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Library Research Tutorial for Students : F - J

Directed toward online students taking English Composition - anyone is welcome to use.

F - J

In an electronic database, a part of a record that contains a particular type of data, such as a title, author, subject heading or descriptors, or an abstract. Each record in a database is made up of "fields," and you may limit your search to a particular field or fields, to get more precise search results, or because you want only the information that is in the field(s) you specify.


The text of the article from a magazine or journal available electronically via a computer.



A series of special codes which define the typeface and style that should be used when displaying the text and also allow hypertext links to other parts of the document or to other documents. Source: Dictionary of Publishing and Printing, A & C Black Publishers Ltd 2006.

A small symbol, or picture, on a computer screen that represents a computer operation, or a file of data.


(1) Some online databases, for example, only index or cite the source and do not provide the full-text information. One can search by keyword or topic, but the search results will only contain indexed information. (2) An index in a book, for example, that lists the topics located within the book, with page numbers.


Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary lending and borrowing services that give you access to materials that are not owned by the William Hessel Library. The library has a web page about Interlibrary Loan and how to use it.

A system of computer communication which allows international access to databases and electronic mail systems. Source: Dictionary of Publishing and Printing, A & C Black Publishers Ltd 2006.

ISBN – international standard book number

An international system for books, in which each book is given its own particular number. Currently the ISBN is made up of ten digits; the first digit refers to the language (0 and 1 are the digits for English); the next group of digits (three, four or even six) refer to the publisher; the third group refer to the book; and the final digit is a check digit. From 2007, ISBNs will be made up of 13 digits, with the ISBN-10 number preceded by a 3-digit product code. ISBNs are used for cataloguing and ordering, and can be used for automatic stock movements if they are printed on the back of the book in the form of a barcode which can be read with a light pen. Source: Dictionary of Publishing and Printing, A & C Black Publishers Ltd 2006.


ISSN  - international standard serial number

An international system used on periodicals, magazines, learned journals, etc. The ISSN is formed of eight digits, which refer to the country in which the magazine is published and the title of the publication.  Source: Dictionary of Publishing and Printing, A & C Black Publishers Ltd 2006.


A periodical (magazine) which contains scholarly articles, with experts discussing their research and including their documentation; published by a professional group or non-commercial publisher. Academic journals are typically peer reviewed or refereed.

Subject Guide

Diane Baker's picture
Diane Baker
William Hessel Library
Lake Michigan College
2755 East Napier Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022