Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Terms Glossary

- P -

Peer Reviewed Journal - A publication, usually scholarly, in which articles are reviewed by a panel before being accepted for publication. Also sometimes called scholarly or refereed.

Periodical - Any publication printed on a regular, predictable schedule. A periodical may be published weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. 
See Also: JournalMagazineSerial

Periodical index - A subject listing of what articles have been published in what magazines and journals. Some periodical indexes are general in scope and others are subject-specific.

Phrase searching - Allows you, in a database, to search for particular words in a particular order. Useful for proper names, names of companies and names of government departments. Most phrase searches should be in quotations, such as "Department of Justice".

Plagiarism - Stealing someone else's ideas or information and presenting them as your own.

Popular sources - Popular sources are books and magazine articles written for the general public. See Also:Scholarly sourcesTrade publications

Primary sources - Primary sources are results of experiments or original research, literary works, autobiographies, original theories, and other materials. 
See Also: Secondary sources

Proximity - Some search tools use proximity of two or more search terms to determine relevancy of a result.  Proximity operators specify how far apart matching words can be. They may also specify word order. Details vary considerably from system to system.