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Research Process

This tutorial aims to help develop effective library research skills and critical thinking skills in all courses at Prince George's Community College.

Abridged: A shortened version of a book or other document


Abstract: A brief summary of the contents of an article or book, or multimedia. Many computerized databases include abstracts in addition to citations


Bibliography: A list of information sources on a particular subject or by a particular author


Boolean Operators: Words such as AND, OR, NOT that are used to combine search terms to narrow or broaden a search


Bound Periodicals: Older issues of magazines and journals that have been joined together in one hard cover volume


Call Number: A combination of letters and numbers that give a unique "address" of a book or audiovisual item on the library shelves. Prince George's Community College Library uses Library of Congress call numbers


CD-ROM: A Computer Disk-Read Only Memory storage disk which holds information


Circulating Collection: Books and materials which may be borrowed from the library. All circulating books on the second floor of the Library


Circulating Desk: Counter where books and materials are checked out and returned


Citation: Information that identifies an article or book or multimedia that usually includes author, title, volume, issue, date, journal title, page numbers. Additional information such as subject headings, type of article, and length of article may be included


Current Periodicals: The most recent issues of magazines, journals, and newspapers that the library receives


Database: A collection of information stored in an electronic format and searchable by computer


George II: The name given to the Prince George's Community College Library's online catalog


Glossary: A list of words and their definitions, limited to a special area of knowledge


Holdings: The items owned by the library


Interlibrary Loan: A service that allows students and faculty to have access to materials not available in the Library's own collection


Index: (1) A print source or database that identifies sources that are in magazines, journals, newspapers, books, multimedia, etc. (2) An alphabetical list at the end of a book that lists subjects, names, and/or titles


Issue: One publication of a magazine, journal, or newspaper


Journal: A periodical such as Economic Review that publishes articles written by scholars, subject experts or professionals in a particular field


Keywords: The most important words in a topic that are searched when searching databases


Magazine: A periodical such as People Weekly that has popular articles written for the general reader


Menu: A list of choices found in online tools such as databases and catalogs


Microfiche: A piece of film, 4 inches by 6 inches in size with reduced pages of a document such as a periodical that can be read at a microfiche reader/printer


Microfilm: A roll of film with reduced pages of a document such as a periodical that can be read at a microfilm reader/printer


OPAC: An Online Public Access Catalog that is computerized that contains books and other materials in such as GEORGE II in the Library


Periodical: A publication that is published at regular intervals such as magazines and journals


Reader/Printer: The machine which is used to read or print the material that is on microfiche or microfilm


Reference Books: Books that provide factual information and lead to other information resources


Reference Desk: A desk staffed by a librarian where you can ask questions on how to find information, do research, and use the Library


Reserves: A special collection of materials kept behind the Circulation Desk and available for short-term use


Volume: A quantity of successive issues for a publication identified by a number