Common Research Terms
A list of common terms associated with research.
a brief summary of an article
methods by which information may be searched (e.g., a library catalog allows for author, title, and subject access points)
software which permits printing of material maintaining the original formatting
options for obtaining an article found in an index (e.g., hard copy in the library, full text on an online index, microfiche, or inter-library loan)
Based on the work of mathematician Charles Boole who developed a series of rules and operations that can be used to determine the selection of information from databases. These rules use the operators AND, OR, and NOT.
a search in which Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are used
a strategy by which one generates ideas about possible research topics
relevant information for an article source: article title, author, periodical, date, volume, page numbers
references that lead from an incorrect or incomplete subject heading to a correct one or lead to related topics for additional information
a collection of records organized by some logical process
articles or other text retrieved as hard copy from periodicals or books, faxes, database full-text, Web-based documents
a book or periodical not in electronic format
a successful match during a search in a database
a type of document that contains links to other documents
a graphic representation of an object, a concept, or a message
a list of items with information pointing to the location of that item (e.g., an index in a book gives the page number of a needed subject)
searches for all articles that contain your search words
search terms generally found in any searchable field (e.g., subject headings, descriptive statements, or abstracts)
an option that lets you add more words to your search, or limit the citations found in some way (e.g., limit to those with full text)
the use of AND, OR, and NOT to join keywords in combinations which tell the database search program how the key words must interact to provide the desired results
in a keyword search, the records the user locates by looking up a specific term or terms
the use of a computer to combine and present text, graphics, audio, and video with links and tools that let the user navigate, interact, create, and communicate
ways in which the user moves about an electronic database or Web site as information is retrieved
a configuration of computers linked by cables and interface cards that access the same programs or data at the same time
a computerized source of information (e.g., on a network, CD-ROM, or the Internet)
the act of putting another person's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing simplifies a selection; it does not necessarily shorten it.
the act of using another person's ideas or expressions in one's writing without acknowledging the source
the use of actual historic sources (e.g., government documents, speeches, news footage, eyewitness accounts, and so on)
a request for information from a database
copying exactly as it was written or said, and then giving credit to the author
an evaluation tool which uses a set of criteria and a rating/scoring guide predetermined by the evaluator(s). Rubrics can be used for evaluating presentations, projects, portfolios, and so on.
material written or reported at some point after an event occurred
search for major headings that contain your search words
the act of cutting down a selection to about one-third of its original length. Its purpose is to shorten a passage without sacrificing its basic meaning.
the process of dropping off letters from a word in a search in order to locate all possible combinations of the term and using a specific character to show truncation (e.g., whal* would locate items about whale, whales, and whaling)
the ease of use of an electronic resource (e.g., clear menu options, print instructions, ways to modify a search, and so on)
a visual, graphic representation of the concepts of combining, joining, or rejecting items based on their characteristics or lack of characteristics. Venn diagrams are used to represent the AND, OR, and NOT concepts of Boolean logic.
There are two wild card symbols, the * and ?. They work by replacing the characters in words, allowing for more hits in a search.
Credits: Mary McClintock, Librarian, Roseburg High School, Roseburg, Oregon. 14 June 1998.