Speak Library language!

This glossary explains some of the words you'll see during your time at university.

Browse the page or choose a letter to jump to that section. Always ask us about anything you don't understand - we're here to help! 



An outline or summary of a document – for example a book, article, dissertation or thesis. Use it to decide whether or not you would like to read the complete work.


See Library account.


Items and records acquired by the University. Includes the University Archives (the official records of the University of Strathclyde from 1796 to the present day) and Deposited Archives (various items and documents acquired by gift or deposit to support the University’s teaching and research).


The archives catalogue, searchable online.

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Details of all the materials which provided you with information or helped you to formulate your ideas for your assignment, even if they are not directly referred to in your text. See also reference list.


See photocopying and binding services.

Boolean operators

Search a database using AND, OR, NOT to combine your search words.

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Citation searching

Find articles, authors or books that have cited previously published research.

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Collection of information held electronically, such as journals and articles e.g. OmniFile Full-Text Select. Can be searched using SUPrimo.

Dewey Decimal Classification

The system used to classify books on the shelves in Lending, Reference, and Short Loan. Visit our In Depth page to learn more.

Discussion rooms

Bookable rooms to use for studying in groups. Can be booked online up to two weeks in advance.

DOI: Digital object identifier

A unique number for an electronic document, often a journal article. It will never change, unlike a URL.

DS account

All staff and students at Strathclyde have their own IT account, called a Directory Services (DS) account. You log in to your account using your DS username (a string of letters and numbers) and password. Your DS account gives you access to many University computer systems, including those that hold your personal information. Never share your DS password with anyone else. You can change your password if you have forgotten it, or if you think someone else might know it.

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Usually the electronic version of a print book. Sometimes we only have the ebook and no print version. Search SUPrimo using the title and/or author. The digital version of a print book. Your Strathclyde DS account gives you access to these books. For access, click the 'electronic resource' link.


The Wi-Fi network provided by the university. Your username when connecting to eduroam is your DS username, followed by @strath.ac.uk, and your password is the same as your DS password.


The digital version of a journal. eJournals are hosted by different suppliers, including ProQuest and Emerald. Your Strathclyde DS account gives you access to these journals.


A desktop bibliographic service for students and researchers that organises personal reference collections and saves time retyping references for coursework and publication. Available on University computers. We provide training on using Endnote.

Endnote basic (web)

A web version of Endnote. We provide training on using Endnote.

Enquiry desk

A staffed desk which assists with all Library and IT enquiries. Check our opening times and contact details.


Electronic library resources, including eBooks, eJournals, databases and more.


Theses available in electronic format. See EThOS.


UK Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) is a project which is making theses available electronically.

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A division of the University comprising related subject areas. The four Faculties at Strathclyde are:

  • Business
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS)
  • Engineering
  • Science

Faculty Librarian

Each Faculty has its own Faculty Librarian who acts as the first point of contact between the Faculty and the Library.

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Group study

Areas where group work or transactional activities may be undertaken. Group discussion is allowed on Level 2, and in bookable group discussion rooms on Levels 4 and 5. See our group study page, and also our quiet study and silent study glossary entries.

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H: drive

A directory on the University computer network where you can save your own individual files and folders.

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Impact factor

A measurement of the academic importance of a journal. Use the ISI Web of Science Journal Citation Reports via SUPrimo. Scopus metrics can also be used.

Institutional login

Allows you to access electronic resources off-campus. See also Shibboleth login.

Inter-Library Loans

If a book or journal is not available in the Andersonian Library then we can get it for you from another library. This is called an inter-library loan.

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A collection of articles dealing with a particular subject e.g. the British journal of management. Can be held electronically (see eJournal) or in print format.

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We don't have anything in this section yet. Tell us if you think there should be something here!

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Lending books

Books available for 1 week loan and Standard (6 week) loan. Available on Levels 4 and 5 of the Library. We organise books in numerical order by their Dewey number/class number. All class numbers at Strathclyde have a 'D' before them, for example 'D598.44 LEV'.  

Library account

An online record which you can access and use to monitor your Library transactions, renew book loans and place a variety of types of request. Accessible using your University DS login or your student number and name.

Library catalogue

See SUPrimo.

Library store

Closed access collections. To access these items, make a Store Request online or at the Enquiry desk.


Where the specific item is shelved in the Library. For example: Standard Loan, Short Loan, Reference, Store. See our bookshelf locations page for more information.

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The virtual learning environment (VLE) used at Strathclyde, known as Myplace.


Myplace is the University VLE, our Moodle-based learning system where online material and activities for classes are made available to students.

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Not on loan

Shown in search results in SUPrimo. This means the book/item should be on the shelves and available to borrow. Ask us for help you can't find it.

Not on shelf

Shown in search results in SUPrimo. This means the book/item is not currently available, usually because it is on loan to another borrower. You may want to place a reservation on the item.

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Open Access

The practice of providing unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed research, most commonly scholarly journal and conference papers, but also other forms of scholarly work including book chapters, monographs and datasets. Visit the Open Access pages to learn more.

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PEGASUS stands for Portal Engine Giving Access to Strathclyde University Systems. PEGASUS provides a way in to a range of online services for staff, students and applicants.

Photocopying and binding services

Photocopying including enlargements and reductions, and binding of dissertations/assignments. Available at the Library Shop on Level 2 of the Library.

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Quiet study

Areas for studying quietly, with only low level interaction. Found in the computer suites Level 3 of the library. (See also group study and silent study.)

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Reference books

Reference materials are books, journals or other items which you can not take out of the Library. On SUPrimo, the location of these items is given as 'Reference'. Most of our reference materials are on Level 1. Reference materials relating to Law are on Level 5. Ask us if you need help to find any items in the Library.

Reference list

Details of all the materials you have referred to/cited in your text. See also Bibliography.


You can place a reservation on books which are currently on loan to another borrower, to be sure that you get hold of them next.


The things you can borrow and use with your Library account. We say 'resources' to mean books and eBooks, journals and eJournals, newspapers, databases, music, videos and everything else which may help you with your research.

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SCONUL access

SCONUL is a scheme allowing certain users (academic staff, postgraduate students, part-time, placement and distance learning students) access to the libraries of other member


Self-service borrow/return

Self-service machines used for borrowing and returning items. Located on Level 3, with separate machines in the Short Loan area to borrow/return Short Loan items.


An OpenURL linking resolver that allows users to link directly to the electronic full-text for a reference (the SFX target) plus other related information.

Shelved at

Seen in SUPrimo search results, this tells you where in the Library you will find your book/item. Our books are arranged numerically by subject, then alphabetically by author or title. Note the full Dewey shelfmark before going to the shelves, for example 'D598.44 LEV'.  

Shibboleth login

Allows you to access Library eResources off campus. See also institutional login.

Short Loan

High-demand items available for 1 day loan. The Short Loan Collection is on Level 3 of the Library.

Silent study

Areas for studying in silence, found on Levels 1, 4, and 5 of the Library. Mobile phones must be off or kept on silent mode. See also quiet study and group study.

Special collections

Rare or significant printed material and books, including the Anderson Collection (the personal library of John Anderson, 1726-1796, natural philosopher), plus over 30 other collections spanning the 16th to the 21st centuries. Visit Archives & Special Collections to learn more.

Standard loan

When you borrow a standard loan book, we initially give you 6 weeks to read and return it. However, we may ask you to bring the book back to the Library sooner if another user has placed a reservation on it. If no other user is waiting for the book, we will automatically renew it for you for a maximum of 24 weeks.

Store lending

Older books are often kept in the Library Store and are available for borrowing. You may submit a Store Request to view or borrow the item. You can do this online through SUPrimo, or at the enquiry desk on Level 3.


A digital repository of research publications from the University of Strathclyde. Visit Strathprints to learn more.

Subject Librarian

See Faculty Librarian.


The Library's SUPrimo online search system enables you to find books, journals, journal articles, exam papers, databases, theses and more.

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Strathclyde postgraduate research theses (print) held in the Andersonian Library. Use SUPrimo to search for specific titles. Electronic copies, when available, are accessed via SUPrimo.

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UK Access (Management) Federation

Allows off-campus access to Library eResources. See also Shibboleth login.

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VLE stands for virtual learning environment. The VLE at Strathclyde is called Myplace.


Usually refers to all of the issues/parts of a journal published in a specific year.

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Walk-in access

Strathclyde students and staff have 'full access' to electronic resources. Some other users have 'walk-in' access to electronic resources. Walk-in access means you can access electronic library services whilst inside the Library building. You will not be able to access electronic services from elsewhere. The Library has computers set aside for walk-in users.

Electronic resources include:

  • eJournals
  • eBooks
  • databases

Find out which membership types give you walk-in access to elecronic resources or read our walk-in policy.

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We don't have anything in this section yet. Tell us if you think there should be something here!

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We don't have anything in this section yet. Tell us if you think there should be something here!

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We don't have anything in this section yet. Tell us if you think there should be something here!

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