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A summary or brief description of the content of longer work, usually an article. Many library databases provide abstracts along with the citation to an article.


Access Services

At the Wallace Library, the library department that deals with circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan, the Information Desk, and building access and security. The Access Services Offices are located behind the Information Desk in the atrium.

Anthology / Edited Collection

A collection of extracts or complete works by various authors, selected by an editor for publication in a single volume or multivolume set. Anthologies are often limited to a specific literary form or genre (short stories, poetry, plays) or to a national literature, theme, time period, or category of author.

APA Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) citation style is used by many Social and Natural Science fields. For more information, see Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.


An image database featuring a range of images or art, architecture, photography, and manuscripts from some of the world's leading museums, photo archives, scholars, and artists. All images are accompanied by comprehensive bibliographic information, and are rights-cleared for educational use. These high quality images can be downloaded for use in papers and presentations.


Historical records, such as collections of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, account books, etc., as well as the buildings and spaces where they are kept. Wheaton's archives, the Marion B. Gebbie '01 Archives and Special Collections, are located on the Archives Level of the Wallace Library (accessible from the stair tower).


A short piece of non-fiction writing on a topic, usually ranging from 1-40 pages and published in a journal, magazine, or newspaper. (Chapters in edited collections or anthologies may sometimes also be referred to as articles.)


The person(s) or organization(s) that wrote or compiled a document. Looking for information under its author's name is one option in searching.

Bibliographic Database

A database consisting of electronic entries called records, each containing a uniform description of a specific document or bibliographic item (e.g. print book, e-book, article, video), usually retrievable by author, title, subject heading (descriptor), or keyword(s). Some bibliographic databases are general in scope and coverage; others provide access to the literature of a specific discipline or group of disciplines. An increasing number provide the full-text of at least a portion of the sources indexed. See also: Library Database. In a library context, bibliographic databases are often simply referred to as "databases.”


A list of citations or references to both primary and secondary sources cited in the text of an article or book, or suggested by the author for further reading. It usually appears at the end of the work. Sometimes a bibliography will be annotated, meaning that each citation also contains a brief summary, similar to an abstract, of the contents of the work cited and why it is relevant to the topic of the bibliography or paper.


A relatively lengthy work, often on a single topic. Not to be confused with a novel. A non-fiction/scholarly book written by a single author or team of authors is often called a monograph, while a book consisting of articles or chapters put together by an editor is known as an anthology or edited collection. Books can be researched in the library catalog and accessed either in print (located in the stacks) or as e-books.

Book Review

A short article that evaluates and critiques a published literary or scholarly work, usually written by an expert in the same field of study. Many library databases allow searching specifically for book reviews, including reviews of a particular book. Book Review Digest Plus is a database that exclusively covers book reviews.

Boolean Operator

A word—such as AND, OR, or NOT—that tells a computer how to combine search terms in a query and helps to narrow (AND, NOT) or broaden (OR) searches.

Call Number

A group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and provides a way for organizing a library's collections. A call number label is attached to each item in the collection and the call number is included in the entry for that item in the catalog. A call number tells users where to find the item in the library. Wallace Library uses the Library of Congress Classification for call numbers.


A database listing and describing the books, journals, government documents, audiovisual and other materials held by a library. At Wallace Library can be searched from both the library homepage and directly.


To borrow an item from the library. Check-out periods vary by item type. Items are checked out at the Information Desk on the Main Level of Wallace Library. For more information on checking out items from Wallace Library, see our policy page.

Chicago Style

The citation style used by many Humanities and Social Science fields, including History, Anthropology, Political Science and Art History. There are two systems of this style, the author-date system, which uses parenthetical in-text citations, and the note system, which uses footnoted in-text citations. For more information, see Chicago Manual of Style.


The process of checking library materials in and out. The library collects statistics about how many times and how frequently items circulate to help determine usage trends and future collection development needs.


A reference to a specific book, article, chapter, or other material (both scholarly and non-scholarly) that clearly identifies that item and allows readers to trace back the information the author used and referred to in their writing. The citation style used to format these citations differs from one field of study to another. A list of multiple citations is called a bibliography. To manage multiple citations efficiently, many scholars now use citation management software such as Zotero.

Citation Management Software

Software that helps users keep track of citations found during the research process, create bibliographies, and insert footnotes or endnotes into documents and format them according to a specific style guide. Examples include Zotero and Mendeley.

Citation Style

Rules for formatting citations as defined in a style guide. Citation styles often differ from one field of scholarship to another: many but not all social sciences, for example, often use APA style, while literature and other humanities disciplines often use MLA style and fields such as history or anthropology prefer Chicago style.

Clark Room

Located on the first mezzanine of Wallace Library, at the top of the marble stairs, the Clark Room houses part of the fine arts collection. During the day, the Clark Room is available for group study. It turns into a quiet study area after 6pm.

Cole Room

Located on Wallace Library’s first mezzanine level, the Cole Room houses the Cole Collection, part of the Rare Book Collection, and is reserved for quiet study.

Collaboration Room

A room designed for group work. Wallace Library has 13 collaboration rooms equipped with a variety of technology (e.g. flat screens, computers, DVD/VHS players). You can reserve a collaboration room on our website


A meeting with a liaison where a student or group of students can get assistance with using library tools, finding sources, creating bibliographies and citing sources, and using a variety of software packages. You can schedule an appointment with a librarian via our online system. For more information, check our website.

Controlled Vocabulary

A list of specific, standardized terms, called preferred terms, used to catalog or index entries in the library catalog and library databases. These terms are used as subject headings and ensure that all materials on a topic can be found even if the author does not use the same terminology as the researcher.

Course Management System (CMS) / Learning Management System / Moodle / onCourse

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. Wheaton’s CMS, onCourse is based on the Moodle platform.

Credo Reference

Digital library of over 700 cross-searchable reference books in a wide variety of disciplines. A great starting point for your research.


A collection of information stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer. See also: Bibliographic Database and Library Database.


A word that describes the subject of an article or book; used in many library databases.

Digital Repository

An online archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution. Wheaton’s Digital Repository includes digitized works from our Archives and Special Collections, Honors Theses, and other works created by members of the Wheaton community.


An extended written treatment of a subject (like a book) submitted by a graduate student as a requirement for a doctorate.


Acronym for Digital Object Identifier. It is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by the publisher to a digital object that permanently identifies a document and links to it on the web. In a published article, the DOI is usually found on the first page along with other citation information and is often an active link. To locate DOIs that are not an active link, enter your browser's address box, then the DOI.

E-Book (Electronic Book)

An electronic version of a book that can be read on a computer or mobile device.

E-Reserves or Electronic Reserves

An electronic version of a course reserve that is read on a computer display screen.


A collection of e-books. E-books within Ebrary can be found in the library catalog or searched directly in the Ebrary platform, with the latter also allowing for searching within books.


publisher of library databases. The EBSCO platform, EBSCOhost, is the home of such databases as America History & LifeHistorical AbstractsArt Full TextHumanities Full Text, and Social Sciences Full Text.


A person or group responsible for compiling the writings of others into a single information source. Looking for information under the editor's name is one option in searching.


A book or numbered set of books containing authoritative summary information about a variety of topics in the form of short essays, usually arranged alphabetically by headword or classified in some manner. An entry may or may not identify the author, and may include illustrations or a list of references for further reading. Headwords and text are usually revised periodically for publication in a new edition. Encyclopedias may be general (example: Encyclopedia Britannica) or specialized, usually by subject (Encyclopedia of International Games) or discipline (The Encyclopedia Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health).


A statement printed at the end of a chapter, book or essay to explain a point in the text, indicate the basis of an assertion, or cite the source of a concept, idea, quotation, or piece of factual information. Like footnotes, endnotes are numbered, usually in superscript, and listed in the sequence in which they appear in the text. See also in-text citation.


A short literary composition written in expository prose addressed to the general reader, usually dealing thoughtfully and in some depth with a single theme, seen from the personal point of view of the essayist who does not necessarily attempt the systematic or comprehensive analysis one would expect in a dissertation or treatise.


A computer program designed to allow only selected data to pass through to the user, for example, an e-mail system that alerts the recipient to selected incoming messages or software that blocks access to Web sites containing certain types of content, usually violent or sexually explicit material considered unsuitable for young children.


To save space, libraries shelve oversized books (those over 10.5 inches tall) separately from regular sized books. Oversized books are divided into two categories: quarto (10.5 to 12.25 inches) and folio (over 12.25 inches). In Wallace Library, folio books are located on the Stacks Level, next to the door to the Science Center.


A brief note at the bottom of a page explaining or expanding upon a point in the text or indicating the source of a quotation or idea attributed by the author to another person. Footnotes are indicated in the text by an arabic numeral in superscript, or a reference mark, and are usually printed in a smaller size of the font used for the text. When numbered, the sequence usually starts with one at the beginning of each chapter but may occasionally start with one at the beginning of each page. Compare with endnote and in-text citation.

Full Text

An electronic resource that provides the entire text of a single work (example: Britannica Online) or of articles published in one or more journals, magazines, and/or newspapers. For example, a bibliographic database that provides the complete text of a significant proportion of the works indexed, in addition to the bibliographic citation and (in many cases) an abstract of the content (example: JSTOR). Also spelled full-text and fulltext.