North Hall Library


Welcome to MU & North Hall!

A guide for First Year Seminars at MU


Welcome to Mansfield! We're so excited to have you here. 

This guide has a lot of information on a variety of topics that will help you as your navigate the research part of your First Year Seminar. 

You'll have an instruction session with one of our librarians, so feel free to reach out to that person (or any of us) with questions at any point in the semester. 

Tour of the Library

Dictionary of Library Jargon

As you use the library, you might run into some of these terms. Here's what they mean: 



Why use this?


A short summary of an article

  • Helps you understand what the article is about without having to skim the whole thing
  • Helps you eliminate articles that aren’t relevant to your research

Call number

The number on the side (or "spine") of the book that helps librarians organize books on the shelves

  • This is how you find books on the shelves – they’re organized by Library of Congress call numbers


An online resource where you find journal articles, newspaper articles, magazine articles, and more. 

  • These can help you find articles and other online resources for your research


A collection of articles generally written by scholars or experts in their fields

  • These are where you find articles, whether they’re online journals or print journals. These articles tend to be narrow in scope


A collection of articles generally written by staff or freelance writers and aimed at the general public

  • These are often considered to be “popular” and not “scholarly”

Peer Reviewed

A piece of writing that has been reviewed by other experts in the field who have approved it for publication

  • This is what professors usually mean when they want you to use “scholarly” sources


A publication which is issued periodically, such as a magazine, journal or newspaper

  • These are great resources to get you started on your research. Make sure you read your assignment to see what types of sources are acceptable for your professor (if there are restrictions)


A link that will always take you back to the article you’ve found

  • Make sure that you look for these. In library databases, the URL at the top of the webpage tends to change, so a permalink may be the only way to get back to the article you found if you didn’t save a PDF copy


Works that are published by staff or freelance writers who do not have to have their work peer reviewed before publication

  • These can be useful for community perspectives or popular opinion as examples in a paper, though they should be supported by more scholarly evidence


See “Peer Reviewed”



Works that have gone through a more detailed approval process for publication – usually peer review for articles or through an editor at a University Press

  • Because they have gone through editors and/or peer review, these tend to be less likely to contain mistakes and are written by experts in the field for others researching in the same field


Where the books are located

  • When you go to the stacks to find a book, you can look around the book to find others that might be useful to your research (known as “shelf reading”)