Glossary of Library & Research Terms

Asian Library
The Asian Library collection includes material supporting research in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean social sciences and humanities fields.
Ask Us
Ask Us is the name we've given to our many reference and information services, which include chat, email, telephone, and in-person assistance.
A bibliography is a list of materials. Libraries collect bibliographies that focus on particular subjects and on the works of individual authors. Bibliographies are very useful in locating materials with a common theme.
Blais is the Library’s online catalog. Use it to find materials available from the Library, such as books, journals, videos, or recordings.
Current popular fiction and non-fiction books are shelved in browsing collections in Honnold/Mudd Library.
Call number
Every book in our collection is identified by a unique combination of letters and numbers, called a call number. Call numbers organize and identify library materials. Want more information? Check out the Library of Congress Classification Outline.
Carrels are individual study areas often available for students and faculty to use in a library. Carrels may be reserved in both Dension and Honnold/Mudd.
The CCDL (Claremont Colleges Digital Library) provides access to digitized collections developed at The Claremont Colleges.
A citation is information that identifies a book, article, conference proceeding, or other publication. Citations usually include title, author, and publication information such as place and year of publication for a book or volume, issue, pages, and date for an article.
Circulation is the service that allows you to check out materials from the Library.
Claremont Cash
You can deposit funds to your account and access those funds using your College ID card. Claremont Cash can be used for many different kinds of purchases at The Claremont Colleges, as well as with several local merchants in and around Claremont. In the Library, Claremont Cash is used to pay for printing from library computers. You can add to your Claremont Cash account in the Copy Center in Honnold/Mudd Library. Find out more about Claremont Cash from the Claremont ID Card Office.
Controlled vocabulary
A controlled vocabulary is an established list of words and phrases (generally referred to as subject headings or descriptors) that provides a standard vocabulary used in a database to describe the various items in that database. Some databases have very effective controlled vocabularies; using controlled vocabulary terms can make your database searches more effective.
Copy Services at the Connection
Copy Services at the Connection in Honnold/Mudd Library provides for the printing needs of students, faculty, and staff of The Claremont Colleges, and maintains a wide variety of services including: b&w photocopying, color photocopying, large format printing, binding, lamination, and fax.
CRL (The Center for Research Libraries) is a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries. The consortium acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery. The Library is a member of CRL; you may request materials from their collection through Interlibrary Loan.
The Claremont School of Theology is a graduate school of theology. Materials in the CST library are included in Blais.
Databases are searchable collections of records. The Library’s databases allow you to search for many different types of materials (articles in journals, images, primary sources, newspaper articles, books, and more) important for your research.
Denison Library
Denison Library is located on the Scripps College campus. Collections focus on art and art history, fine press printing and book arts, and Women's Studies. In Blais, materials with a location code beginning with DEN can be found at Denison.
Descriptor is another word for subject heading.
Fines & fees
You should be able to avoid fines and fees for overdue or missing books if you regularly check and manage your library account. You will find more information on library fines and fees in Circulation Policies.
Folios are books that taller than standard. They are usually shelved separately from standard size books. When you see a location in Blais that includes FOL (HON FOL, DEN FOL), you know the book is a folio and will probably be shelved in a different location from other books with the same call number. For more information on book sizes and terms read A Short Course in Book Anatomy.
Full text
Full text means that the complete work (article, book, etc.) is available online. Many of the articles you find when you search databases are full text. Some books, primary sources, and other types of materials are also available full text in library databases. Want to know more? Contact one of the Library’s Subject Specialists to find out about full text and other resources.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a very powerful online tool that allows information to be represented and analyzed spatially: people to an address, crime to a demographic area, species to a slope and aspect, etc.
Honnold/Mudd Library
Honnold/Mudd is located at 800 Dartmouth Avenue. Holding collections in arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, Honnold/Mudd offers a place to study, a place to learn, a place to find research help, a place to absorb the scholarship of the centuries--and sometimes, just a place to hang out. In Blais, materials with a location code beginning with HON can be found at Honnold/Mudd.
Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary Loan, also known as ILL, is a service that allows you to borrow materials not owned by the Library.
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique standard number that identifies a book. ISBN is an international standard notation.
An ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is a unique standard number that identifies a serial publication (journals, newspapers, etc.). ISSN is an international standard notation.
Sometimes called "scholarly journals," these publications are periodicals whose goal is scholarly communication; they provide the means by which scholars and researchers share their findings with one another and with the public. Many journals are peer reviewed. Often they are published by a professional society or a university. Use databases to find articles in journals.
Keywords are the most important terms or words in your research topic. For example, if your topic is "missionary work in Africa as represented in colonial and postcolonial literature," your keywords would probably be missionary, Africa, colonial, postcolonial, and literature. A keyword search is usually the best way to begin a topic search in Blais or a database.
Library cards
Your college ID card also serves as your library card. You will need to use your card when you check out books. Use the 10-digit number on your card to connect to databases and many other web-based resources when you are off campus.
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
Library of Congress Subject Headings are the official terms used to identify the subjects of materials in Blais and other research library catalogs. Once you have done a keyword search in Blais, find the best entries in your search results and look at the subjects listed in those records for the most effective words to use in searching for your topic.
Microforms include microfilm, microfiche, and microcard. One of the most used microform collections in the Library is the collection of back issues of newspapers, located in Honnold/Mudd on the first floor of the Honnold building. Just outside the Copy Center, you will find microform reader/scanner/printers that allow you to save a digital copy of microforms.
A monograph is an item, like a book, that is published as single volume complete in itself. (See also, serial.)
An item that combines various types of media, including sound, animation, video and graphics. Multimedia items in the Library’s collections have a location code that includes the terms AUDIOVISUAL, CIRC MEDIA, or CIRC AUDIO.
netLibrary is a provider of electronic books.
NetReg is the online registration you will need to complete each semester the first time you plug your laptop into one of the Library’s internet wall jacks. For more information about using your laptop in the Library, read Using Your Laptop in the Library.
Peer review
Peer review is a process that articles in many scholarly journals go through before they are published. An editorial board consisting of experts in the same field as the author review the article and decide if it is authoritative enough for publication. Journals that use peer review are often called refereed journals.
Periodicals are a type of serial published on a regular basis, like magazines, journals, and newspapers.
Primary source
A primary source is an original document relating to a particular subject, experiment, time period, or event. Autobiographies, journals, artworks, and diaries are considered primary sources. To learn more, read about how to find primary sources.
Rare books
Books with a high value due to their content, scarcity, circumstances of publication, physical condition, etc.
When a book you would like to use is checked out, you can request that it be returned within 10 days by placing a recall. Look for the Recall This Item button at the top of the Blais record.
Refereed journal
A refereed journal is one that uses the peer review process to select articles for publication.
Reference librarians
Reference librarians are available in the Library to help when you have questions about Library services or resources, or when you would like assistance with your research. Look for Ask Us on the web site to learn more about our instant messaging/chat, email, in-person, and phone reference services. Or you can make an appointment with the reference librarian who is the subject specialist in your area of research.
RefWorks is an online tool designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share records from database searches and other types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Look for RefWorks in the Quick Links menu on the Library’s web site.
Professors regularly put materials (articles, books, videos, etc.) "on reserve" so that they will be available for everyone in a particular class to use. Some reserves are available electronically through ERes. For other reserve materials, you will have to come into the designated library to retrieve them.
Sakai is a course management and collaborative learning system. Many professors at The Colleges will use Sakai to provide course materials and activities via the web.
Scholarly journal
A type of periodical that contains articles written by scholars, researchers, or other specialists in a particular area of study, supported by in depth research. An article in a scholarly journal is usually documented with footnotes and/or a bibliography.
A serial is a publication which is intended to continue indefinitely. Periodicals such as magazines, journals, and newspapers, and books such as almanacs and yearbooks, which come out every year, are all serials.
Special collections
Rare books and primary sources such as manuscript collections, archives, letters, and diaries are often housed separately from the general collections in a secure and suitable environment. Special Collections at the Library include collections focused on California water resources, theater history, early American schoolbooks, the history of women, and book arts. For a more complete listing of the Library’s special collections, visit Special Collections on the web.
Style manual
A style manual is a guide that shows how materials (articles, books, etc.) used in research should be formatted for footnotes or a bibliography. Style manuals that professors may ask you to use include MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian.
Subject headings
Subject headings, sometimes just called subjects, are words or phrases from a controlled vocabulary used to describe the subject of a document. Library of Congress Subject Headings are used in library catalogs like Blais. In some databases, the term descriptor is used instead of subject heading.
Subject Specialists
Subject Specialists are the librarians whose expertise in certain subjects makes them your best resource in their subject areas. Send email to or make an appointment with a Subject Specialist anytime for assistance with your research.

Last updated: 9/25/2017 9:54:13 AM