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Research Guides

ESL: Library Vocabulary

Library Vocabulary

Word Definition
Author the person who wrote or created the book or article.
Article a piece of writing published in a newspaper, magazine, or journal.
"Boolean Operator" think math with words. It's a word that connects two keywords in order to tell the database how to search them. The most common operators are AND, OR, and NOT.
Call Number the identifying number on the spine of a book or item that shows where it is located in the library. The address of a book inside the library.
Catalog a list of all the books and physical items in the library. Very similar to a database, since it can be searched in the same way.
Citation a way of showing and giving credit to the source of your information, quote, or idea.
Citation Styles a specific style of citing your source that is based on the discipline. Common citation styles include MLA, APA, and Chicago.
CRAAP Test a way to evaluate articles and other sources.
Database a collection of information stored in a computer, easily searchable using keywords and operators.
Evaluate to judge the value, worth, or quality of an article or source.
Interlibrary Loan a system of borrowing books and articles not available at SUU from a different library.
Keyword a word that summarizes the concept or topic of a source, so it can be found in a database.
Peer Review an evaluation process of a scholarly or academic source by other experts in the same field.
Periodical anything published more than once a year, such as a newspaper, magazine, or academic journal.
Publisher the company who prints and distributes books or periodicals.
Reference a collection in the library with encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, and other books to quickly find basic information. It is also another way to say citation.
Source where you get information from, such as a book, article, video, or person.  
Spine the edge of a book that shows when the book is on a shelf.
Synonym a word that means exactly or relatively the same thing as another word.
Thesaurus a book or resource that lists groups of words by synonyms and related concepts.


A quick way to decide if a source is a good fit for your assignment is by using the "C.R.A.A.P" Test. Crap is slang for garbage, junk, or poop. Basically anything of a poor quality. This helps us remember, as an acronym, to check to see if the sources we are using are good or not. 

C - Current

When was it written?

R - Relevant

Does it talk about your topic?

A - Author

Who wrote it? What makes them an expert on that topic?

Who published it? Are they a company that can be trusted?

A - Accurate

Is it correct?

Do they show where they got their information?

P - Purpose

Why did they write it? Are they trying to make you to think or feel a certain way?

Vocabulary Examples: Database Searching

Databases are very literal. They search exactly what you type in, so the less words you use the better.

Use Keywords to summarize your topic into basic ideas.

If you want to research about how there are more fires happening because of global warming, what words would you use to summarize that?

Wildfires, Climate Change, Global Warming, etc.

The database will then search for EVERY word you put in the search bar, so only use the ones that are necessary to describe your interest.

Use operators to tell the database how you want it to search those keywords.

AND means search for both together.

OR means the two keywords are the same, so search for either.

NOT means you don't want to see that keyword in your results.

venn diagrams showing how AND, OR, and NOT work when the database searches for your results.