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Jargon buster

A comprehensive guide to Library jargon.

When using the library, you might come across some unfamiliar words and phrases. Our Jargon Buster page will enable you to look up any term you are unfamiliar with and read an explanation of what it means. If there is any terminology that hasn’t been included that you’d like help with, just email us at library at warwick dot ac dot uk and we’ll get back to you with an explanation.

This is a short summary of the information contained in journal articles and other publications.

This is found usually in the back of the book, but occasionally in the front of the book. The barcode is scanned when checking the item in or out of the Library.

This is a list of references to books, journal articles and other sources of information, usually found at the end of a publication or piece of coursework.

This is a term used for returning items to the library using the Returns machine.

This is a term used for borrowing items from the library. These are checked–out using the self-issue machines.

When borrowers inform the library that they have returned an item and it is still showing on their record we complete a ‘claims returned’ form.

All books have a classmark, which represents the subject of the book and informs the borrower where in the Library it can be located. It appears on a label on the spine of each book and on Library Search.

The Library provides a number of databases that can be accessed on the Library website which contain articles, reports, and other useful information to support your study.

This is a charge that is placed on items returned late to the Library. Please note, fines are not currently being applied.

This is where items new to the Library are processed ready for the shelves.

This term is used to refer to a specific part of a Journal, published at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly.

Your IT username is usually a lower case ‘u’ followed by your university ID number. Amongst other things it is used to access the Library resources.

This is a regular, or serial, publication containing articles by numerous authors, sometimes also called Serial or Periodical.

This is an online listing of all the material held by the Library, sometimes referred to as Library Catalogue.

You may see this term in Library Search. It is used when books cannot be found on the shelves. Library staff will search for them. A hold can still be placed on these items.


The Modern Records Centre is located in the building to the rear of the Library and can be accessed at the front of that building. It is where the archives collection and also all Warwick PhD Theses and Research Master are held. Items are for reference use only.

This is sometimes seen on Library Search and indicates that a book has been ordered. A hold can still be placed on these items.

Quarto books are too big to fit in with the normal size collection and are shelved separately. Their classmark begins with [Qto].

Pamphlets have fewer pages than normal size books and are shelved separately. Their classmark begins with [pam].

This is any regular or serial publication. (Also see Serial and Journal).

This means to pass other people's work off as your own.

Borrowers will receive an email asking them to return items which have been requested by another borrower.

Books marked with [ref] in front of the classmark on the spine label, cannot be taken out of the library.

Providing accurate information to allow the reader to find the original source.

This is found on the Floor 1 of the library and is housed in a glass room. Items for return are fed into this machine which then removes them from your record and issues a receipt for the return.

This is a scheme through which members of the University can have access to other university libraries.

This is where you check out books from the library. The machines are found on floor 1.

(See Journal).

Items which have been moved to one of the Library’s 2 Stores. They can be requested by the “Request from store” button on Library Search.


A Volume contains the issues of a Journal from a particular year.

The WebBridge button found on Library Search, will allow you to access the full text of an article.