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Library Language - what does it mean?: A-C

A guide to terms, jargon and vocabulary you may encounter using the University Library services and resources



A summary of the main points covered in an article or book. You can read the abstract to help you decide if the full article or book is relevant to your topic.

Graduates or former students of a University. Newcastle University Alumni can apply to use the Library.

Documents and papers created in the past and which have been preserved permanently for their historical or research value. The Library's archive collections are held in Special Collections on Level 1 of the Robinson Library.

A short written work usually published in a journal, magazine or newspaper.

Audiovisual resources. Music, film and language materials on audio or video cassettes, or CD or DVD discs.


The unique number which is assigned to a book when it is received by the Library, e.g. M12025005957. The catalogue uses this number to recognise a book.

A list of references (see: Reference) that tells you which books and journals an author has referred to or consulted in the course of researching and writing their work. Many people choose to use the EndNote programme to help them create consistent bibliographies.
See: EndNote

Borrower ID
The long number beginning with the letter U, found on your Smartcard.


A list in electronic format of the stock held in Newcastle University Library, recording and describing the resources available. Journal articles are not individually catalogued on the Library catalogue; to search for individual journal articles you should use a database.
See: Database

The system used to organise books on Library shelves by subject. Newcastle University uses the Dewey classification system, usually called the Dewey decimal system.

See: Shelfmark

Closed access
Material not held on the shelves in the Library but which is kept in a special store and needs to be requested.

Cluster One of the areas in the Library where there are computers provided for use by students.

COPAC (now Library Hub Discover)
A resource which enables you to search the online catalogues of major University, Specialist and National Libraries across the United Kingdom.

The laws protecting "intellectual property" such as books, journals, images, films, music and databases. Copyright limits what you can do with these resources, and what you can copy.