Library Terms


A journal is a type of periodical. Journals are published on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly). They may be identified by name, volume and issue numbers and by date (for example: Current Psychology 56(2), Dec. 1982). Journals may be published in paper or electronic form.

Article databases & indexes

Article databases and indexes are tools used to find articles on a specific topic. Most, but not all, article databases and indexes are in electronic form. Each of these tools has a specific subject focus. For example, PsycInfo, which is published by American Psychological Association, is focused on the field of Psychology. All article databases and indexes provide citation information; some will include links to full-text versions of articles. Many article databases and indexes provide an abstract or summary of the articles.

Also see 'Finding Journals'.


A citation contains information that identifies a specific article in a journal. A typical citation includes the following pieces of information:

  • NOTE: Writing down all of this information will allow you to easily find a journal article in print if an online version is not available.


An abstract is a short summary of the content of a journal article. In most scholarly journals, abstracts are found on the first page of an article below the title of the article. They are often part of a record in article databases and indexes. An abstract never takes the place of the full-text of an article.

UT Library Catalogue

The UT Library Catalogue is a web-based tool that contains information about library material (e.g. books, journals, e-resources, DVDs, videos).

Search the UT Library Catalogue to find out which of U of T’s libraries has the item you need and where in that library your item is located.

UT Library Catalogue Record

A UT Library Catalogue record contains information needed to locate an item - title, author, publication information and a call number. Go to the bottom of a record to see the name of the library that has the item you need, the item’s call number and its location within the library.

Call Number

Each item in a library has a unique call number that describes the location of the item. It is like the item's address.

A call number normally consists of both letters and numbers. For example:
RJ 499 .A1 J57 ERIN

In a library, items are arranged alphabetically by call number. There are signs on the ends of shelves that indicate the range of call numbers located on the shelf.