Libraries are full of jargon! Some of our terminology is explained below. If we've missed a word or phrase that you don't understand, just fill in the Website comments form to let us know, and we'll explain it and add it to the list!
Library words explained
Abstract - a summary covering essential points in an article or book.
Article - a paper published in a periodical or journal. See Finding journal articles.
Bibliography - A list of books, articles and other materials.
Campus Card - A plastic card given to students on joining the University. This multi-function card acts as your Library card, an out-of-hours access card to some PC facilities, and may be used by your department or hall for other purposes. For some functions you will need to use your PIN with your card.
Staff and Associate University Members may also apply for Campus Cards which can be activated as Library cards too.
Catalogue - A searchable list of a Library’s resources. See also Enterprise.
Call Number - combination of a subject number and words or letters indicating the shelf location of a book or periodical; eg a book on psychology 150-GAR.
Copyright - protects an author from the illegal reproduction of their work; ie there are legal limits on how much you can photocopy from one book or periodical. See Copyright.
Database - an electronic resource usually giving references to articles, books and other sources of information in a specific subject area. Some offer full-text. See Databases a-z list.
Enterprise - the Library catalogue. Use this to find out what books, journals and other materials we have in the Library or online. See Enterprise.
Folio/Middle Folio/Large Folio - large size books and periodicals, shelved separately from ‘normal size’ items.
Holds - reservations on books on loan to other users. See Placing & cancelling a hold using Enterprise.
Institutional login - a system used to control access to e-books, e-journals and databases. Selecting 'University of Reading' from a list of institutions allows you to login with your University username and password. See also Shibboleth.
Journal - a publication issued at regular intervals, usually with volume numbers and dates; also called periodicals, magazines or serials. Shelved separately from books in our Periodical sequences. See Journals and Finding journal articles.
Periodical - see Journal.
Shibboleth - a protocol used to pass information about people to e-resource suppliers which allows you to login to our e-books, e-journals and databases via the Institutional login. See also Institutional login.
S@iL (Student Access to Independent Learning) - IT facilities located on the 1st Floor of the Library. See S@il - Student Access to Independent Learning.
Summon - our discovery service. Search it to find online journal articles, books and much more! See Summon.
Unicorn - formerly the Library’s main catalogue. Now replaced by Enterprise.
University Username - a code supplied when you start at the University to allow you to access University PC facilities, email and network file space.
Wi-Fi - a wireless network connection - see Wi-Fi Zones for a map of locations.