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Racial and Ethnic Political Behavior (Course Number: 32-304-03): Library Lingo

This guide is designed to help you locate library resources for Dr. Huang's fall 2012 Racial and Ethnic Political Behavior class.

Library Lingo

1.)What is an ABSTRACT?
An abstract is a summary of a larger work such as a journal or magazine article.  You can read the abstract to decide if an article will be helpful in your research.  Reading an abstract is NOT the same as reading the entire journal article.  An abstract discusses the most important information from the journal article.

2.)What is a BIBLIOGRAPHY?
Published bibliographies are lists, often with descriptive or critical notes, of writings relating to a particular subject, author, or time period (i.e. "The Animal Rights Movement in the United States, 1975-1990: An Annotated Bibliography").

3.) What is a a THESAURUS?  

A thesaurus is an alphabetical list of terms used in an online database like PsycINFO.  It provides relationships among the terms, such as synonyms, related terms, broader terms, and/or narrower terms.  The language you think of may not be the same language the psychology field thinks of.  For example, you may desire  articles about "road rage," but the index  clearly points you to the correct terminology, "aggressive driving behavior."

4.)What are BOOLEAN OPERATORS? (connectors)?
 Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to build your searches will get more precise and relevant resultsExample of Boolean Operators: stress OR anxiety, stress AND anxiety, stress NOT anxiety.

5.) What is a CITATION?
A citation is the basic information you need to find a specific item in the library.  Citations generally contain the author, the title, the year of publication, the page number and also the journal, magazine or newspaper title, volume, publisher and more. 

6.) What is a DATABASE?
A database is a searchable file of information.  Most library databases contain citations or references (the basic information you need to find a journal article), abstracts (brief summary of an article), and some databases full-text (the text of the journal article). Using a database will help you save time and find better results when you are searching for journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.

An academic thesis or dissertation is a large research paper written by students in order to complete their master's or doctoral degrees (PhD). Generally thesis refers to a Master's degree and dissertation refers to a Doctoral degree.

8.) What is FULL-TEXT?
Full text generally refers to the complete text of an article that is available electronically through the computer.  Full- text is usually in the PDF or HTML format.

9.) What is ILLIAD?
Illiad (InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database) is a FREE electronic request system to get materials from libraries across the country that are not here at SU. Use Illiad to request journal articles, books, conference proceedings, dissertation, etc.  The library provides paper and electronic (PDF) access.

A scholarly or peer reviewed article has gone through the editorial process.  The editorial process consists of a panel of experts (usually 3) reading through the article and concluding research was been done correctly and the information is accurate.  Scholarly articles usually are longer than 5 pages, have no advertisements, and have bibliographies at the end.  To find out if a journal is peer reviewed you can check their( publisher’s) website for information about the editorial.

11.) What is RefWorks?

A paid subscription service that puts your references in whatever format you choose (APA, MLA, Chicago, AMA).  See our guide to RefWorks, which will help you with logging in.

12.) What is WorldCat or WorldCat.Org?
WorldCat is a union catalog which itemizes the collections of thousands of libraries including Southwestern's book collection . The service will allow you locate the book near you.

13.) What are DESK Reserves and E-Reserves (How do I get to reserves)?

If your professor put an item like a book or a journal article on reserve it means it is available for limited checkout from the Circulation Desk.  The Library also has electronic reserves or E-reserves that you can access from on or off campus.  Your professor will give you a password to access your class reserve item(s).

14.) What is TexShare Card Program?

The TexShare Library Card Program allows currently enrolled students, faculty and staff from Texas colleges and universities, including Southwestern, to apply for library cards from participatingTexShare libraries across the state.  In order to check out books. You must show a TexShare card issued by your home library; at Southwestern, TexShare Cards are issued by the Circulation staff.

15.) What is EbscoHost?
EbscoHost is a gateway to numerous online databases, including the most heavily used database Academic Search Complete.


16.) What is a LibGuide/Class Guide?

An online compilation of resources created by librarians to assist students in their research. To see examples, go to SU's LibGuide Page.