UMass Boston


Are you confused by terms like peer-review, full text or call number?  You can find library and scholarly terminology in this handy glossary.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  I  H  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



A shorter version of an original written work, often refers to a book in which less important sections are removed. Also see, unabridged.


A brief summary of an article or book.

Academic Journal

A publication from a specific academic discipline. See journal.


A brief note attached to a citation which describes or evaluates a work.  When used with a list of citations, it is called an annotated bibliography.


A collection of public or historical documents from universities, businesses, governments, and other organizations or a collection of personal papers of an individual or family. Also refers to the department or organization with selects and preserves the documents. See Archives and Special Collections.


A list of citations on a particular topic or author usually at the end of an article, book, chapter, or report. Also can be separate publications, such bibliographic articles or books.


The history of a specific person or group of people.


A system of logic used in library catalogs and databases to create searches. Boolean operators are: AND, OR and NOT. For examples see, Using Boolean Operators.

Bound Periodicals

Issues of journals and magazines combined to create a single hard cover. Healey Library's bound periodicals are located on the sixth and seventh floors.

Call Number

A combination of letter and numbers assigned to library materials which shows the location of the item. The letters and numbers relate to the item's subject and author. The Healey Library uses the Library of Congress Classification system.


Records of all library materials. Used to find materials and their locations. 


The library department responsible for checking out materials, returning items to the shelves, fines and overdues.  See the Circulation Department at Healey Library.


Information about an article, book or other source used to locate the material or list as a reference in a paper. Usually includes, author, title and date. Different citation styles are used depending on the subject of a paper.

Citation Manager

Software which allows users to record and organize citations in one place. Also called a bibliographic manager or citation tool. See: Citation Management Tools.

Course Reserves

Material (articles, book chapters, books, lecture notes, videos, etc.) available in the library or online which faculty have set aside for a class. Library items or print reserves can only be borrowed for a short period of time and must remain in the library. Online course reserves are referred to as electronic reserves or e-reserves. Access reserves materials.

Current Periodical

Most recent issues of journals, magazines or newspapers. Located on the fourth floor of the Healey Library.


An organized combination of records which can be searched. The library databases may include records of articles, books, dissertations proceedings, reports, and more. Some databases include the full text or actual documents and some only index the records.

Databases can be multidisciplinary covering many subjects or organized for specific subjects, such as PubMed for medical literature. See the complete list of Databases.


An electronic book available online. See our ebook collections.


An electronic publication which is published on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, annually, etc.). Ejournals may be electronic version of print publications or solely available online. Search for the library's ejournals.


A delay from the time a journal issue is published to when the full text is available through a database. When an article you want has an embargo, consider requesting it via the Library's InterLibrary Loan service.


Electronic material (articles, book chapters, books, lecture notes, videos, etc.) available online which faculty have set aside for a class. 


Short for Electronic Resources. At the Healey library e-resources include books, databases, journals and video.

Full Text

Full Text refers to the complete article or book. It is often used in databases to link to the actual article or book. It also used in reference to searching the complete text of an article or book.


An alphabetical list of the specialized terms in a given subject or field of study, with brief definitions.


The software Healey Library uses for its interlibrary loan service.


An alphabetical list of terms which refer to the location of the information. A book may contain an index to its contents. Large indexes organize citations and provide the location of the complete work. These indexes may be arranged by subject, author, or keyword. 

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

A service which allows library patrons to borrow items from other libraries. 


A publication in a specific field of study written by professors, researchers, or experts in the subject area. Journals are published on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, annually, etc.). See periodical.

Library of Congress Classification

A system developed by the Library of Congress (LC) to organize academic and research library collections into subjects. Every subject is represented by a sequence of letters and numbers and each item is assigned an individual call number based on its subject. For more details, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline.


A general term for documents which have been photographed and reduced in size. Formats include microcard (a paper card), microfiche (a sheet of film) and microfilm (a roll of film). All microforms require a reader-printer machine to view and make copies.


A combination of several academic disciplines or subject areas. In the library multidisciplinary is often used to describe databases that cover multiple subjects. See Multidisciplinary Databases.


Stands for Online Public Access Catalog. The Healey Library Catalog is an OPAC.

Peer Review

A rigorous selection process of publications by scholars in the field. Also called refereed. See scholarly journal

Browse or search peer-reviewed ejournals via BrowZine.


Any item which is published on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, annually, etc.). Includes journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Periodical Index

An alphabetical list of article citations in journals, magazines, and newspapers which provide the location of the complete work. These indexes are often arranged by subject, author, or keyword. See index


A library department where you can find librarians, assistants, and a collection of materials to help you with your research

A synonym for citation.

Reference Collection

A library collection of books that are not meant to be read cover to cover, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and indexes. Located on the fourth floor of the Healey Library.

Refereed Articles

A rigorous selection process of publications by scholars in the field. Also called peer-reviewed. See scholarly journal.

Scholarly Journal

A publication in which articles are written by experts in specific field of study and may include original research. Articles are often peer-reviewed or refereed.


A publication which is issued in parts. Serials include periodicals, annual reports, almanacs, yearbooks, etc.


The shelves or floors where library material is located.

Subject Heading

A word or phrase assigned an article or book which describes its contents. Subject headings are used in the library catalog and in many databases and indexes.


The complete or original version of a work, see abridged.

Return to Top