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Library, Research & Other Resources for First-Gen Students

Library Guides

Need assistance with research assignments or finding resources? Our librarians and information professionals have tailored library guides on a broad range of topics and courses. Browse our library guides here.

For Example: If you need assistance with citations, visit our Citation Styles library guide. If you are enrolled in POLS 3300, visit our POLS 3300  library guide. 

All students have access to a Personal Librarian. Personal librarians can help students with answering questions about the library, finding articles, help with citations, and much more! Find your Personal Librarian!


You can find tutorials and other information in our Tutorials page. We cover a variety of topics. Here are a few to get you started with the TTU Libraries.

Library Jargon

Librarians and library professionals may use specialized terms when referring to services, resources, locations, etc. at TTU Libraries. To get familiar with these terms, view the glossary in the various tabs. For more terms visit ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science (linked text will take you to ODLIS site). 



A brief, objective representation of the essential content of a book, article, speech, report, dissertation, patent, standard, or other work, presenting the main points in the same order as the original but having no independent literary value.

abstracting service

A commercial indexing service that provides both a citation and a brief summary or abstract of the content of each document indexed


A bibliographic service that provides online access to the digital full-text of periodicals published by different publishers. Because aggregator databases can be very large, tracking their coverage is not an easy task for serials librarians.

annotated bibliography

A bibliography in which a brief explanatory or evaluative note is added to each reference or citation. An annotation can be helpful to the researcher in evaluating whether the source is relevant to a given topic or line of inquiry.

architecture library

A specialized library associated with a graduate school of architecture or a large architectural firm, containing books and periodicals on architecture and architectural engineering, building codes and standards, architectural drawings and renderings, abstracting and indexing services, databases, and other reference materials for research in architecture and related fields. Connect to the TTU Architecture Library.


The building, facility, or area that houses an archival collection (the term repository is preferred by most archivists). Also, to place documents in storage, usually to preserve them as a historical, informational, legal, or evidential record, permanently or for a finite or indefinite period of time. Connect to TTU archives at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library.

Ask A Librarian

A reference service at TTU Libraries for students, faculty, staff, and community partners to ask questions to librarians and library professionals. Try out Ask a Librarian!


bibliographic record

An entry representing a specific item in a library catalog or bibliographic database, containing all the data elements necessary for a full description, presented in a specific bibliographic format.


A systematic list or enumeration of written works by a specific author or on a given subject, or that share one or more common characteristics (language, form, period, place of publication, etc.).

boolean operators

An expression used to define searches in research databases; using the words "AND" "OR" or "NOT" 

The OR command is used to expand retrieval by including synonyms and related terms in the query.

Search statement: violence OR conflict or aggression

The AND command is used to narrow search results. Each time another concept is added using "and," the search becomes more specific. In some online catalogs and databases, the "and" command is implicit (no need to type it between terms). In other interfaces, keywords will be searched as a phrase if not separated by "and."

Search statement: violence AND television AND children

The NOT command is used to exclude unwanted records from search results.

Search statement: television NOT news


call number

A combination of numbers and letters that provide a unique description of each item in a library collection. Items are arranged on the book shelves by call number. TTU Library uses LC or Library of Congress. For Example, HV9950 .A437 2012. Search this call number in OneSearch's "Browse by call numbers" to discover which book it is!


A database listing and describing the books, journal articles, magazines, newspapers, audiovisual and other materials held by the TTU Library.  You can search for items in the catalog by Author, Title, Keyword or Subject. TTU Libraries' catalog is called OneSearch.


The service point at which books  and other materials are checked in and out of a library. The circulation desks are located near the entrance or exit (East and West side of building). For more information on TTU checkout policies click here.


In the literary sense, any written or spoken reference to an authority or precedent or to the verbatim words of another speaker or writer. In library usage, a written reference to a specific work or portion of a work (book, article, dissertation, report, musical composition, etc.) produced by a particular author, editor, composer, etc., clearly identifying the document in which the work is to be found. Citation format varies from one field of study to another but includes at a minimum author, title, and publication date.

citation manager

Application software designed to enable researchers to collect bibliographic references quickly and easily, cite them properly, organize them effectively, and share them with others. Examples include EasyBibEndNoteMendeley, and RefWorks. A free open source example is Zotero.

Find info on citation manager’s here:

course reserves

Course Reserves is a service available to Texas Tech faculty and students. Faculty can reserve materials for their classes and their students have the ability to access the materials that have been reserved all in one convenient place. 



data management services (or research data management services)

Service provided by TTU Libraries to aid researchers in preserving their research data. For more info visit the webpage.


A collection of information such as journal articles, books, magazines, and newspapers that can be searched to retrieve information. Check out TTU Libraries' Databases A-Z!

digital archive

A system designed for locating, storing, and providing access to digital materials over the long term. Digital archives
are archival materials that have been converted to machine-readable format, usually for the sake of preservation or to make them more accessible to users.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
A unique code preferred by publishers in the identification and exchange of the content of a digital object, such as a journal article, Web document, or other item of intellectual property. The DOI consists of two parts: a prefix assigned to each publisher by the administrative DOI agency and a suffix assigned by the publisher that may be any code the publisher chooses. DOIs and their corresponding URLs are registered in a central DOI directory that functions as a routing system.

  • The DOI is persistent, meaning that the identification of a digital object does not change even if ownership of or rights in the entity are transferred. It is also actionable, meaning that clicking on it in a Web browser display will redirect the user to the content.
  • The DOI is also interoperable, designed to function in past, present, and future digital technologies. The registration and resolver system for the DOI is run by the International DOI Foundation (IDF). CrossRef is a collaborative citation linking service that uses the DOI. Click here to learn more about the DOI.

document delivery service (DDS)

The provision of published or unpublished documents in hard copy or digital format, usually for a fixed fee upon request. In most libraries, document delivery service is provided by the interlibrary loan office. The patron is usually required to pick up printed material at the library, but electronic full-text may be forwarded via an e-mail notification.


electronic book (or, e-book)

A digital version of a traditional print book designed to be read on a personal computer or e-book reader.
A commercial company that provides subscription management services, electronic journal access, online bibliographic and full-text databases, and an online book ordering service to libraries and related institutions. EBSCO is currently one of the three leading aggregators of journals available in electronic full-text. Click here to connect to the TTU's EBSCO subscribed databases.
electronic journal (or, e-journal)
A digital version of a print journal, or a journal-like electronic publication with/without print counterpart made available via Internet access. Some Web-based electronic journals are graphically modeled on the print version. Magazines are sometimes included in these collections. The rising cost of print journal subscriptions has led many academic libraries to explore electronic alternatives. View TTU's Libraries' E-Journals A-Z.
electronic resource(s) (or, e-resource)
Material consisting of data and/or computer program(s) that is accessible on various types of devices electronically via the internet . The category includes software applications, electronic texts, bibliographic databases, institutional repositories, Web sites, e-books, collections of e-journals, etc. Electronic resources not publicly available free of charge usually require licensing and authentication.
electronic theses and dissertations (ETD)
Master's theses and Ph.D. dissertations submitted in digital form rather than in print on paper, as opposed to those submitted in hard copy and subsequently converted to machine-readable format, usually by scanning.
The period during which the articles published in a periodical are not available in online full-text from a journal aggregator, usually the most recent one to three years. Journal publishers have established such periods to prevent libraries from canceling print subscriptions.
Proprietary proxy server software, designed to enable libraries to provide easy access from outside their local computer networks to Web sites that restrict access by IP address. If you get an error message stating EZproxy error, please Contact us via email.


fair use

Conditions under which copying a work, or a portion of it, does not constitute infringement of copyright, including copying for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

full text

an entire text of a single work with an electronic copy that can be viewed on a computer or electronic device.



A type, class, or style of literature, music, film, or art. Genre criticism originated with Aristotle, who divided literature into three basic categories: dramatic, epic, and lyric. Today, literary works are classified by form (novel, short story, poetry, drama, etc.), by theme (adventure, fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, western, etc.), and less often by subject (carpe diem poem). 

google scholar

A free service launched by Google in November 2004 that allows users to search the Internet for scholarly literature across many disciplines using the company's proprietary search software. According to Google, search results are ranked by relevance using an algorithm that examines the full-text of the work, its author(s), the publication in which the article appeared, and how many times the work has been cited in other scholarly literature. Google Scholar provides access to abstracts, peer-reviewed papers, periodical articles, theses, and books from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, university intranets, and other scholarly organizations. Find instructions here:

government documents

Publications of the U.S. federal government, including transcripts of hearings and the text of bills, resolutions, statutes, reports, charters, treaties, periodicals (example: Monthly Labor Review), statistics (U.S. Census), etc. In libraries, federal documents are usually shelved in a separate section by SuDocs number. The category also includes publications of other governmental bodies (state, local, territorial, foreign).



The process of gathering data from Web pages and other Internet sources and sending it back to a central site for indexing. An Internet crawler harvests Web pages for indexing in Internet search engines (Google, HotBot, Yahoo!, AltaVista, etc.). Spammers use harvesting to pull e-mail addresses off Web pages for use in mass mailings. In the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), metadata is harvested from distributed repositories such as e-print servers and from library catalogs.
HathiTrust Digital Library
A partnership of major research institutions and libraries in the United States, which seeks to preserve and provide open access to the digitized cultural record. HathiTrust began in 2008 as a collaboration of the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), plus the University of California system and the University of Virginia, for the purpose of establishing an archival repository of their digitized collections. The collaboration quickly expanded to include more than 60 academic and research libraries (see this list of HathiTrust partners).
The total stock of materials, print and nonprint, owned by a library or library system, usually listed in its catalog. Synonymous in this sense with library collection. In a narrower sense, all the copies, volumes, issues, or parts of an item owned by a library, especially a serial publication, indicated in a holdings statement in the record representing the item in the catalog. Holdings can be recorded in the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Information. See also: closed entry and open entry.
A keyword or indexable concept assigned to a document to add depth to subject indexing, not listed in the thesaurus of indexing terms because it either represents a proper name (geographic name, personal name, corporate name, test or program, operation or process, piece of legislation, etc.) or a concept not yet approved as an authorized descriptor.

Also, a string of characters intended to uniquely identify a bibliographic resource. There are many identifier systems in use for different types of library materials, including the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for books, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for serial titles, the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier (SICI) for serial issues and articles, and the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for journal articles and other digital content.

information science

The systematic study and analysis of the sources, development, collection, organization, dissemination, evaluation, use, and management of information in all its forms, including the channels (formal and informal) and technology used in its communication. Compare with informatics and library science. See also: information theory.
intellectual property
Tangible products of the human mind and intelligence entitled to the legal status of personal property, especially works protected by copyright, inventions that have been patented, and registered trademarks. An idea is considered the intellectual property of its creator only after it has been recorded or made manifest in specific form. Abbreviated IP. See also: information law.
interlibrary loan (ILL)
When a book or other item needed by a registered borrower is checked out, unavailable for some other reason, or not owned by the library, a patron may request that it be borrowed from another library by filling out a printed interlibrary loan request form at a service desk, or electronically via the library's Web site. Some libraries also accept ILL requests via e-mail or by telephone, usually under exceptional circumstances. Materials borrowed on interlibrary loan may usually be renewed on or before the due date. Find more about our ILL services through Document Delivery.



A periodical devoted to disseminating original research and commentary on current developments in a specific discipline, subdiscipline, or field of study (example: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology), usually published in quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly issues sold by subscription (click here to see an example). Journal articles are usually written by the person (or persons) who conducted the research. Longer than most magazine articles, they almost always include a bibliography or list of works cited at the end. In journals in the sciences and social sciences, an abstract usually precedes the text of the article, summarizing its content. Most scholarly journals are peer-reviewed. Scholars often use a current contents service to keep abreast of the journal literature in their fields of interest and specialization. See also: impact factor.
A nonprofit organization that began as a digital text initiative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation aimed at easing the space problems faced by libraries that own long runs of journal back files, JSTOR provides searchable bibliographic databases containing the complete full-text of core scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines, current to within 2-5 years. In 2009, JSTOR merged with ITHAKA. Search TTU's subscription to JSTOR.
A small circular pavilion, usually located near the entrance to a library, used for displaying announcements, dust jackets removed from new books, reading lists, comments and suggestions from library users (sometimes with responses from library administration), and other information concerning library operations and programs.


learning management system (LMS)

An integrated set of online applications providing access to course assignments and materials, tests and test results, e-discussion and chat space, and other features in support of education, particularly in colleges and universities. Learning management systems offer some functions that overlap with library systems, such as the provision of electronic reserves, and their content may overlap with that delivered through library portals.
lending library
A library that allows users to borrow materials, as opposed to a library used only for reference. Also refers to a library or other institution that sends materials on request to other libraries, usually via interlibrary loan.
In academic libraries, librarians are often assigned one or more academic departments for which they serve as intermediary between the teaching faculty and the library. Liaison responsibilities may include bibliographic instruction, collection development (including reference and electronic resources), current awareness, and faculty training in the use of library resources. Most liaison librarians have academic preparation or at least some level of expertise in the disciplines they serve.
A professionally trained person responsible for the care of a library and its contents, including the selection, processing, and organization of materials and the delivery of information, instruction, and loan services to meet the needs of its users. In the United States, the title is reserved for persons who have been awarded the M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. degree, or certified as professionals by a state agency.
From the Latin liber, meaning "book." In Greek and the Romance languages, the corresponding term is bibliotheca. A collection or group of collections of books and/or other print or nonprint materials organized and maintained for use (reading, consultation, study, research, etc.). Institutional libraries, organized to facilitate access by a specific clientele, are staffed by librarians and other personnel trained to provide services to meet user needs. By extension, the room, building, or facility that houses such a collection, usually but not necessarily built for that purpose.
library management system (LMS)
In automated systems, an integrated set of applications designed to perform the business and technical functions of a library, including acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, and the provision of public access.
A feature of well-designed online catalog or bibliographic database software that allows the user to employ various parameters to restrict the retrieval of entries containing the terms included in the search statement. Limits may be set before a search is executed, after results are displayed, or both, depending on the design of the system. Limiters are not standardized but typically include: publication date, material type, language, full-text, peer-reviewed (journal articles), and locally held.
link resolver
Application software that uses the OpenURL standard to provide context-sensitive linking between a citation in a bibliographic database and the electronic full text of the resource cited (article, essay, conference paper, book, etc.) in an aggregator database or online from the publisher, taking into account which materials the user is authorized by subscription or licensing agreement to access.


Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC)

An international standard digital format for the description of bibliographic items developed by the Library of Congress during the 1960s to facilitate the creation and dissemination of computerized cataloging from library to library within the same country and between countries.



A popular interest periodical usually containing articles on a variety of topics, written by various authors in a nonscholarly style. Most magazines are heavily illustrated, contain advertising, and are printed on glossy paper. Articles are usually short (less than five pages long), frequently unsigned, and do not include a bibliography or list of references for further reading.
A generic term for nonprint library materials (films, filmstrips, slides, videorecordings, audiorecordings, CD-ROMs, machine-readable data files, computer software, etc.). Microforms are not considered media because they are reproductions of print documents.
Literally, "data about data." Structured information describing information resources/objects for a variety of purposes. Descriptive metadata facilitates indexing, discovery, identification, and selection. Structural metadata describes the internal structure of complex information resources. Administrative metadata aids in the management of resources and may include rights management metadata, preservation metadata, and technical metadata describing the physical characteristics of a resource.
Information that is erroneous or inaccurate. Also refers to the act of misinforming someone, inadvertently or by intention.
A relatively short book or treatise on a single subject, complete in one physical piece, usually written by a specialist in the field.



A paper that is printed and distributed usually daily or weekly and that contains news, articles of opinion, features, and advertising.
Resources in a library that may not be loaned to a borrower except by special arrangement, but are usually for library use only.


OCLC symbol

OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes cooperation among libraries worldwide. Unique codes assigned by OCLC identify  libraries or other institutions that are a member of or participant in its cataloging, interlibrary loan, or reference systems (example: DLC for Library of Congress).
online catalog
A library catalog consisting of a collection of bibliographic records in machine-readable format,  that provides interactive access through a web-based interface.
open access
Free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results.
open access journal
A scholarly periodical that makes the full text of the articles it publishes universally and freely available.
open access repository
 A collection of full-text documents available in online databases on the Internet that can be accessed freely and instantly. Institutional repositories are managed by research institutions and house their own students, faculty, & staff.
Open Archives Initiative (OAI)
The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. The Open Archives Initiative has its roots in an effort to enhance access to e-print archives as a means of increasing the availability of scholarly communication.

An OpenURL is similar to a web address, but instead of referring to a physical website, it refers to an article, book, patent, or other resource within a website. OpenURLs are similar to permalinks because they are permanently connected to a resource, regardless of which website the resource is connected to. Libraries and other resource centers are the most common place to find OpenURLs because an OpenURL can help Internet users find a copy of a resource that they may otherwise have limited access to.



a magazine or other journal that is issued at regularly recurring intervals. adjective. published at regularly recurring intervals.

perpetual access

Perpetual access is the right to ongoing access to electronic sources.

Persistent URL (PURL)

PURLs are Web addresses or Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) that act as permanent identifiers in the face of a dynamic and changing Web infrastructure.


A podcast is a series of episodes that are audio files. These are stored with a podcast hosting company.

primary source

Primary sources are the evidence of history, original records or objects created by participants or observers at the time historical events occurred or even well after events, as in memoirs and oral histories.