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Library Research 101: How to Get Started

Glossary: Library terms

Glossary--a list of defined terms

Academic integrity--following ethical guidelines in the work you do for your classes (for instance, citing a book you used to write a paper so people know where the information you're sharing is coming from).

Article--a work of nonfiction writing found in a periodical or anthology.

Bibliography--a list of all the works you've used in your paper, generally appearing at the end.  Both in-text citation and bibliographies are necessary in most papers.  May also be called a reference list or a works cited page.

Book--a published individual work about a topic. 

Citation--a way of giving written credit to others whose writing and/or ideas you have used in your own research.

Concept map--a visual representation of concepts/ideas and the relationships between them.  (See "How do I write a research question?" for a visual example.)

Databases--searchable websites that collect articles from many different periodicals.

In-text citation--giving written credit within the text of your paper to someone whose writing and/or ideas you have used.  Both in-text citation and reference lists (or bibliographies) are necessary in most papers.

ISBN Number - an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is assigned to identify a particular book title/version.

Journal--a periodical that publishes articles about academic research.

Library catalog--a searchable database listing the individual materials (books, periodicals, databases, etc.) accessible by a library.

Library stacks--the shelves in a library where printed materials (books, bound periodicals) are stored.

Paywall - when you search on the open web, find an information source, but cannot access it without paying money.

Peer-reviewed article--a scholarly article that has been reviewed by a committee of experts before publication.

Periodical--a work published as a series of issues on a certain schedule.  Newspapers, scholarly journals, and magazines are all periodicals.

Plagiarism--using someone else's writing or ideas without giving them credit, whether on purpose or accidentally.

Popular article--an article written for general readers (in other words, readers not expected to have particular academic or professional backgrounds).

Reference list--a list of all the works you've used in your paper, generally appearing at the end.  Both in-text citation and reference lists are necessary in most papers.  May also be called a bibliography or a works cited page.

Research question--a question you ask about your research topic that directs your research.  Academic papers answer, or try to answer, research questions.

Scholarly article--an article written by and for an academic audience (faculty, students, etc.), most often involving research of some kind.

Thesis statement--a statement that answers your research question and is the central point of your academic paper.

Topic--the issue or idea your paper is about.

Trade article--an article written by someone working in a particular field (boatbuilding, publishing, etc.) for readers who also work in that field.

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