Glossary of terms
We've put a list of key terms together to help you find your way through library jargon.
If you can't find the word that you're struggling with, let us know it. We'll add it to the list and your suggestion will help others.
An A-Z of library terms
A B C D E
Abstract - A short summary of the content of a longer piece of work.
Article - A piece of writing in a journal, magazine or newspaper.
Assistive technology - Specialist technology that enables disabled students to access information or mainstream technology independently.
Bibliography - A full list of materials, (usually other books and journal articles) which an author has consulted when researching their work.
Blackboard - The University's virtual learning environment (VLE).
Borrow - To check out a book.
Chapter - A numbered and/or titled section of a book; titles and details of chapters are often shown on the contents page at the front of the book.
Check out - Borrow - to take out a book from the library.
Citation - A reference to a specific piece of work (e.g. a book or journal article) used by another author within the text of their own writing (e.g. essay or dissertation). This is to make it clear that another original source has been used.
Classmark - The letters and numbers appearing on the spine of a library item. Books, and other materials, are arranged by subject classmark on the shelves. You can browse using a classmark on Library Search.
Collaborate - A web conferencing tool where staff and students can interact in an online environment in real-time.
Copyright - Legal restrictions on how much of a book may be copied, and for what purposes. Notices posted near the photocopiers explain what may and may not be copied.
Database - a searchable, electronic collection of items such as journal articles, theses, books, data, conference proceedings, statistics etc. that you can use to find out about a particular subject you are interested in. You will find information about databases, and access to them, in Library Search.
Dewey Decimal Number - A number code denoting the subject matter of a book, following the widely used Dewey Decimal Classification System.
Dissertation - A piece of original academic work, usually written as a requirement for a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Ebook (Electronic book) - A book that is published electronically and is usually available online. Often there are print and electronic versions of a book but there are also some electronic-only titles.
Edition - A revised version of an existing publication may be issued as a separate edition. A book may go through a number of different editions; each should have a separate catalogue entry.
Ejournal (Electronic journal) - a journal that is published electronically and is usually available online. Often there are print and electronic versions of a journal, but there are also some electronic-only titles.
Enquiry Desk: We have staffed enquiry desks at Clifford Whitworth Library, Allerton Learning Space and Media City Library. The desk staff can answer your questions about using the library.
F G H I J
Floors: - Clifford Whitworth Library has three floors, colour-coded according to their intended study usage. Ground floor - Red - Enquiry Desk is here. First floor - Blue - Collaborative study spaces. Second floor - Green - Silent study area.
Inter-library loan - If the library does not have a copy of the book or item that you want, you may be able to make an inter-library loan request and we will try to borrow it from another library for you.
ISBN - International Standard Book Number assigned by publishers to each distinct edition of a book.
ISSN - International Standard Serial Number, an identifier associated with a periodical title.
K L M N O
Library card - Your University card is also your library card.
Loan allowance - How many items you can borrow.
MFD - Multi-Functional Devices - These are the photocopy, print and scan machines.
P Q R S T
Periodical - A publication which is produced in separate issues under a common title, forming cumulated volumes; either regularly (e.g. quarterly) or sometimes at more irregular intervals. Alternatively known as a Journal or Serial.
PIN - Your library PIN is your personal 4 digit number which identifies you as the owner of your card.
Plagiarism - Passing off someone else’s work as your own, either intentionally or unintentionally, by failing to acknowledge the original source.
Print credit - Credit on your record that allows you to print, copy, scan. This can be topped up online and at pay stations.
Reading list - A list of books, journal articles etc. that students are expected to read as part of their course.
Reference - An item which is for consultation within the Library only.
Referencing - The process of accurately and consistently recording details of all resources used in a piece of academic writing to acknowledge the work of others and avoid plagiarism.
Request - Process that allows you to ask for a book you want when all the copies are out on loan.
Return - To bring back an item that you have borrowed, in a way that takes it off your library record.
Scan - To make a digital copy of an item.
SCONUL Access - A scheme providing borrowing or reference access for students and academic staff to over 170 university libraries in the U.K and Ireland. Please note: This service is currently suspended due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Self-Service machines - Located on the ground floor of Clifford Whitworth Library, near the courtyard. You use them to borrow books.
Shelf mark - See Classmark
U V W X Y Z
Username - Your Salford ID number which is required for accessing PCs, laptops and resources when off-site.
USIR (University of Salford Institutional Repository) - A store of all research outputs produced by University of Salford staff and postgraduate researchers. USIR content can be accessed through Library Search.
Webinar - A seminar (or other presentation) conducted online, in which participants interact with one another in real time.
Wildcard - A symbol used as a substitute for one or more characters when searching for variant spellings or forms of a word e.g. organi*ation will search for organisation and organization.