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Research Orientation: Start Your Research Here

Some definitions, tips, and suggestions to help you get oriented to Library research.

Common Terms: Library

You've been told to look up an article in a library database and read a book that has been placed on reserve. What does this mean? Check out the meaning of these terms and more:

AskAway
database
Discovery
interlibrary loan
Library Services counter
MyLibrary account
research guides
Research Help desk
reserves


DEFINITIONS

AskAway
A virtual chat service "designed to help college and university students in British Columbia and Yukon with their research for term papers, assignments and other academic projects. Library staff are available to chat in real-time and help you

  • find library and online resources on your topic
  • answer questions about your library
  • suggest research strategies

Learn more about AskAway. Connect to AskAway.
See also Research Help Desk.

database
A searchable collection - usually specific to a subject or discipline - of electronic information. A database contains citations and full-text copies of articles, data, and other information. Library databases are typically available to Library users (students, staff, faculty, and onsite visitors). Visit CapU Library's databases.

Discovery
An online and searchable list of print and digital materials - articles, books, videos, maps, etc. - in a library's collection. Visit CapU Library's Discovery page here

interlibrary loan
The loan of materials between libraries. If you want a book or article that's not available via CapU Library, just request an interlibrary loan.

Library Services counter
The location at CapU Library where you can get help with your MyLibrary Account, check out books, return books, and ask any question you may have.

MyLibrary Account
Your account with CapU Library. Log in to view what materials you have checked out or have on hold, and to renew materials.

research guides
Online guides prepared by CapU librarians that can help you start your research and identify good sources for your research. There are subject, topic, and help guides available. View CapU Library's research guides.

Research Help desk
The location at CapU Library where you can get one-on-one research help from a Librarian. Check here for Research Help Desk hours. You can ask for help by phone, email, or chat. Check here for details.

reserves
A separate, limited loan collection of high demand materials as course support for use by Capilano University students. Reserve materials are listed in the catalogue under instructor names and course codes. Reserves are located behind the Library Services desk. Look up your courses' reserves materials here.

Common Terms: Research

Your instructor has asked for you to conduct secondary research, using scholarly sources. What does this mean? Check out meaning of these terms and more:

academic source
authoritative
citation
currency
peer reviewed
popular source
primary research
publication
recency
reference
relevancy
reliability
scholarly source
secondary research


DEFINITIONS

academic source
See scholarly source.

authoritative
"A work known to be reliable because its authority or authenticity is widely recognized by experts in the field." - ODLIS

citation
"a written reference to a specific work or portion of a work (book, article, dissertation, report, musical composition, etc.) produced by a particular author, editor, composer, etc., clearly identifying the document in which the work is to be found." - ODLIS
See also reference.

currency
"The quality of being in progress, recent, or up-to-date."

peer reviewed
"A scholarly journal that requires an article to be subjected to a process of critical evaluation by one or more experts on the subject, known as referees, responsible for determining if the subject of the article falls within the scope of the publication and for evaluating originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc.” - ODLIS

popular source
A publication produced for the general public; can include magazines and newspapers.
See also Academic or Non-Academic Resource

primary research
"Gathering of information in the field ... This is in contrast to secondary research, also called desk research." - The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia

publication
"A published work; a book, newspaper, etc., produced and issued for public sale or distribution." - OED

recency
See currency.

reference
1. often used as a synonym for citation.
2. "A conventional word or phrase used in a work to refer the reader to another part of the text (see above or see below)."
3. "Books containing authoritative information not meant to be read cover to cover, such as dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias." - ODLIS

relevancy
The extent to which the information retrieved from a search is judged by the user to be applicable. - ODLIS

reliability
See authoritative.

scholarly source
“A publication written by academics, researchers, or other scholars.  These publications communicate new research and scholarly ideas. May be called ‘refereed’ or ‘peer-reviewed’ resources.” - Library Vocabulary: FAU Libraries
See also Academic or Non-Academic Resource

secondary research
"Research using information that has already been compiled and formatted. It is different from primary research, which is also known as original research." - A Dictionary of Marketing