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Research resources for dance courses offered at Jordan College of Fine Arts, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN.

Basic terminology

Types of Resources:

Bibliography - a list of works, documents, and/or bibliographic items, usually with some relationship between them, e.g., by a given author, on a given subject, or published in a given place, and differing from a catalog in that its contents are not restricted to the holdings of a single collection, library, or group of libraries. (ALA)

Festschrift - a complimentary or memorial publication in the form of a collection of essays, addresses, or biographical, bibliographical, scientific, or other contributions, often embodying the results of research, issued in honor of a person, an institution, or a society, usually on the occasion of an anniversary celebration. (ALA)

Gray (Grey) Literature - information produced outside of commercial publishers, such as publications by government agencies, academic institutions, and for-profit entities.  In the field of Dance / Dance History, the most common examples you will encounter include dissertations and theses, playbills and programs, and newsletters.

Index - a systematic guide to the contents of a file, document, or group of documents, consisting of an ordered arrangement of terms or other symbols representing the contents and references, code numbers, page numbers, etc., for accessing the contents. (ALA)

Journal - a periodical, especially one containing scholarly articles and/or disseminating current information on research and development in a particular subject field. (ALA)

Magazine - a periodical for general reading, containing articles on various subjects by different authors. (ALA)

Monograph - a complete bibliographic unit; a book.

Library Terminology:

Abstract - an abbreviated accurate representation of a work, usually without added interpretation or criticism, accompanied by a bibliographic reference to the original work when appearing separately from it. (ALA)

Annotation - a note added by way of comment or explanation; an informational and descriptive note, especially about a book. (Web3)

Boolean - referring to logical or algebraic operations, formulated by George Boole, involving variables with two values, such as Value 1 AND Value 2; Value 1 OR Value 2; Value 1 NOT Value 2. (ALA)

Citation - a note referring to a work from which a passage is quoted or to some source as authority for a statement or proposition.  This should include such things as the author's name, title of book or article, name of journal in which article was published  (if applicable), place of publication, publisher, date of publication, pagination (if applicable).  (ALA)

Commercial (subscription) databases - collections of information or articles, sharing a common characteristic such as subject discipline or type, which are produced for profit and made available through purchase or subscription. Such collections are usually generated under the auspices of some sort of editorial board and generally contain reliable/authoritative information.

Periodical - a publication with a distinctive title which appears in successive numbers or parts at stated or regular intervals and which is intended to continue indefinitely. Usually each issue contains articles by several contributors. (C&C)

Plagiarism - the act of stealing or passing off as one' own the ideas or words of another; to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source. (Web9)

Primary source - an original record or contemporary document that contains material written or created at the time an event occurred.  Examples include autobiographies, diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, etc.

Secondary source - material created from the examination and interpretation of primary sources. (ALA) Examples include academic articles, books and book chapters, essays, commentaries, prefaces or forwards

Tertiary source -  a compilation of primary and secondary source material, or of information about that material; e.g. a library catalog, a textbook, an encyclopedia, an annotated bibliography

Reserves (course reserves) - materials (print or electronic) set aside by a professor/instructor for a specific academic course and given a limited check-out period (usually anywhere from 2 hours to 3 days) so that all the members of the class may have access to them. Print reserves are often shelved behind the Circulation Desk of academic libraries. You can search the Butler course reserves at this site.  Be sure you know your professor's name and/or your course number to see if anything is reserved for your class.

Subject heading - a word or phrase which captures the most essential theme(s) of a resource.  In an online catalog or database, subject headings are often linked so that you can find resources that all share the same thematic element.

Truncation - to shorten a word by dropping off one or more letters (usually after the root of the word) in an effort to search multiple forms of a word simultaneously.

Uniform resource locator (URL) - the means of locating an Internet page. In the early days of the Internet, URLs were static and described a filepath.  Today, URLs are dynamic and change often, so special URLs known as Persistent Uniform Resource Locators (PURLs) or permalinks are what you will commonly find in citations of online resources, particularly materials from databases and journals.

Key to symbols for sources:

ALA = The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, Fourth edition. Michael Levine-Clark and Toni M. Carter, eds. Chicago: ALA editions, 2013.

C&C = Wynar, Bohdan S. Introduction to Cataloging and Classification. Littleton, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1976.

IEI = International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. John Feather and Paul Sturges, ed. London, N.Y.: Routledge, c1997.

Web3 = Webster's Thrid New International Dictionary. Philip Babcock Gove, ed. in chief. Springfield, MA: Mirriam-Webster, Inc., c1993.

Web9 = Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Frederick C. Mish, ed. In chief. Springfield, MA: Mirriam-Webster, Inc., c1991.


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Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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