• Abstract An abstract is a short summary of a research article, thesis, review or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly to know the idea of the research article without going through entire content. The abstract includes conclusion of research findings and it always appears at the beginning of a scholarly or technical article. Databases and indexes often contain abstracts that can help you decide whether an article is relevant for the individual purposes.
  • Acknowledgement Section of a manuscript sometimes included by authors to recognize/thank the contributions of others who did not qualify for authorship credit. If a journal does not have a separate Funding Source section, the Acknowledgment section is often used to disclose funding and grant awards. Acknowledgments should not be used for personal thank-you's.
  • Alert system Alert System is a tool which enables you to receive Alerts from electronic journals by Email or by RSS feed.
  • Annotated Bibliography List of sources that gives the publication information and a short description or annotation for each source. Each annotation is generally three to seven sentences long. In some bibliographies, the annotation merely describes the content and scope of the source; in others, the annotation also evaluates the source’s reliability, currency, and relevance to a researcher’s purpose
  • Appendix Supplementary material (such as large data tables, examples of questionnaires) usually too extensive to place within a regular manuscript to the point that it would interrupt the flow of the manuscript. Appendices are sometimes placed at the end of an article or may be published exclusively online.
  • Archives A collection of published documents and articles that constitute the organized historical record of an organization or of an individual’s details.
  • Article An item of original written work published in a journal, other serial publication, or in a book.
  • Author Writer of an article, chapter or other complete work. Some articles, proceedings, or books have multiple authors. In such cases, the first author specified in the reference may be called the primary author or the senior author. The names of the authors following that of the primary author are referred to as the secondary or co-authors.


  • Bibliographic reference Standard entry that refers the end user to an original source of information referenced or cited by an author in the main body of the text. A bibliographic reference usually includes title of article, chapter or complete work, author, source, and where appropriate, the volume number, issue number and pagination.
  • Bibliography A list of sources, usually appearing at the end of a research paper, an article, a book, or a chapter in a book. The list documents sources used in the work and points out sources that might be useful for further research. Entries provide publication information so that interested readers can track down and examine sources for themselves.


  • Citation A citation is a reference to a source (not always the original source), published or unpublished.
  • Cite A citation is a reference to a source (not always the original source), published or unpublished.
  • Conflict of Interest A potential interest, activity, or relationship with another entity that might influence, or corrupt, the decision making capacity of an author, reviewer, or editor. For biomedical journals in particular, authors often have a working relationship with companies whose product is discussed in a manuscript. Also known as a competing interest. In fields where the presence of a conflict of interest might be of significance, most journals now require authors to supply a conflict of interest statement.
  • Conflict of Interest Statement Journals require all authors disclose any potential conflict of interest. There is no standard definition of a Conflict of Interest. Variations might exist between journals based on the length of time a conflict is relevant or the amount above which a conflict must be reported.
  • Consortium Consortium means association or partnership, through which, the collaborative acquisition of access rights to electronic databases and journals. A consortium is defined by a range of IP addresses, for which collective and individual usage may be reported.
  • COPE Committee on Publication Ethics is an organization, based in the United Kingdom that provides widely supported guidance to the publishing industry on ethical issues.
  • Copyright Legal document that assigns various rights to use, and re-use, content to a publisher, a journal and authors. Nearly all publications now insist such a form must be signed before publication can occur.
  • Corresponding Author The author designated in the published article as the individual to contact in the event of an inquiry about a manuscript. The corresponding author normally is responsible for correcting page proofs and working with the production editor. Previously, the corresponding author may have fielded requests for article reprints, although this practice has almost disappeared.


  • Database Database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system. The structure is achieved by organizing the data according to a database model. The database allow individual to search for articles using keywords.
  • Descriptors Terms assigned by compilers of a database to describe the subject content of a document. Descriptors are chosen so that all of the work on a particular topic can be found with a single word or phrase, even though there may be many different ways of expressing the same idea.
  • DOI The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change.
  • Double-blinded A peer review process in which both the identity of the author and the reviewer remain anonymous. This method is preferred by many journals to avoid reviewer prejudice against certain authors or authors from select countries. The identity of reviewers is protected usually to allow those that evaluate a manuscript the freedom to comment freely without fear of reprisals.
  • Draft Any version of a manuscript prior to its final form.
  • Duplicate Submission The simultaneous submission of a manuscript to more than one publication. Authors may do this to ensure their article is accepted quickly at one of these titles. They may do it to obtain additional comments. They may be submitting manuscripts to multiple journals in a scattershot fashion in the hope one will accept. Journals consider this behavior an ethical violation, largely because they wish to publish original material.


  • E-Alert services are free services E-Alert designed to alert the readers when new content is available online. It enables readers to receive Alerts from electronic journals by Email or by RSS feed about the most accessed articles, themed issues, journal news, call for papers and invitations.
  • Editorial Board A group of people that supports the Editor-in Chief, and help shape the editorial direction of a journal. They may serve the journal directly by assigning reviewers to manuscripts or work in a more advisory capacity. The Editor-in-Chief typically calls at least one editorial board meeting annually.
  • Editor-in-Chief In journal publishing, the Editor-in-Chief normally has the final say on what content is published. They are typically, but not exclusively, drawn from amongst the leaders in their particular field. They have responsibility for accepting content for publication, assembling issues in a timely fashion and providing oversight of the peer review process by either directly assigning reviewers or assigning an Associate Editor to manage that part of the process. The Editor-in-Chief appoints an editorial board. They also have a responsibility to generate editorials.
  • EndNote EndNote Web is a Web-based tool for publishing and managing bibliographies, citations and references on the Windows and Macintosh desktop. It is produced by Thomson Reuters.
  • Ethics Ethics refers to several issues that question the veracity of the results or ideas presented in a paper or cast doubt on the honesty of submitting authors. Ethics covers a variety of issues ranging from authorship disputes, incomplete disclosure of conflicts of interest, dual submission, through to more serious issues such as fabrication and plagiarism.


  • Field Field indicates an area of study within an academic discipline and a particular area in a database in which the same type of information is regularly recorded. One field in an article database may contain the titles of articles, for example, while another field may contain the names of journals the articles are in. Some search engines allow a user to limit a search to one or more specific fields.
  • Footnotes Additional text that appears at the bottom of the page in a manuscript that provides further description or comment. In some fields, footnotes are used to cite previously published material.
  • Frequency Interval at which issues of a periodical or serial are published. Most publishers indicate the frequency of a journal to subscribers so that the subscriber can know in advance how often to expect delivery of an issue.
  • Full Text A complete document contained in a database or on a Web site. Some databases search full-text documents; others search only the citation or abstract. In some cases researchers can set their own preferences.


  • GIF Graphics Interchange Format, a figure file that is more commonly used for logos in web publishing. Journals tend not to accept images saved as GIF files as GIF files are limited to 256 colors. This leads to poor color image reproduction.


  • h-index The h-index is an index that quantifies both the actual scientific productivity and the apparent scientific impact of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other people's publications. The index can also be applied to the productivity and impact of a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country.
  • Hot Paper A highly cited published manuscript during 2 recent years with the most citations in a period of more than 2 months. Every two months, Essential Science Indicators lists a new crop of what it calls hot papers in science. Hot papers are selected by virtue of being cited among the top one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) in a current bimonthly period. Papers are selected in each of 22 fields of science and must be published within the last two years. Because the hot papers are updated every two months, new papers are added with every update, and Special Topics tracks these new additions.
  • HTML Hyper Text Markup Language is the standard markup language used to create web pages. Web browsers can read HTML files and compose them into visible or audible web pages. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a document. HTML is written in the form of "tags" that are surrounded by angle brackets. HTML can also describe, to some degree, the appearance and semantics of a document, and can include embedded scripting language code (such as JavaScript) that can affect the behavior of Web browsers and other HTML processors.


  • Immediacy Index Immediacy Index is a measure of how topical and urgent work published in a scientific journal is. Along with the better known impact factor measure, it is a calculated each year by the Institute for Scientific Information for those journals which it indexes; both impact factors and immediacy indices are published annually in the Journal Citation Reports.
  • Impact Factor The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure of the citations to science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the importance of a journal to its field. The Impact factor was devised by Eugene Garfield, the founder of the Institute for Scientific Information, now part of Thomson, a large worldwide US-based publisher. Impact factors are calculated each year by Thomson Scientific for those journals which it indexes, and the factors and indices are published in Journal Citation Reports. The publication of each year covered occurs in the summer of the following year.
    For example impact factors for 2012 will be published in the summer of 2013. Some related values, also calculated and published by the same organization, are:
    the immediacy index: the number of citations the articles in a journal receive in a given year divided by the number of articles published.
    the cited half-life: the median age of the articles that were cited in Journal Citation Reports each year. For example, if a journal's half-life in 2005 is 5, that means the citations from 2001-2005 are half of all the citations from that journal in 2005, and the other half of the citations precede 2001.
    The aggregate impact factor for a subject category: it is calculated taking into account the number of citations to all journals in the subject category and the number of articles from all the journals in the subject category.
  • Impact Factor (IF) The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure of the citations to science and social science journals. Impact Factor is a ratio between citations and recent citable items published. It is frequently used as a proxy for the importance of a journal to its field. The impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years.
  • Index A statistical indicator providing a representation of the value of the securities which constitute it.
  • Infringement Encroach or trespass on the rights of others, usually involving intellectual property and To make, use or sell the patented item or process within the country covered by the patent without permission or license from the patentee. A device infringes on a patent if the claims of a valid patent read on that device.
  • ISBN The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique 10-digit or 13-digit number used to identify a book.
  • ISI ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) offered bibliographic database services. Its specialty is citation indexing and analysis. The ISI also publishes the annual Journal Citation Reports which list an impact factor for each of the journals that it tracks.
  • ISI Web of Knowledge ISI Web of Knowledge is the premier research platform that helps researchers find, analyze and manage information in the sciences, engineering, technology, social sciences, arts and humanities. This database allows a researcher to identify which articles have been cited most frequently, and who has cited them. The database not only provides an objective measure of the academic impact of the papers indexed in it, but also increases their impact by making them more visible and providing them with a quality label.
  • ISSN The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique 8-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. Periodical published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN.
  • Issue A collection of journal articles associated with each other via allocation of a specific issue number and presented as an identifiable unit online and/or as a physically bound and covered set of numbered pages in print.


  • Journal A type of periodical usually sold by subscription and containing articles written for specialized or scholarly audiences. In academic use, a journal refers to a serious, scholarly publication that is peer-reviewed. Journals range in size of circulation and volume of submissions and cover all subjects studied in academic and research settings as well as professional fields.
  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR) Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is an annual publication by the Science and Scholarly Research division of Thomson Reuters and it has been integrated with the Web of Science. JCR offers a systematic, objective means to critically evaluate the world's leading journals, with quantifiable, statistical information based on citation data. By compiling articles' cited references, JCR helps to measure research influence and impact at the journal and category levels, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals. The JCR was originally published as a part of Science Citation Index.
  • JPG (JPEG) Image file format, most commonly used by cameras and other image-capturing devices. The term is an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is not an ideal file format for line art.


  • Keyword A word used to search a library database, a Web site, or the Internet. Keyword searches locate results by matching the search word to an item in the resource being searched. Keyword searches often retrieve broad results through many database fields. However, researchers who perform a keyword search using terms that are different from those used by the database may not retrieve all of the information in the database related to their topic.


  • Literature review A literature review is a text of a scholarly paper, which includes the current knowledge including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Literature reviews use secondary sources, and do not report new or original experimental work. The purpose of a literature review is to select the most important publications on the topic, sort them into categories, and comment on them to provide a quick overview of leading scholarship in that area. Published articles often include a literature review section to place their research in the context of other work in the field.


  • Magazine Magazine refers to a collection or storage location. In the case of written publication, it is a collection of written articles. Magazines are publications, usually periodical publications that are printed or published electronically. Magazine is a type of periodical containing articles that are usually written for general and popular audiences. Magazines are sold on newsstands or by subscription and earn a part of their revenue through advertising.
  • Manuscript A collection of text, tables and graphic files submitted to a journal; the output from a scholarly endeavor.
  • Misconduct Behavior that is deemed unethical. Normally this refers to author behavior (plagiarism, authorship disputes, failure to disclose required information) but can sometimes also refer to reviewer behavior (such as accepting an invitation to review when they held a significant conflict of interest).


  • Novel A patent must be new or original. That is, the invention must never have been made in public in any way, anywhere, before the date on which the application for a patent is filed.
  • Novelty The concept that the claims must be totally new. The invention must never have been made public in any way, anywhere, before the date on which the application for a patent is filed.


  • Offprint An offprint is a separate print of an article that has been typeset and published. Offprints are created at the initial print run; presses are simply allowed to run longer to create additional article pages, which are then folded, trimmed, staple bound and sent to authors and other customers. Prior to the digital age, authors used to receive offprints of their article for their personal use or to dispense to interested readers. Most publishes now simply provide a PDF of the published article.
  • Online catalog A set of records for the location information and other details about materials owned by a library. Most catalogs are online, though a library may have all or part of its catalog on printed cards. Online catalogs usually can be searched by author, title, subject heading, or keyword; search results provide a basic description of the item (book, journal title, video, or other) and a call number.
  • Open access Ability for anyone to access a manuscript free of charge. Some journals offer Open Access content, with the cost burden covered by the authors. Other journals may offer some content free after a period of time. Some funding bodies insist that all material must be made freely available.


  • Patent As defined in relevant legislation, a patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process which is new, inventive and useful. It is legally enforceable and gives the owner the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.
  • Patent Application A document submitted by an inventor to request he be issued a patent. It consists of the elements of a patent but will likely be modified during patent prosecution.
  • PDF Portable Document Format, a file that usually is comprised of all text, tabular and graphic material associated with a submission.
  • Peer review Part of the publication process for scholarly publications in which a group of experts examines a document to determine whether it is worthy of publication. Journals and other publications use a peer review process usually arranged so that reviewers do not know who the author of the document is to assess articles for quality and relevance. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia peer review is often used to determine an academic paper’s suitability for publication.
  • Periodical A publication issued at regular intervals. Periodicals may be magazines, journals, newspapers, or newsletters.
  • Plagiarism The unattributed use of a source of information that is not considered common knowledge. In general, plagiarism includes failing to cite quotations or borrowed ideas, failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, failing to put summaries or paraphrases in your own words, and submitting someone else’s work as your own.
  • Portfolio A group of individual works submitted separately which together constitute a single non traditional research output. The portfolio has to demonstrate coherent research content.
  • Press Release Publicity handout, or a story given to the news media for publication.
  • Proof The first uncorrected version of the journal article as it will appear in the print issue.
  • Proof Reader The proofreader is responsible for checking the page proof against the original, copy edited manuscript.
  • Publisher An organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form.


  • Record An entry in a database or a library catalog. Records contain the details about the books, articles, or other sources that users will find in a database.
  • Redundant Publication Redundant, or duplicate, publication involves the publishing a manuscript that substantially overlaps, or is essentially, the same paper.
  • Refereed publication A publication for which every submission is screened through a peer review process. Refereed publications are considered authoritative because experts have reviewed the material in advance of publication to determine its quality.
  • Reference A source used in research and mentioned by a researcher in a paper or an article or in in libraries, a part of the library’s collection that includes encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, and other publications that provide useful overviews, common practices, and facts.
  • Reference Manager Reference Manager is the industry standard
    software tools for publishing and managing bibliographies on the Windows and Macintosh desktop. Using these products, writers save countless hours of typing and interpreting style requirements when creating bibliographies for curricula vitae, manuscripts, thesis/dissertations, grant proposals, term papers and other publications.
  • Reprint Reprints usually involve the placing of an article back on the printing press, the reproduction is usually part of a sales order for additional copies. Reprints are common in biomedical publishing and typically involve a company paying to receive hundreds or thousands of copies of an article that they in turn dispatch to people they believe would be interested in reading the article. Reprints can generate considerable sums of money for journals and often impact the journal budget more positively than advertising sales.
  • Research Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.
  • ResearcherID ResearcherID invites researchers to build their own custom publication profile and avoid the common problem of author misidentification. Researchers receive a unique URL for easy access, instant citation metrics including a h-index, privacy controls, and tools that display interactive world maps of collaborators and citing articles.
  • Research output Research outputs include books, journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and non traditional research outputs.
  • RSS RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML based syndication format for distributing content on the Web. New articles that have been added to a journal can be distributed using the RSS format. An RSS document includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and author's name. RSS feeds also benefit users who want to receive timely updates from favorite websites or to aggregate data from many sites.


  • Scholarly journal A journal that is primarily addressed to scholars, often focusing on a particular discipline. Scholarly journals are often refereed publications and for some purposes may be considered more authoritative than magazines. Articles in scholarly journals usually are substantial in length, use specialized language, contain footnotes or endnotes, and are written by academic researchers rather than by journalists.
  • Search engine Search engine defines a program that allows users to search for material on the Internet or on a Web site and the search function of a database.
  • Secondary source A source that comments on, analyzes, or otherwise relies on primary sources. An article in a newspaper that reports on a scientific discovery or a book that analyzes a writer’s work is a secondary source.
  • SJR SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) is a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from. The SJR indicator is a free journal metric which uses an algorithm similar to PageRank and provides an alternative to the Impact Factor (IF), which is based on data from the Science Citation Index. SJR is an indication that expresses the number of connections that a journal of receives through the citations of its documents divided the total of documents published in the year selected by the publication, weighted according to the amount of incoming and outgoing connections of the sources. With SJR, the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal has a direct effect on the value of a citation.
  • SNIP SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper) indicates the ratio of a journal’s citation count per paper and the citation potential in its subject field. The Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa.
  • Special collections A section of a library devoted to unusual or valuable materials that cannot be checked out, including rare books, artwork, photographs, posters, and pamphlets. Researchers are generally required to use these rare materials in a reading room with special assistance. Many rare materials are being scanned for easier access through digital archives or repositories.
  • Submission Checklist Some journals insist that authors complete, if not necessarily submit, a checklist of activities that must be undertaken before submitting a manuscript. Such checklists may require authors to consider including certain information or ensure their manuscript has been formatted to meet the journal guidelines.
  • Subscriber An individual or organization that pays a vendor in advance for access to a specified range of the vendor’s services and/or content for a predetermined period of time and subject to terms and conditions agreed with the vendor.


  • Template A form letter used for one of the processes undertaken as part of peer review. Within online peer review management systems, a sizable collection of template letters will exist, often with coding components (tags) that allow the system to automatically insert personal details into the template letter.
  • Thesaurus A thesaurus is useful to researchers because it identifies which term among available synonyms has been used by the database compilers to describe a topic. Some databases provide a searchable thesaurus that helps researchers choose the most effective search terms before they start searching. It is a collection of words and synonyms and in a database, a list of the subject headings or descriptors that are used in a particular catalog or database to describe the subject matter of each item.
  • Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Thomson Reuter’s products are used wherever research is performed worldwide including all leading academic, corporate and government institutions. The power and flexibility of these tools make them ideal for any discipline whether in the sciences or the arts and humanities. Thomson Reuter’s customers include scientists, researchers, information professionals and students who rely on these leading bibliographic tools to advance their research, writing and publishing.
  • Tif/Tiff Tagged Image File Format - a graphics file preferred by many journals as the file does not lose resolution when reproduced in a typeset format.
  • TOC It is nothing but Table of Contents indicating a list of all articles published in a journal issue.


  • Unsolicited Submission Content received by a journal that has not been commissioned by the editorial team.
  • URL URL (Uniform Resource Locator) consists of a protocol type (such as http), a domain name and extension and a series of letters and/or numbers to identify an exact resource or page within the domain. Many electronic databases have long URLs that are generated in the course of a search and vary each time a search is conducted. In some cases, a database record may contain a “persistent URL” that can be used to locate the item again.


  • Video Many journals permit the uploading of video files as supplementary data that can be posted with an article online.
  • Volume Collection of a minimum of one journal issue; in printed form, volumes of more than one issue are not normally bound together by the publisher, but are frequently bound together in hardback by the purchasing library to aid preservation of the printed product.


  • WebPlus search engine WebPlus search engine helps professionals and students find the best of the Web by focusing on expertly selected Web sites that meet their requirements. WebPlus provides more relevant search results and reduces the noise of general search engines.


  • XML XML (The Extensible Markup Language) is a subset of SGML that is completely described in this document. Its goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed for ease of implementation and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML.