subject, author, or time period (e.g., "The Animal Rights Movement in the United States, 1975-1990: An Annotated Bibliography"). The term can also be used to denote a list of references included at the end of an article or book.

3. What is a THESAURUS?  A thesaurus is an alphabetical list of synonyms. It provides relationships among the terms, such as related terms, broader terms, and/or narrower terms. For example, you may desire articles about "road rage," but the index clearly points you to the correct terminology, "aggressive driving behavior."

4. What are BOOLEAN OPERATORS? (or connectors)  Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to build your searches will retrieve more precise and relevant results.  Using AND will ensure that both terms are returned in your results (Stress AND anxiety). OR in a search will return results that include either term (stress OR anxiety). If you want to exclude a concept from your results, use NOT (stress NOT anxiety).

5. What is a CITATION?  A citation is the basic information you need to find a specific item in the library. Citations generally contain the author, the title, the year of publication, the page number(s) and also the journal, magazine or newspaper title, volume, publisher and more. 

6. What is a DATABASE?  A database is a searchable file of information.  Most library databases contain citations or references (the basic information you need to find a journal article), abstracts (brief summary of an article), and, in some databases, full-text (the text of the journal article). Using a database will help you save time and find better results when you are searching for journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. (Also called a Digital Resource)

7. What is a DISSERTATION or THESIS?  An academic thesis or dissertation is a large research paper written by students in order to complete their master's or doctoral degrees (PhD). Generally thesis refers to a Master's degree and dissertation refers to a Doctoral degree.

8. What is FULL-TEXT?  Full text generally refers to the complete text of an article that is available electronically through the computer.  Full- text is usually PDF or HTML format.

9. What is MOBIUS?  Fontbonne is a member of the Bridges cluster within MOBIUS (Missouri Bibliographic Information Users System), a growing consortium of academic and research libraries.  You have borrowing privileges at all of these libraries, or a courier service can bring requested books to Fontbonne.  The same courier system can provide materials from Prospector, a similar consortium of Colorado research libraries.

10. What is Interlibrary Loan?  Interlibrary Loan is a FREE electronic request system to get materials from libraries across the country that are not available in print here at Fontbonne. Use it to request journal articles, books, conference proceedings, dissertation, etc.  Articles and notifications that books are available for checkout will be sent you via email. Requests can be made through the Library website.

11. What is a PEER-REVIEWED or REFEREED or SCHOLARLY Journal Article?  A scholarly or peer-reviewed article has gone through an editorial process in which a panel of experts (usually 3) read through the article and conclude that the research was done correctly and the information is accurate. Scholarly articles usually are longer than 5 pages, have no advertisements, and have bibliographies at the end. To find out if a journal is peer reviewed you can check their (publisher’s) website for information.

12. What is EBSCOhost?  EBSCOhost is a gateway to numerous online databases, including the most heavily used database at Fontbonne: Academic Search.

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