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Library Terminology: P

Dictionary of common library terms.

Click a letter, then click on a word.


The sequence of numbers or characters (i.e., Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, etc.) assigned to pages in a work.



An abbreviation for Portable Document File. A file format that creates a digital photocopy of a document. PDFs are intended to be viewed electronically or physically. Requires Abode Acrobat, Adobe Reader, or an Adobe PDF Internet plugin to view.

Peer Review

The process of subjecting a scholarly work to evaluation by subject experts prior to publication. Used to assure the quality and validity of the work.

Peer-Reviewed Article

An article published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Peer-Reviewed Journal

A journal containing articles written by subject experts that have undergone the peer review process.


A work that is published in parts on a regular schedule (e.g., weekly or monthly) and intended to continue publication indefinitely. Examples: magazines, journals, newspapers, and newsletters.


The act of using someone else's idea(s) or creative work(s) without properly giving them credit and/or receiving permission.


Issued or occurring before publication.

Primary Source

A source of information that was created during the period being studied that provides firsthand knowledge. Examples: Correspondences, diaries, photographs, newspaper articles, etc.


A work that has been distributed to the public.


See Publication.

Public Domain

A work that is not protected by copyright and can be freely used.