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Glossary : Starting from A


a short summary of an article or book; abstracts are provided along with citation information in many periodical indexes, and may be written by either the paper''s author or an indexer.community

Abstracting Service

A collection of abstracts in a particular field or on a particular subject prepared by an individual or a commercial organization and regularly received by subscribers. Usually the abstracts are arranged by subject, and often include author and subject indexes.


Method by which a computer refers to records in a file.

Access point

A unit of information in a bibliographic record under which a person may search for and identify items listed in the library catalog or bibliographic database. Access points have traditionally included the main entry, added entries, subject headings, classification or call number, and codes such as the standard number, but with machine-readable cataloging, almost any portion of the catalog record (name of publisher, type of material, etc.) can serve as an access point.

Access policy

A formal written statement issued by the person(s) or body responsible for managing archives or special collections, specifying which materials are available for access and by whom, including any conditions or restrictions on use, usually posted or distributed by some method to users.

Access services

The provision of access to a library's resources and collections, which includes the circulation of materials (general circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan, document delivery), reshelving, stack maintenance, security, and signage.


A characteristic of technology that enables people with disabilities to use it. For example, accessible Websites can be navigated by people with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments. Accessible design also benefits people with older or slower software and hardware. See Section 508.

Accession Number

The unique identifier assigned to each record in a database. It is usually a combination of numbers or numbers and letters.

Accession record

A list of the bibliographic items added to a library collection in the order of their addition. Normally such a list includes the accession number, brief bibliographic identification, source, and price paid for each item.

Accompanying material

Related but physically distinct material issued with an item, for example, a floppy disk, CD-ROM, slide set, answer book, teacher's manual, atlas, or portfolio of prints or plates, intended by the publisher to be used and stored with it, often in a pocket inside the cover or loose inside the container.

Acetate decay

The chemical deterioration of film that has an acetate plastic base, an autocatalytic process caused by moisture, heat, and high relative humidity.

Acid barrier

A sheet of acid-free or buffered paper, or polyester film, placed loose between an acidic component of a book, such as a bookplate, and the adjacent leaf or board to prevent acid migration.


The section of the front matter of a book in which the author gives formal recognition to the contributions others have made to the work. The acknowledgments usually follow the preface or foreword and precede the introduction.

Acquisition number

A unique number used by the acquisitions department of a library to identify a specific bibliographic item on a purchase order. Some libraries use a standard number such as the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) as the acquisition number.


Materials which are bought for the libraries, or the department of the library which buys materials

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

A type of DSL that uses the majority of the bandwidth to transmit information to the user and a small part of the bandwidth to receive information from the user.

Added edition

An edition of a work added to a library collection, which is not the same as editions of the same title already owned by the library.

Added entry

A secondary entry, additional to the main entry, usually under a heading for a joint author, illustrator, translator, series, or subject, by which an item is represented in a library catalog


Brief printed matter, less extensive than a supplement or appendix, included in a book or other publication after the work has been typeset because it is considered essential to the meaning or completeness of the text, usually printed separately on a slip of paper tipped in at the beginning or end of the text. Plural:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

The computer program that is needed to open and view PDFs. Most full-text databases provide articles in PDF format.

Adopt a book

A library program in which a person, often a library patron, agrees to donate a modest sum (usually a fixed amount) to help cover the cost of conserving a book or other bibliographic item that is deteriorating from age or overuse.

ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning):

Initiative by the U.S. Department of Defense to achieve interoperability across computer and Internet-based learning courseware through the development of a common technical framework, which contains content in the form of reusable learning objects. See also SCORM and the ADL Website.

AICC (Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee)

An international association of technology-based training professionals that develops training guidelines for the aviation industry. AICC has and is developing standards for interoperability of computer-based and computer-managed training products across multiple industries. See the AICC Website.


A volume containing a collection of miscellaneous facts and statistics on many subjects.


Arranging items or entries in the conventional order of the letters of the alphabet of a language, usually by author, title, subject, or other heading.


A contraction of alphabetic-numeric, referring to a character set containing letters of the alphabet, numerals, and/or special characters.


The amount of variety in a signal. Commonly thought of as the height of a wave.


A signal that's received in the same form in which it is transmitted, although the amplitude and frequency may vary.

Analytical bibliography

The comparative and historical study of books as physical objects, including the methods and techniques of book production and their influence on texts.

Analytical entry

An entry in a library catalog for a part of a work (chapter in a book) or an entire work (story, play, essay, or poem) contained in an item, such as an anthology or collection, for which a comprehensive entry is also made


Unlike an abstract, which is an objective description or summary of a work, an annotation is a critical or subjective evaluation of a piece of work, usually included in a bibliography or citation.


An item that is published once a year.


A collection of stories, plays, or poems, selected by an editor.

AOD (audio on demand)

See CoD.

API (Application program interface)

The set of tools used by a programmer to create a computer program.


A small application. See also Java applet.


Computer software; also called a program. There are many types of software that fit into the category of application. Application software is distinct from other forms of software, such as operating system and utility software.


Public records or historical documents, or the place where such records and documents are kept.


A written essay or report on a subject. Articles appear in magazines, journals,edited volumes, newspapers, and in encyclopedias, among others.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interexchange)

A computer code in which characters such as letters and symbols are converted into numbers that the computer can understand.

ASP (Active Server Pages)

A programming environment that combines elements of HTML and scripting. Webpages built with ASP can change dynamically based on user input.

ASP (Application service provider)

A third-party organization that supplies software applications and/or software-related services over the Internet. ASPs allow companies to save money, time, and resources by outsourcing some or all of their information technology needs.


Automated Storage and Retrieval System.

The process used to systematically evaluate a learner's skill or knowledge level.
Assessment item

A question or measurable activity used to determine whether the learner has mastered a learning objective.


1) Intellectual property. 2) Hardware and software owned by an organization.

Asynchronous learning

Learning in which interaction between instructors and students occurs intermittently with a time delay. Examples are self-paced courses taken via the Internet or CD-ROM, Q&A mentoring, online discussion groups, and email.

ATM (asynchronous transfer mode)

A network technology for high-speed transfer of data. Packets of information are relayed in fixed sizes, enabling smooth transmission. ATM supports real-time voice and video as well as data and can reach speeds of up to 10 Gbps.


Items that are not completely dependent on printed words to transmit meaning as they use audio (sound) and visual (picture) formats.

Audiovisual Materials

Non-book materials such as film-strips, recordings, films, records, video and audio cassettes, CDs, etc. Sometimes these are just called AV.

Audio bridge

A device used in audioconferencing that connects multiple telephone lines.


Voice-only connection of more than two sites using standard telephone lines.


Computer-based technology that enables simultaneous transmission of voice, data, and graphic images across local telephone lines for instructor-learner interaction.


The process of identifying an individual by a computer, usually based on a username and password.


Is an originator of a creative work, particularly a writer of a text.

Author-date reference

A style of citing that places the name of the author, and the year a work was published in the body of the text. Also known as Harvard style.

Authoring tool

A software application or program used by trainers and instructional designers to create e-learning courseware. Types of authoring tools include instructionally focused authoring tools, Web authoring and programming tools, template-focused authoring tools, knowledge capture systems, and text and file creation tools.


An account of a person’s life, written by that person.


In online environments, a virtual digital image representing a person. In e-learning avatars usually represent the learners. The term comes from a Sanskrit word meaning an incarnation in human form.

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