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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) - When a book, journal article or video needed by a student or faculty member is unavailable, the student may request that it be borrowed from another library by submitting an online form. If it is your first time to request a book via interlibrary loan, you will need to first set up an account (you will be prompted from the online form - it takes about 2 minutes).
Keyword - A significant word or phrase that can be used as a search term to retrieve all the records containing it. Databases respond best to keyword searching in which your search terms are connected by words such as “and” and “or” (see Boolean searching above). For example, if your research question is “What impact did the bubonic plague have on Europe?” a good keyword search for this topic would be: bubonic plague and Europ*.
Journal - A periodical devoted to publishing original research and commentary on current developments in a specific field of study (example: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology), Journal articles are usually written by the person (or persons) who conducted the research. Longer than most articles in popular magazines, they almost always include a bibliography or list of works cited at the end. Articles from scholarly journals are considered more authoritative than those published in popular magazines.
Peer-Review - The process of subjecting an author's scholarly work or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. Articles from peer-reviewed journals have been reviewed by other scholars in the field before publication and are held to a high standard in relation to the quality of an author's research and writing, making them more authoritative than articles from popular magazines such as Time or Newsweek. Popular magazines have dual intentions of entertaining and informing their audiences, and are not always suitable for scholarly research.
Reference Book - A book designed to be consulted for authoritative background information or topic definitions rather than read cover to cover. Print reference books are shelved in the reference room and have to be used in the library—they cannot be checked out. The SHU Library also makes available a number of online reference sources through Credo Reference that can be used from any computer, either on-campus or off-campus (with your network login/password).
Stacks - The area of the library where the main body of the book collection is stored. The SHU Library stacks are housed on the upper level.
Truncation - The dropping of characters and the addition of a symbol at the end of a word in a keyword search to retrieve other forms of a word. Truncation is particularly useful in retrieving both the singular and plural forms of a word in the same search. For example, truncate adolescent as adolescen* to search for adolescent, adolescents and adolescence at the same time.
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