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University Library


Please use the alphabetical list below to find the word for which you would like an explanation:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | PR | S | T | U | V

A search engine for finding academic information. There are generally three types of databases: bibliographic, full-text and mixture of both full-text and bibliographic. The databases are often used to identify journal articles, theses and dissertations, book chapters, conference papers and other types of material published on a chosen topic. For advice on using databases please consult our Finding Information pages.

Departmental Library Representative
A member of staff in an academic department responsible for liaising with the Library on his/her Department’s behalf and authorising expenditure of departmental library funds. You can find out who this is for your Department or School by going to the library's 'Suggest a Book' page.

The part of the catalogue record that describes the physical appearance of a book, such as page number, size, etc.

An extended academic essay written as a requirement for an academic degree, usually at undergraduate or Master’s level. For PhD level, please see Thesis.

Document Delivery Service
A service which enables users to borrow theses, books and journal articles from other libraries in the United Kingdom and, in some cases, from abroad. 

Due date
A date by which a library book or bound journal needs to be returned to the Library or renewed by the borrower. The due date can be found on the receipts issued from the Borrowing Machines or online by logging into the personal Library Record where the items can be renewed before their due date. 

Durham University Username and Password
The username and password provided by Computing and Information Services (CIS) to gain access to the University’s computer network and services such as email. The same password and username are also required to access the Library’s online databases, journals, e-books and individual Library records.