Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Information Literacy, Level One: Glossary of terms

This guide is designed to support the Information Literacy unit within ENG 111, but also provide a first-level introduction to research skills for any Meredith College student.

Glossary of terms

Article - Distinct part of a reference book or journal.  These are typically cited when the rest of the book is not read or referred to.

Authority - Does the author or organization have credentials and expertise in the subject area they are writing about.  See Evaluating Sources tab.

Background information - Basic information about your topic and how it relates to a discipline or broader course of study. See Reference Sources tab.

Bias - Does the author of a book or journal exclude certain information or present only one side of the issue.  See Evaluating Sources tab.

Bibliography - List of sources you used to find information for your presentation or paper.

Call numberA distinctive number assigned to each book reflecting its subject classification, which is used to determine a book's place on the shelf.

Citation - Form of writing down information about the material you used for a presentation or paper so that someone else can find those sources.  See Citation help tab.

Currency - Was the source published recently enough that it's information is still relevant and useful.  See Evaluating Sources tab.

Database - A searchable computer program that contains descriptions of potential sources (books, articles, etc.).  May be specialized or general.  May include the full text of the items described or it may not.

Dewey Decimal classification system - System to organize books by subject, which is used at Meredith College's library.

Facet - A means of limiting your search results to items that fall within a specified category, such as type of material or date of publication.  See OneSearch tab.

Field - Part of an item record for a book or article in a library tool like OneSearch.  Examples of fields include: author, title and date.  See OneSearch tab.

Information cycle - The amount of time it takes for information to appear in a particular type of source.  See Library sources and web sources tab.

Journal - Published periodically for scholars within a field to communicate new information.  Contains articles.  See Library sources and web sources tab.

Keyword Term that conveys a principle concept of your topic.  See From topic to keywords tab.

Lateral reading - Checking on the credibility of a source by reading other sources on the same topic.  See Evaluating Sources tab.

Limiter - A limiter is a way to reduce an existing set of search results.  Includes things like full text, date range, etc. See OneSearch tab.

Magazine - Published periodically for the general public to provide background information.  Contains articles.  See Library sources and web sources tab.

Mind map - Way to find paper topics and/or keywords for that topic within a discipline or broader course of study.  See Choosing your research topic tab.

Phrase searching - Putting words inside quotation marks to search them as a phrase, rather than as individual words.  See From topic to keywords tab.

Plagiarism - Presenting other people's words or ideas as though they were your own.  See Citation help tab.

Record - The complete description of a book or an article contained in a library search tool or database.

Reference sources - See Reference sources tab.

Relevance - Does the source's information help me answer my research question(s).  See Evaluating sources tab.

Synonyms - Other words that various authors might use to express a key concept in your research topic.  See From topic to keywords tab.