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PolyU Library

Library Guide for PolyU Students

Top things every PolyU student should know about your “Learning Hub” throughout your studies in PolyU and beyond

Top 7 Library Terms You Need to Know!

What are "scholarly sources"? What is "Reserve Collection"? What is "Call Number"? You may encounter many unfamiliar terms when you use the Library. Below are some commonly used terms and their meanings to help you better understand them!


1. Research

In simple words, research is inquiry process that involves collecting information and data for the purpose of making new knowledge.

2. Scholarly Sources

Also called “Academic sources”, it refers to the materials like books and journal articles written by academics and experts in their field of study and for researchers. Most of the materials provided by the Library are scholarly.

3. Peer-reviewed

In order to guarantee the academic standard and credibility, most of the scholarly sources are being examined and evaluated by a group of experts in that field of study before publishing. This process is called peer review. Works published after peer review are referred as peer-reviewed works (e.g. peer-reviewed articles).

4. Reserve Collection

Located on the P/F of the Library, this collection contains high demand materials like textbooks and required course readings recommended by course instructors. To ensure these materials can reach more students, the loan period is set to be shorter. 

5. Call Number

Call number is the address of an item in the Library. Each physical item like print book is labeled with a call number. Visit this page to learn how to locate a physical item by call number.

6. Library Database

Library databases are searchable electronic index of published resources. Some databases offer you subject-specific information (e.g. Business, Engineering) while others focus on different types of materials (e.g. standards, newspapers, statistics). Most importantly, it's free for you!

7. Full text

Full text refers to the entire content of a work in a searchable or downloadable format, e.g. PDF, HTML. When you are searching in OneSearch or databases, the works labeled with “full text” should allow you to download the entire work.