The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
List of Library terms
Bold words within definitions refer to other entries in this glossary. Links take you straight to relevant pages on our website.
Abstract: a short summary of a journal article, book, thesis, or other work. Many abstracts are available on searchable databases.
Academic Liaison Services: support the academic and research community by managing repositories, special collections, research collections and specialist subject areas in the Templeman Library, as well as dealing with book orders and reading lists.
annual: a serial publication (eg a journal), issued regularly once a year.
Article: a document within a journal or newspaper issue. You cannot search the Library catalogue or journals database for the details of an article - you must search for the title of the journal or newspaper. If you know the details of a journal article you can try using Citation Linker to check if we have full-text online access to it.
Athens: a central authentication scheme for UK Higher Education which attempts to provide access to many electronic resources using a single password. The Athens scheme is no longer used at Kent; it has been replaced by Shibboleth, also known as Federated Access or UK Access Management Federation.
audio-visual: non-book materials such as video and audio cassettes, DVDs, CD-ROMs, CDs, microform and slides. Videos and DVDs are shelved in the Core Text Collection. Use the Library catalogue to search for specific items; you can restrict your search to the Video/DVD Collection using Advanced search, or filter your search results.
Authentication: the process a computerised service uses to identify who is using it. It often involves a username and password or checks the IP address of the PC being used to access it. Shibboleth is an example of an authentication system.
Back number, back issue: any issue of a journal older than the most recent issue.
Barcode: most Library items have a barcode label with a unique identifying number. For books, this is typically on the first page. This is the number the self service machines need to read to issue or return the item. See also item number.
Basement store: for space or security reasons not all of the Library's physical material can be held on open shelves. Items in the Templeman Library's basement stores have to be requested in advance by filling in the appropriate form.
BGPC: British Government Publications Collection; contains official publications published by TSO (The Stationery Office)/HMSO (Her Majesty's Stationery Office) and by government departments and agencies.
bi-annual: a serial publication (eg a journal) issued regularly twice a year.
- a list of books or articles. Many bibliographies list works on a particular subject, or by a particular author.
- a list of sources consulted. You can use reference management software to help you compile bibliographies for your own essays or research.
Bibliographic citation: also called bibliographic reference, it identifies information about a publication, used in catalogues and indexes as well as in bibliographies. Formats vary, but a book citation generally includes at least information on the author, title, publisher, and date of publication; an article citation includes author, title, date, and information on the journal in which it was published.
biennial: a serial publication (eg a journal) issued every two years.
bi-monthly: a serial publication issued (eg a journal) every two months.
bi-weekly: a serial publication (eg a journal) issued every two weeks.
Book box: see Continuing Education Collection.
Boolean searching: allows you to refine a search by using special linking words (Boolean operators) between search terms. These are primarily the words AND, OR and NOT. AND is used to combine terms, eg life AND times - both search terms will be included in the results. OR is commonly used for synonyms, eg youth or adolescent - at least one of the terms will be in the results. NOT is used to exclude a search term, eg Canterbury not Zealand - results will be about Canterbury but not include Canterbury, New Zealand. The default search on the Library catalogue is a Boolean AND search ('keyword options: all of these'); so is a basic Google search.
Library account: also known as Library account. Login to keep track of your current loans and reservations, to renew books and to access saved catalogue searches.
Borrower number: also known as Library number. This is the number underneath the barcode on your KentOne card or Library card.
Carrel: an individual study room which can be rented by research postgraduate students on a daily, monthly or quarterly basis. Free daily rentals are also available to taught postgraduates and final year undergraduates.
Catalogue: an online listing of all the material held by the Library. .
CD-ROM: Compact Disk - Read-Only Memory; a disk capable of storing approximately 600 MB of information, (about 300,000 pages of text). Many books, particularly in science and engineering fields, are published with accompanying CD-ROMs containing supplemental information and programs.
Charges: fines you have to pay if you return an item to the Library late or if an item is lost while you have borrowed it.
- a reference to a resource such as a book or journal article, usually in abbreviated form within the body of a piece of academic writing, eg (Smith 1997, 67). This refers to the full entry in the bibliography.
- words or a a passage quoted from a source, a quotation.
Citation index: a bibliographic index which allows the user to trace research forward in time by searching for articles that have cited a known relevant article. Citation indexes can also be used for standard author/subject searching. Science, Social Science and Arts & Humanities citation indexes are included in Web of Science.
CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) scanning service: academic staff can request articles not available at Kent to be scanned; these are then made available through Moodle, the University of Kent's Virtual Learning Environmen.
Classification scheme: most items at the Templeman Library and at Tonbridge are classified according to the Library of Congress scheme. The resulting classmarks use a combination of letters and numbers (eg HG 173). The letters at the beginning of the classmark indicate the main subject of the item; numbers, and sometimes further letters (eg HD 9502.U62) indicate subdivisions within the subject. The Drill Hall Library uses the Dewey Decimal system - all numbers, no letters.
Classmark: a classmark (also known as shelfmark or call number) is a series of numbers or letters indicating the location of an item within a Library or Library collection. The classmark is indicated in the item's catalogue record and can usually be found on a sticker on the spine of the item.
Confined: an item which may not be taken out of the Library.
COPAC: a union catalogue, which gives free access to the merged online catalogues of major University and National Libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library and the National Library of Wales.
Copyright: a law which limits what can be copied from printed publications. Generally this is no more than one chapter from a book, or one article from one issue of a journal. The law also covers electronic, visual and audio materials. The UK Copyright Service website provides more information.
Core Text Collection: a collection of books and journal issues in heavy demand, and some multimedia material. Items are available for shorter loan periods, so that as many users as possible can borrow them.
Coverage: in indexes, the range of years, number and type of publications included.
Current journals: the most recent issues of journals or magazines, not yet bound between hard covers; since current journals are in high demand, they may not be borrowed.
Databases: (formerly called indexing services) list basic details of journal articles, books, reports, and other materials, often in a specific subject area. Sometimes the whole article (= full text) is attached to the record and can be retrieved at the same time. Abstracting services provide short summaries of works such as journal articles, books or dissertations, see Abstract. Many databases provide indexing and abstracting at the same time. Some services find data on specific disciplines (eg the sciences, the humanities), or specific subject areas (eg psychology). Other databases index only certain types of publication (eg journals articles, or official publications).
Dewey Decimal system: a classification scheme which produces classmarks that consist only of numbers and no letters. The Dewey system is used at the Drill Hall Library, and for items in the CPR (Centre for Peace Reasearch) Collection and pre-April 1996 items in the Continuing Education Collection at the Templeman Library.
Dissertation: a lengthy piece of original work written as a requirement for an academic degree. At Kent, dissertations are produced for Master's degrees, PhD candidates have to produce a thesis.
Document delivery service: if an item is not available at one of the University of Kent Library sites, it can be requested from another Library. This type of service is sometimes known as interlibrary loan, interloan, or document supply. The service is free to you if your school/department agrees to fund the request. See also inter-site loans.
E-book: electronic book, an electronic version of a published book, usually read on a PC. The Library subscribes to a large number of e-books, and some older books can be viewed freely on the internet as they are no longer protected by the law. Most of the Library's subscription e-books can be searched and accessed through the Library catalogue - if you want to search exclusively for e-books, use the Advanced Search; alternatively you can refine your search results by clicking on E-books in the filter menu on the right.
EDC: European Documentation Centre. The University of Kent is one of a number of European Documentation Centres set up by the European Commission to support study, teaching and research at university level. The EDC receives publications and documents from the European Union.
Edition: all the copies of a work published in one format, printed from the same type or plates. A new edition of a work will have been amended or added to.
E-journal: online journal or electronic journal. See journal.
E-journal collection: providers of full-text online journals, also known as a journal host services. E-journal collections can often be keyword searched and will sometimes specialize in a particular subject area, which means they can be used in a similar way to databases.
Embargo: a period after the publication of a journal when online access through a host service is not available or limited (eg subscription is needed, or only the abstract is available). A moving wall is a type of embargo.
EndNote: a reference management software program.
E-resources: help you to find useful online content for your subject or research, and then enable you to login (with your Kent IT account details) to gain full access to the content. Resources include databases, e-journals, reference services (such as the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Reference Online, or the Statesman's Yearbook Online), online newspapers, and many more.
Exam papers: sets of questions set for students' examinations. Past exam papers from 2005 onwards are available online if they have been submitted to the Library by academic schools. You can search for papers by module code, or browse through a list of available papers by school/subject. University of Kent at Medway papers are registered under the parent department based at Canterbury.
Facsimile: an exact replica of a bibliographic item, both in text and physical appearance. Some of the items in Special Collections are facsimiles of rare editions.
Faculty library assistants: they support the subject liaison librarians.
Federated access: a central authentication scheme for UK Higher Education which provides access to many electronic resources by allowing users to login with their institutional access credentials, in our case your University of Kent username and password. Also known as Shibboleth (the name of the underlying software) and UK (Access Management) Federation.
Field: in a database, the part of a record reserved for a particular type of data; for example, in a library catalogue, author, title, ISBN, subject headings, etc. would all be fields.
Fines: charges you have to pay if you return an item to the Library late or if an item is lost while you have borrowed it.
Folio: an oversize book which is much taller than average. If it has a lower case f in front of its classmark it will be shelved in a different sequence, indicated by pink shelf labels or Library map areas. See also Quarto.
Full text: the entire content of an item, such as a journal or newspaper article or book, available in electronic format. At the University of Kent, you have access to thousands of full-text online journal titles, online newspapers and e-books.
Grace period: a time during which no fine is charged when a Library item is overdue. A grace period of 1 hour is applied to 2 Hour Loans, 4 Hour Loans, and 24 Hour Loans from the Core Text Collection; if the item is returned after the grace period, the full fine applies. Example: returned 50 minutes late, no fine; returned 65 minutes late, £1 (50p for the first hour + 50p for the partial second hour).
HMSO: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, now superseded by TSO (The Stationery Office); see BGPC.
Host services: see e-journal collections.
In process: used in entries in the Library catalogue to show when a recently received book is not yet available because it is being made ready for the shelves. Books in process can be requested via a link on the Library catalogue. The book will be made ready within two working days from the moment of the request.
Index: a list of names, topics, etc, which directs you to where the names, topics, etc, are discussed. Many books have an alphabetical index at the end, helping readers to discover on what pages a subject is dealt with. Some electronic and printed publications are indexes, enabling users to discover quickly what journal articles (and sometimes other types of publication) have been written on a particular subject or by a particular author.
Indexing services: see databases.
Information literacy: the set of skills needed to locate, evaluate and use library resources and other information effectively.
Information Services: an umbrella term for IT Services and Library Services at Kent. Information Services provide the infrastructure and support to enable all members of the University of Kent to exploit the appropriate information resources, IT and audio visual services.
Inter-library loan service: at Kent usually known as Document delivery service. If an item is not available at one of the University of Kent Library sites, it can be requested from another Library. The service is available primarily to staff and postgraduate students. See also inter-site loans.
Inter-site loans: transfer of items between the Templeman Library, Tonbridge Library, and the Drill Hall Library. If an item is not available at the library where you are based, but is available at one of the other two University of Kent libraries, you can request it by filling in an online form, available via the Library catalogue. See also document delivery service.
INVICTA scheme: a collaborative borrowing scheme for all members of the partner institutions of the Universities at Medway, ie University of Greenwich, University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. It gives University of Kent staff and students registered at Canterbury but living in the Medway area limited borrowing rights at the Drill Hall Library. Conversely, it gives University of Greenwich students living in the Canterbury area limited borrowing rights at the Templeman and Canterbury Christ Church University Libraries.
IP address: a unique number which identifies a computer and its location on the internet. Some of the online services at the University of Kent use the IP address to verify that a PC is based on campus and therefore entitled to use the service. This means that once you have logged into the PC you don't have to log into the service.
Internet directories: these are similar to search engines, but are subject orientated and often retrieve more relevant and academically sound web pages than commercial general search engines. Also known as subject directories or subject gateways.
ISBN: International Standard Book Number. A unique 10 digit code assigned to a specific edition of a book before it is published. These are often used when ordering books from a publisher or bookshop. Since 1 January 2007, ISBNs have been 13 digits long.
ISSN: International Standard Serial Number. This is an 8 digit code assigned to a specific journal or serial title. The ISSN is extremely helpful to identify a specific publication as there can commonly be a number of publications of the same name. For example there are almost forty periodicals called Forum.
Issue: a specific part of a journal, published at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly.
Issued: an item that has been borrowed and is showing as 'on loan' on the Library catalogue.
IT & Library Support Desk: for library or IT-related queries (eg, finding items on your reading list, using the catalogue, IT accounts, files, email, printing etc). Located on Level 2 Centre in the Templeman Library.
Item number: most Library items have a barcode label with a unique identifying number. The item number is the barcode minus the last 2 digits and is listed in the catalogue record, eg ITEM NUMBER: 0545206 or F142480. The item number is required for some Library procedures, such as requests from Library stores. Not to be confused with ISBN/ISSN.
Journal: regular, or serial, publication containing many different types of content such as articles, letters, reviews, stories, etc. Also called a periodical, magazine or serial. The Library subscribes to thousands of journal titles in print format or online; some titles are available in both formats. You can search the journals database or the Library catalogue for print and electronic journals; they must be searched by journal title, not details from individual articles.
Journal host service: see e-journal collection.
JSTOR: an e-journal collectionwhich provides full-text access to archives of journals from their first issue up to some time in the recent past. This point in the past may be fixed at a particular year or it may be moving at a fixed period behind the present. This second option is the more common and JSTOR call it a 'moving wall'. For example, for a journal with a 5 year moving wall full text from 2000 will be available in the year 2005, from 2001 in the year 2006, and so on.
KentOne card: a multi-functional photo ID card which is issued to all new students, and is also available to all members of staff at the University of Kent. It acts as your Library card.
Loan Desk: the service desk on Level 1 West of the Templeman Library. Visit this if you have any enquiries related to borrowing, renewals and fines, and the Core Text Collection and Part-time Collection. The Loan Desk is also the place to collect reservations, to borrow DVDs, videos, CDs, and to book and collect keys for presentation practice rooms and group viewing facilities. For Loan Desk opening hours see the Library opening hours.
Level: the different floors of the Templeman Library are known as levels which have an east side, a centre, and a west side; directions are usually given in the format 'Level 1 West', 'Level 3 Centre', etc. Online Library maps are available.
Loan period: the maximum period of time for which a particular Library item may be borrowed without having to be returned or renewed. Loan periods range from 4 hours for some items in the Core Text Collection to up to one year for ordinary loan items if borrowed by academic staff. Ordinary loan items can be recalled from readers after one week.
LUP (Library User Panel): is composed of departmental, student and staff representatives and has the purpose of informing the Information Services Committee of the needs of Library users at the University of Kent.
Main Collection: material in the Main Collection is accessible on the open shelves and can consist of books, including reference, or journals (the catalogue will call them periodicals). Main Collection material is general for all subjects and important enough not to be in a Store. Non-reference books in the Main Collection are usually Ordinary Loans.
Magazine: regular, or serial, publication containing many different types of content such as articles, letters, reviews, stories, etc. Also called a journal, periodical or serial.
Microform: material stored by means of photographic reproduction which requires magnification to be read. We hold material in three formats: microfilm, microfiche, and microcard. Most of our microform holdings and reader printer machines for all formats are available in the Microform Collection on Level 2 Centre.
Moodle: web-based online learning software (a VLE, or virtual learning environment) which offers a complete set of tools for course preparation, delivery, and management. It's precursor at Kent was WebCT.
Moving wall: the time lag between the publication of the most current issue of a journal and the moment the content is made available online by some online journals hosts. Moving walls are used almost exclusively by JSTOR. A moving wall is a type of embargo.
N.B.: this is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase Nota Bene, 'please note', as in 'N.B. Smoking is not permitted in the Library'.
N.S.: new series; appears in catalogue records for journals and means a succession of volumes of the journal which forms a consecutively numbered set. Preceded by the O.S. (old series), with its own numbering. Eg O.S. Vol 1-30 1900-1930; N.S. Vol 1-30, 1959-79.
Not on loan: an item that has not been borrowed, according to the Library catalogue. This usually means that it is on the shelf, but items may be in use within the Library without having been issued.
OCR (optical character recognition) scanner: a scanner which is able to convert images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-editable text. An OCR scanner is available in the Microform Room on Level 2 Centre of the Templeman Library.
On loan: the loan status of an item that has been borrowed.
On order: this is sometimes seen on the Library catalogue and indicates that a book has been ordered from a supplier ready to add to the Library stock. Go to the Help & Enquiry desk to ask for an item on order to be reserved for you.
OPAC: stands for 'online public access catalogue'. The Library catalogue is sometimes referred to as the OPAC.
Ordinary Loan: the longest loan category - it's length depends on academic status:
- undergraduates: 4 weeks
- taught postgraduates: 4 weeks
- research postgraduates: 10 weeks
- academic staff: 1 year
- non-academic staff: 4 weeks
Ordinary Loan items can be recalled when they have been in a borrower's possession for 7 days.
- old series; appears in catalogue records for journals and means a succession of volumes of the journal which forms a consecutively numbered set. Followed by the N.S. (new series), with its own numbering. Eg O.S. Vol 1-30 1900-1930; N.S. Vol 1-30, 1959-79.
- Ordnance Survey - an official organization which produces large-scale, detailed topographical maps of the United Kingdom. We have hard copy Ordnance Survey maps in the Map Collection on Level 3 West and electronic access through the Digimap Service.
Peer reviewed: academic work (usually a journal article) that has been judged by an independent panel of experts (scholarly or scientific peers). Peer reviewed material is considered more academically reliable than work that has not undergone this process.
Periodicals: regular, or serial, publication containing many different types of content such as articles, letters, reviews, stories, etc. Also called a journal, magazine or serial.
Plagiarism: defined on the University of Kent's Academic Integrity web pages as: 'Reproducing in any work submitted for assessment or review (for example, examination answers, essays, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived from work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source.' You can avoid plagiarism through correct referencing of material you have used in your research.
Quarto: an oversize book which is taller than average. If it has a lower case q in front of its classmark it will be shelved in a different sequence, indicated by pink shelf labels or Library map areas. See also Folio.
Reading list: the reading students are required to do for a particular module. Many are available on the online reading list system. Items on reading lists within the online system will either be linked to their Library catalogue records, have an explanatory note if they are unavailable, or link to electronic versions where possible.
Recall: if you need an item somebody else has on loan, you can recall (ie reserve) it. This system works both ways: if you have an item another user needs they can recall it from you.
Record: the Library catalogue entry for an item, providing information about the item itself and about the Library's holdings for it: eg author, title, publisher, ISBN or ISSN; Location, loan type, classmark, number of copies, and item number.
- material such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, statistics or directories, which are used to quickly look up relevant information. Library books designated as reference cannot be borrowed, but can be consulted in the Library. The Library provides a selection of online reference resources.
- description of a source such as a book, journal article or web page. It will include all the information you would need to find that item in a library, a bookshop or online, eg details such as author, title, publisher and date. Bibliographic referencing applies to the way in which books, journal articles or other types of work are cited. Referencing is essential to avoid plagiarism. The University's Academic Intergrity website provides guidelines for referencing styles used at Kent.
Reference management software: enables you to build up a personal database of references to all the texts, articles, and other sources that you have used, or are likely to use, in a piece of research. The recommended reference management software programs available at Kent is RefWorks.
Refworks: a reference management software program.
Renewal: if you want to keep an item you have borrowed for longer you can often renew it, unless it has been reserved by someone else. Renewals can be made online through your Library account, or by phone - see the renewals page for details.
Reservation: see recall.
SCONUL: a reciprocal access scheme, granting borrowing privileges to many types of library users working or studying at participating higher education libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Self service machines: the Library provides self issue and self return machines to borrow and return Library items. Machines are available:
- on Level 1 Centre, to borrow and return non-Core Text Collection material
- within the Core Text Collection, Level 1 West, to borrow and return Core Text Collection items
Self service hours: times when the Library building is open but no service desks are staffed. Self service machines are available to borrow and return items. See Library opening hours.
Serial: regular, or serial, publication containing many different types of content such as articles, letters, reviews, stories, etc. Also called a periodical, magazine or journal.
Shelf label: a sign at the end of each row of shelving indicating the range of classmarks of the items on those shelves. Shelf labels also identify the types of items: white or pale yellow for ordinary books, green for journals, blue for reference books, pink for oversize books.
Shibboleth: a central authentication scheme for UK Higher Education which provides access to many electronic resources by allowing users to login with their institutional access credentials, in our case your University of Kent username and password. Shibboleth is the name of the underlying software. Also known as Federated access and UK (Access Management) Federation.
Special Collections: an archive of rare, old and valuable books, pictures and ephemera. Special Collections hold important research and teaching collections in the areas of Victorian and Edwardian theatre, wind and watermills, the history of science, local history, and early printed books.
Stores: for space or security reasons not all of the Library's physical material can be held on open shelves. Items in the Templeman Library's basement stores, journals in the remote store (all of which are available on JSTOR), and Special Collections material have to be requested in advance by filling in the appropriate form.
Subject guides: subject specific introductions to the Library's resources and services, written and compiled by the subject liaison librarians. They act as access points to the Library website for specific subjects by highlighting the resources that are likely to be most relevant to your studies.
Subject directories: these are similar to search engines, but are subject orientated and often retrieve more relevant and academically sound web pages than commercial general search engines. Also known as internet directories or subject gateways.
Subject liaison librarians: also known as subject librarians, they are the Library's information specialists within their subject areas. Contact your subject liaison librarian if you need subject specific advice or support. Subject liaison librarians also provide information skills training and produce subject guides.
Technical reports: documents that present facts and conclusions about technical or scientific research projects and are a major source of scientific and technical information. They are usually published online. Technical reports are rarely peer reviewed.
Thesis: a lengthy piece of original work written as a requirement for an academic degree. At Kent, theses are produced by PhD candidates, dissertations are produced for Master's degrees. The Templeman Library has a Thesis Collection.
TR201, TR301, TR302: Training Rooms in the Templeman Library. TR201 is on Level 2 East, TR301 and TR302 are on Level 3 East.
TSO: The Stationery Office; see BGPC.
UK (Access Management) Federation: a central authentication scheme for UK Higher Education which provides access to many electronic resources by allowing users to login with their institutional access credentials, in our case your University of Kent username and password. Also known as Shibboleth (the name of the underlying software) and Federated Access.
Union catalogue: a catalogue which lists the collections and holdings of more than one library. Copac is a good example.
VLE (virtual learning environment): a software system designed to support teaching and learning in an educational setting; VLEs usually provide online tools for assessment, communication, uploading of content, etc. See Moodle.
- some books, especially encyclopedias, are published in several parts or volumes.
- several consecutive issues of a journal (usually a year's worth) form a volume.
Voyager: the library management system underlying the Library catalogue which also manages Library accounts, renewals and reservations.
VuFind: the open source software platform on which the new Library catalogue interface is based.
Working papers: preliminary scientific or technical papers. Authors may release working papers to share ideas about a topic or to elicit feedback before submitting to a peer reviewed academic journal. Sometimes the term working paper is used synonymously with technical report. In the Templeman Library, the majority of hard copy working papers are Ordinary Loans and are kept in the Store.