Graduate Studies @ Fontbonne

Know Your Library Lingo

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 (though reading an abstract isn't the same as reading the entire thing). An abstract offers a brief overview and covers the highlights from the article.

ALTMETRICS -- Altmetrics are non-traditional metrics that track the amount of attention research and data get online. They are complementary to traditional, citation-based metrics and can include (but are not limited to) peer reviews on Faculty of 1000, citations on Wikipedia and in public policy documents, discussions on research blogs, mainstream media coverage, bookmarks on reference managers like Mendeley, and mentions on social networks.

BIBLIOGRAPHY -- Published bibliographies are lists, often with descriptive or critical notes (annotations), of sources 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 refer to a list of references included at the end of an article or book.

BOOLEAN OPERATORS -- Using Boolean operators (or connectors) like AND, OR, and 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). Including OR in a search will return results that include either term (stress OR anxiety). If you want to exclude a concept from your results, you can use NOT (stress NOT anxiety). You can use them in both databases and online. 

CITATION -- A citation is a reference to a specific source in the text of your paper -- your actual use of others' research, arguments, or data in your own work. Citations are often confused with formal references, which refer to the entries in a bibliography or Works Cited page. (cf. REFERENCE)

DATABASE -- A database or (digital resource) s a searchable source of information.  Most library databases contain citations or references (the basic information you need to find a source), abstracts (brief summaries), and, in some cases, the full text of an article or review. 

DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI) -- A DOI s a unique alphanumeric string assigned by the International DOI Foundation to identify content (e.g., book, article, paper, image) and provide a persistent link to its location online. A DOI will help you easily find what you're looking for and will help your reader easily locate a document from your citation or bibliography.

DISSERTATION (or THESIS) -- An academic thesis or dissertation is a large research paper written by a student as part of the requirements for a master's (MA, MFA, MS) or doctoral degree (PhD or EdD). Generally, dissertations are longer than theses and a thesis refers to a Master's degree and dissertation to a Doctorate.

EBSCOhost -- EBSCOhost is a gateway to numerous online databases, including Academic Search, Education Research, and PsychRTICLES. 

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE -- EPB refers to the use of research and other systematic evidence to inform clinical practice (e.g., patient care). At its best, EBP integrates research with a practitioner's experience and expertise and the individual needs and history of a patient or client.

FULL-TEXT -- Full-text generally refers to the complete text of an article that is available electronically (as opposed to simply the citation and abstract). Full-text copies are usually PDF or HTML format.

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, dissertations, etc.  Articles and notifications that books are available for checkout will be sent to you via email. Requests can be made from inside the databases and through the library website.

LITERATURE REVIEW -- A lit review is a systematic review of the published literature on a specific topic or research question. The literature review is designed to analyze and synthesize (not just summarize) scholarly writings related directly to your research question.

MANUSCRIPT (MS) -- In the academic publishing world, a manuscript is a draft of an article (or other writing) before it is published. Sometimes manuscripts are made available online to meet federal funding (or other) requirements, but they will be clearly marked as such. Manuscripts can be incomplete or unedited, so always check to see if a published version is available.

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.

OPEN ACCESS -- Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of research often combined with few or no restrictions on rights to use the information. 

PEER REVIEWED (or REFEREED or SCHOLARLY) -- 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.

REFERENCE -- A reference is a formal, formatted entry for a source you've cited in your writing and includes the basic information you need to find a specific item. Different kinds of sources will require different kinds of information. In most cases, you'll  want the author, title, and date. Page numbers, publication details, and details about the specific volume and issue can also be important. (cf. CITATION)

RESEARCH ARTICLE -- A research article is one that describes a specific research study (or set of studies). Look for sections labeled 'Methods', 'Results', etc. (Some databases (e.g., PsychARTICLES) allow you to limit your results to specific kinds of research studies. 

THESAURUS -- A thesaurus is an alphabetical list of synonyms. In a library catalog or database, the thesaurus (or controlled vocabulary) provides relationships among subject terms (e.g., related, broader, or narrower). If you're looking for articles about "road rage," an index might points you to the preferred "aggressive driving behavior."

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