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Glossary : Starting from D


A collection of information (data) which is arranged in individual records and is searchable. An example of a database is a phone Directory; a record includes a person's name, address and phone number.


Dewey Decimal Classification System

DDI — Data Documentation Initiative

An effort to establish an international XML-based standard for the content, presentation, transport, and preservation of documentation for data sets in the social and behavioral sciences. Data archives in the UC system use DDI to preserve collections of materials used in quantitative research.

De facto standard

An e-learning specification that hasn't been officially established by an accrediting agency but that is accepted and used as a standard by a majority of practitioners.


A setting that the computer system uses automatically, unless it is changed by the user.


Any method of transferring content to learners, including instructor-led training, Web-based training, CD-ROM, books, and more.


A library which receives the publications of a government.

Depository library

A library designated as a recipient and citizens' access point for government publications


A word that describes the subject of an article or book; used in many computer databases.


Subject headings developed for a specific index. An example would be the ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) descriptors.


A list of items which are out-of-print or hard to obtain. Requestors have indicated that the title should be added to the collection and searched on the out-of-print market.

Desktop videoconferencing

Videoconferencing on a personal computer.


1) Learning or other types of activities that prepare a person for additional job responsibilities and/or enable him to gain knowledge or skills. 2) The creation of training materials or courses, as in content development or e-learning development.

Dewey Decimal Classification System

This is the call number system used by OSU Libraries. It is based on the decimal system, like American money. The general subject is represented by the number to the left of the decimal point, while the numbers to the right of the decimal point indicate very specific topics within that general subject. The Dewey Decimal Classification System groups items on the same subject together within the same call number. Dewey Decimal Classification: classification scheme used extensively for the shelf arrangement of books in libraries.

Dial up

To open a connection between a user's computer and another computer via a modem.


A book which defines the terms of a language, profession, discipline, or specialized area of knowledge. The terms are arranged in alphabetical order. Usually, a language dictionary will give the spelling, pronunciation, and meaning of each word. A dictionary of the words and terms of a restricted field of knowledge gives only the meanings.

Dictionary Catalog

A catalog with all entries (author, title, subject, and added entries) arranged in a single alphabetical sequence. Compare with divided catalog.


An electrical signal that varies in discrete steps in voltage, frequency, amplitude, locations, and so forth. Digital signals can be transmitted faster and more accurately than analog signals.

Digital Camera

A digital camera is an electronic device used to capture and store photographs electronically instead of using photographic film like conventional cameras.

Digital Divide

The gap that exists between those who can afford technology and those who cannot.

Digital Library

Libary having the digital resources

Digital preservation

The managed activities necessary for ensuring the long-term retention and usability of digital Objects


A book that lists the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of a specific group of persons, companies, organisations, or publications. Most directories are shelved in the Quick Reference Collection.

Discussion boards

Forums on the Internet or an intranet where users can post messages for others to read.


See floppy disk or CD-ROM.

Disk drive

The part of a computer that reads and writes data onto either a floppy disk, a hard disk, or an optical disk (CD, CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM, WORM, and so forth).

Distance education

Educational situation in which the instructor and students are separated by time, location, or both. Education or training courses are delivered to remote locations via synchronous or asynchronous means of instruction, including written correspondence, text, graphics, audio- and videotape, CD-ROM, online learning, audio- and videoconferencing, interactive TV, and FAX. Distance education does not preclude the use of the traditional classroom. The definition of distance education is broader than and entails the definition of e-learning.

Distance learning

The desired outcome of distance education. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

Divided Catalog

Catalog with separate sequences for different types of cards; for example, author, title, and subject. (Compare with dictionary catalog.)


1) a physical entity of any printed work, such as a book, manuscript etc. 2) a government publication or public document.

Document delivery

Library unit that arranges the loan of material for staff and postgraduate students from other libraries throughout the world.


(noun) A file that's transferred or copied to a user's computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet. (verb) To transfer or copy a file to a user's computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet.

DS (Digital Signal)

The rate and format of a digital signal, for example, DS-1 or DS-3. Often used synonymously with T, as in T1 or T3, although the T technically refers to the type of equipment. See T1 and T3.

DSL (digital subscriber line)

A broadband Internet access method that sends data over standard phone lines at speeds up to 7 Mbps. DSL is available to subscribers who live within a certain distance of the necessary router.

Due Date

A date stamped in the front or back of a book (or other library item) that indicates when the item must be returned to the library. Fines are charged for items not returned by the due date.


A block, usually of wood, used when a book has been re-located from the site where a patron would expect to find it according to the catalog. The dummy is placed on the shelf, and is labelled with the name and actual present location of the item it has replaced.

Duplicates or Dups

materials that have been determined unsuitable for the collection because there is a copy already in the collection, material has been superseded, or collection criteria has not been met.

Duplication Center

The library's photocopy service center.

DVD (digital versatile disc)

Optical disks that are the same size as CDs but are double-sided and have larger storage capacities.

DVI (digital video interactive)

A format for recording digital video onto compact disk, allowing for compression and full-motion video.

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