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Glossary of Library Terms: O-P


Online Catalog:  Is a Database of machine readable catalog records.  The Online Catalog or main catalog is the Library’s most comprehensive record of its holding, covering most items cataloged for Coleman and the branches.  It can be search by author, title, subject, call number, or keyword.

OPAC:  Online Public Access is any type of computerized library catalog intended for use by patrons, such as FAMU’s main online catalog.

Oversize Collection:  Books which are larger than average and therefore cannot be accommodated on the usual shelves.  Oversized books are shelved in specially designated areas.  The oversize collection in Coleman Library is located on the 4th floor in the annex.

Periodical: A publication that appears on a continuous and predictable schedule. Examples include newspapers (daily or weekly), magazines, and journals.

Peer reviewed: A level of scholarship. Peer reviewed articles have been evaluated by several researchers or subject specialist in the academic community prior to accepting it for publication.

Plagiarism: the use of another person's words, ideas, or research without crediting the source. Passing off another person's work as one's own.

Primary sources are original works. These sources represent original thinking; report on discoveries or events, or share new information. Usually these represent the first formal appearance of original research. Primary sources include statistical data, manuscripts, surveys, speeches, biographies/autobiographies, diaries, oral histories, interviews, works or art and literature, research reports, government documents, computer programs, original documents ( birth certificates, trial transcripts...) etc.