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ENGL1160 Composition II Research Guide

Use this guide to find UNO library resources and other helpful research tools.


Call number: How the books are arranged on the shelves. A call number is a combination of letters and numbers which indicates the location of library materials and works like an address. The call number appears under “Call Number” in the catalog and on the spine of the book.  B 151 .S6 is an example of a call number.

Catalog: A searchable database listing and describing the books, journals, government documents, media and other materials held by a library. Various search terms allow you to look for items from the QuickSearch bar on the library's main page.

Check out or Borrow: To rent an item for free from a library for a fixed period of time in order to read, listen to, or view it. Check-out periods vary by library; at UNO Libraries most books can be checked out until the end of the semesters. Items are checked out at the service desk.

Circulation or Reference Desk: See Service Desk.

Citation: The information needed to identify and locate a book or article. This usually includes its author, title, and date, along with where it was published. This information is used to compile a bibliography or works cited page.

Database: An organized collection of related information or data (usually computerized). Most databases are collections of academic or newspaper articles, streaming videos, or other media. They are searchable using your main ideas or keywords.

Due Date: The item you borrowed from the library should be returned by this date. You can find out when your materials are due back to the library by logging into your library account on the library's website.

Editorial: A newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): A service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries through UNO Libraries. Sign up for an account, then use the Get Item button in a database or the catalog to log in to your ILL account and request the item.

Journal: A publication, issued on a regular basis, which contains scholarly research published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports. See also Periodical.

Keywords: The main or most significant word or words used to search in a database, the catalog, or online. This also indicates the subject of the items you'll find in your results list.

Limiters: Use limiters to reduce the number of your search results. Limiters could be content type, such as books, academic articles, magazine articles, or newspaper articles; publication date; language; and more.

Loan Period: How long you can keep the items you have borrowed from the library.

Magazine: A publication, issued on a regular basis, containing popular articles, written and illustrated in a less technical manner than the articles found in a journal.

Newspaper: A publication containing information about varied topics that are pertinent to general information, a geographic area, or a specific subject matter (i.e. business, culture, education). Often published daily.

Newswire: An electronically transmitted service providing up-to-the-minute news stories, financial market updates, and other information, sold to newspapers to print in their daily news.

Off-campus access: To log in to library resources from off campus, use your Canvas username and password.

Peer-reviewed journal: Peer review is a process by which editors have experts in a field review books or articles submitted for publication by the experts’ peers. Peer review helps to ensure the quality of an information source. A peer-reviewed journal is sometimes also called a refereed journal or scholarly journal.

Periodicals: A publication that appears at regular intervals. This includes:

  • magazines  – a periodical for general reading.
  • journals – a specialized or research-oriented periodical.
  • current periodicals– recent, unbound issues.
  • bound periodicals – one that is contained in a hard-backed volume.

Permalink: A link that will return you to the same page every time you click the link. Databases will have permalinks; for best results, save these links instead of bookmarking pages.

Primary source: An original record of events, such as a diary, a newspaper article, a public record, or scientific documentation.

QuickSearch: The UNO Libraries search bar on the main page of the website. Use QuickSearch to find books, articles, streaming music and video, scores, government documents, and more.

Reference: Sometimes "reference" refers to reference collections, such as encyclopedias, indexes, handbooks, directories, etc. A citation to a work is also known as a reference.

Renew: To extend the length of time you may keep a book you have borrowed. You may login to your library account to renew online.

Secondary sources: Materials such as books and journal articles that analyze primary sources. Secondary sources usually provide evaluation or interpretation of data or evidence found in original research or documents such as historical manuscripts or memoirs.

Service desk: The counters on the first and second floors of library where you can ask questions, check out laptops, headphones, and other technology, or borrow books or other items for use outside the library.

Scholarly journal: A periodical that contains articles written by experts in a particular field of study. Scholarly journals may or may not be peer reviewed.

Stacks: The shelves where the books are kept. The books in the stacks are arranged by call number.

Trade journal: A periodical that targets a specific industry or trade group. They publish news and feature articles that focus on topics of interest to professionals in the target industry. Industry-specific advertising and job postings are common.

Library terms in other languages

The Multilingual Glossary for Today's Library Users (from ACRL)  and the glossary's Language Table presents library terms in seven languages:  English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese. A separate list provides definitions in English. Follow the links to those lists below.