Short summary of an article or book .


Collection of miscellaneous facts and statistics on many subjects.

Bibliographic record

Description of a book, document, publication or other library item, which includes title, publisher, publication date, and other information about the item.


List of sources you have used in preparing for your assignment, but have not referred to directly in your text. In many cases you will only be required to use a reference list. More advanced research papers may require a bibliography. Check with your lecturer if you are unsure.
See also Reference list.


Boolean operators or Boolean Logic, also known as AND OR NOT. Command language to make your search more effective. Use AND to combine concepts, OR for alternative terms, NOT to eliminate a term.
See '
Search Tips'.page in this wiki.


Tackling an assignment through free association. That is, using this type of creative thinking you write down any word or idea that a topic brings to mind. These selections of words and ideas most relevant to the assignment, are the basis for starting your research.


Information about a specific resource refered to within the text of your assignment. There are different ways of citing your sources.
Style Manual below. Always ensure that precise information is given, eg. author, date, page

Citing references

Sources helps to ensure academic integrity and allows readers to locate sources in a bibliography or 'Works Cited' page.

Common knowledge

Facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people. If the information is generally known then you do not need to cite a source for this fact. You must document facts that are not generally known and ideas that interpret facts.
Example of Common Knowledge: Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon.


A collection of information that can be accessed and searched through the internet.


The part of a
URL address that designates the file's affiliation. For example, the .ac.uk in http://www.bl.ac.uk signifies that it is a UK educational institution (in this case, it is the website of the British Library)


The collection list of books, journals and other items owned by a library.


An alphabetized list of names, places and subjects refered to in a work, i.e. the index in the back of a book .


A periodical published by an institution or professional society in which researchers write about the results of their work to their peer community. It refers to scholarly publications as opposed to magazines that are considered popular publications.


A group of words that accurately describe the topic you are researching; keywords are often found in the title or abstract of an item.

Library catalogue

A list of materials owned by a library, including books, magazines and journals, audio-visual materials and other materials. It is is usually searchable by author, title and subject.

Online database

A list of articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, books and other sources that are available through the internet.
Check the Library electronic resources


See under
Journal above. Also known as Serials.


Attempting to pass off someone elses ideas as your own. It is a form of theft, and is regarded as a serious breach of academic regulations.
plagiarism page on this wiki for more details.

Primary sources

Original sources of information and material that has not been interpreted by anyone other than its creator - they include diaries, letters, autobiographies, interviews, speeches, conference literature, stories, patents, poetry, photographs, drama, sheet music, and visual art.
See also Secondary sources below and Tertiary Sources below.


When using someone's words you must use quotation marks. You must also state precisely where the quotation comes from, ie cite the author, date and page number at the end of the quotation.See also
plagiarism page for more details.

Reference list

Also called "References", is a list of all the sources of information which you have referred to, or quoted from, in your paper. Arrange lists in alaphabetical order, by author/editor surname. If no author is given, start with the title. If more than one entry for an author put in date of publication order.See also Bibliography above
Secondary sources

Sources of information that analyze and interpret primary sources. Always produced after the events or primary sources they comment upon, they include scholarly books, articles in journals, reviews, and textbooks.
See also Primary Sources above and Tertiary Sources below.

Shelf mark

The numbers and letters given to each item in the library. Shelf marks are used to locate items on the shelves.


Journal above.

Style manual

Gives details of a writing style required by a particular publishing house or professional organization. This writing style includes punctuation, capitalization, and rules for citing references.


A word having the same sense as another (in the same language), e.g. serpent and snake.

Tertiary Sources

Sources of information that either provide explanations and definitions such as dictionaries and encyclopaedias or provide a way of access primary and secondary sources such as searching a database for journal articles.
See also Primary Sources and Secondary Sources above

Uniform Resource Locator- address that specifies the location of a file on the Internet, e.g. http://www.iadt.ie/library