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Library Terminology: P-R

Discover the truth that lies behind the most Arcane Library vocabulary--- stranger than fiction!

PDF through Reserves


Peer Review: Peer review is the process of review by qualified outside experts known as "peers," (experts in the same field)  who identify manuscripts, research, proposals, grants and other work(s) that are worthy of publication. In the peer review process, authors submit their work to scholarly academic journals, who in turn, send manuscripts to an editorial board or similar group of peers to determine the article's acceptability, validity, reproducibility of results, grammar and scholarly use of theory.  Authors may then be asked to edit or revise before their work is accepted for publication. Also see Refereed, below .

Periodicals: Publications issued in successive parts at regular intervals, including journals, magazines and newspapers. Current periodicals are ones that have arrived recently within the last six months to two years and are shelved in the periodicals collection on the first floor of Auraria Library. Bound periodicals are back issues which have been sent to the bindery, covered with a binding, and placed in the stacks on the second floor of Auraria Library.  Most periodicals arrive electronically, and may be accessed through the Auraria Library website.

Phrase Searching: Method of keeping specific words together by grouping them with punctuation, usually double quotes -- for example, "chocolate chip cookies."

Primary Source: Original manuscripts. Contemporary records or documents used by a researcher in writing a book or article which would then form the secondary literature. Letters, photographs, interviews, government documents, historical records, and personal papers are some examples of primary sources. In the sciences, primary research reports original findings, and is often published in scholarly and peer reviewed journals.  See Secondary Sources.

Prospector: Prospector is a unified catalog of academic, public and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. Through Prospector you have access to books, sound recordings, films, videotapes and other materials held in Colorado libraries. With a single search you can identify and borrow materials from the collections and have them delivered to Auraria Library. Prospector is available through Skyline as a menu choice or directly on the Web.


Query: The search request submitted to a database, search engine or online catalog.  Usually entered as a set of relevant keywords or subject terms.


Recall: Recall is a service by which you can request a book that has already been checked out by another patron. When the book is returned to the library, it will be held for you and you will be notified. 

Record: Unique unit of information contained in a database representing one article, book or report.

Refereed: A publication that has been peer reviewed. This involves external assessment by at least one independent reviewer. In the case of a journal article or conference publication, the independent reviewer cannot be a member of the editorial board.  Also see Peer-Reviewed .

Reference Desk: You can get help with your research at the reference desk. In Auraria Library, the reference desk is combined with the Ask Us Desk.  

Reference Materials: Reference materials are used frequently for general information regarding a process or a definition of a term, or background information on a subject. Types of reference materials may include encyclopedias, dictionaries, indexes, almanacs, handbooks, statistical directories, biographical handbooks and other related materials. These types of materials may not be checked out of the library and are located on the first floor next to the "Research Help" alcove.

Relevance: The method by which search results are ranked. It differs among search engines but is often based on the number of times search words appear, how high they are on the page, if they are in the title, etc.

Renew: Renewing allows you to extend the loan period for a book that you have checked out unless another user has requested the book. You can renew your books online and check to see how many items you have checked out from the Library in your library account. 

Research Help:  See "Reference Desk" above.

Research Consultation: A one-on-one meeting with a librarian to work on your research.

Reserves: Reserves is a library service that sets aside required reading/listening/viewing materials assigned by the professors for their students. You may check the bellow link to see if your instructor has placed articles, chapters, other materials or even textbooks for your class.  Many of these will be online in .pdf files--- you don't even need to come into the library to use them.  But you can if you prefer. 

P is for Pseudepigrapha


"Literally, writings that bear a false title, especially texts ascribed to characters appearing in the Old Testament, subsequently found to have been written by Jews and Christians between 300 B.C. and 200 A.D. In a general sense, any text falsely attributed to a major author. Some scholars have argued that all the works of William Shakespeare fall into this category."

Source:  Source:  Reitz, Joan. Dictionary for Library & Information Science. Westwood, CT; Greenwood, 2004.(pg. 575)