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Understanding HE terminology


Summary covering essential points in an article or book


A paper published in a journal.  Articles by researchers and experts often communicate ideas and research results to a wider community


A list of books, articles and other materials on a subject


A searchable list of a Library’s resources

Check in

This is a term used for returning items to the library using the Returns machine.

Check out

This is a term used for borrowing items from the library. These are checked–out using the self-issue machines.


A brief description of a publication such as a journal article or a book with sufficient information to allow another person to locate the publication either online or in print. 


To provide a brief description of resources you have used in a university assignment.  For example statistics, research findings, case studies. See Guide to referencing

Class number

Combination of numbers and letters indicating the shelf location of a book


The legal rights of authors and publishers. See Copyright Guidance


An electronic resource usually giving references to articles, books and other sources of information in a subject area. See Databases A-Z

Dewey Decimal Classification

A scheme for arranging library materials by subject. Based on arrangements of numbers and letters

Digital Library

Items such as eBooks eArticles and eJournals that are available online through the Library

Document Delivery Service

A service that helps you request documents that are not held in the library, often through the British Library Document Supply Service, for example journal articles and books.  See Document Delivery


A book that can be read online


A journal or magazine that can be read online


Charges you pay if you return an item to the Library after the due date

Full Text

The entire content of an article or book

Hard Copy

The resource is in printed form and not in an electronic format

Institutional login

Your University credentials to access online resources

See Passwords

See eResources self-check guide


This term is used to refer to a specific part of a Journal, published at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly.


A publication issued at regular intervals, usually with volume numbers and dates; also called periodicals, magazines or serials. Many journals are available on line.  See eJournals A-Z list

Journal Article

Journal articles are shorter than books and written about very specific topics.  Articles are usually written by experts and present recent research or the results of investigations.  A number of articles make up an issue of a journal

Several articles are published together within a journal issue.

Library Search 

An online search tool to find online and print journal articles, books, magazines and newspapers

Literature Review

A critical assessment of a wide range of published work on a specific academic topic


The book cannot be found.on the shelves of the library. Library staff will search for missing books

Not for Loan

See Reference

Peer Review

The process where experts in a subject evaluate the research presented in an article and give the author(s) feedback before an article is published.


See a summary of key information about an article or book to help you decide whether to move to full text


Books and other items marked Reference or Not for Loan cannot be taken out of the library

Reference List

A list of all your references at the end of your assignment showing the sources you have cited in the text of your report, essay, poster or presentation.


Reservation on books on loan to other library users.  See Requesting books 

Reservation (or hold) Shelf

Collection point for books you have reserved to collect from the Library.  


As a member of the university if you cannot get into to the university libraries you can use the SCONUL Access scheme which allows members to use the libraries of other UK universities. The scheme is free to join for staff and students and it allows members to borrow items (except for full-time Undergraduates, who are allowed to use the libraries for reference purposes only).

Self Issue/Self Return

Machines in the library where you can issue and return books.  To issue books you need to have your student card with you.


An authentication system which allows you to use e-books, e-journals and databases via the Institutional login.


A Volume contains the issues of a Journal from a particular year.