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Library Glossary: D-G

A guide to Library words and phrases


Skip to: D E F G




An electronic resource where journal articles, the latest reports and other specialist information is available. BCU databases are listed here.


A dataset is a collection of data that usually needs to be downloaded from a website. 

Dewey Decimal

A classification scheme for arranging library materials by subject. Based on arrangements of numbers and letters.

Digital Library 

The Digital Library contains tutor selected material, such as old exam papers and student projects, which are intended to support your studies. 


An extended piece of writing on a topic which is submitted as part of a degree.

Distance learning

Courses delivered to students who do not come to campus to study. You can find information about services offered to distance learners here.


DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier  and is the equivalent of a barcode on a physical item providing a persistent link to a journal article. The DOI will always take you to the correct location of the work. 

Due date

The date by which you must return or renew a book, CD, DVD or other borrowed item.

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A book that can be read online on or off campus. See futher information here. 


 When a book is updated a new version (edition) will be published


This can refer to a short piece of writing which expresses the opinion of the editor. It can also mean a summary of the contents of the journal.


A journal that can be read online on or off campus. See guidance here on finding journals.  

Electronic Resources

Information available online via your PC - databases, e-books, e-journals, resources from the Digital Library etc. These are available on campus and many off campus too. Click here for a list.


This term is often used in a database. It refers to the period of time between an article being published and made available in full-text in a database.

Enhanced services

Students with a disability are assessed by student services, and may be offered enhanced library services. 

External library user

A person registered with the library on an external library user scheme; either as a SCONUL Access member, an alumni member, or a reference only member.

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Charges you pay if you return/renew an item after the due date.


A book which is too big to fit on normal shelves. Its class mark is preceded by F. At Curzon Library they are shelved in the Rolling Stacks.

Full text

When something indicates that the item is available full text online or full text PDF, you will be able to view the whole document on the screen.  If the item is a journal article or report, you will also be able to print or save it.

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Grey Literature

 "Any publication created outside recognised academic or commercial outlets and difficult to classify" (HEE, 2022)

Group study room

Group study rooms can be booked online for Curzon Building. 

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