Rensselaer Libraries

Table of Contents:

A Library Guide for International Students

Posted: Jan 15, 2014

Library Terminology

Multilingual Glossary of Library Terminology : designed for international students and scholars who come to use libraries in American universities and colleges for the first time. It contains the most commonly used terms in academic libraries. The Glossary is divided into two parts: the Language Table, which presents a list of the words in six languages, and the Definitions, which give explanations in English for each of the terms.

Glossary of Library and Internet Terms : Library research terms explained, with definitions for terms such as periodical, serial, holdings, index, citation, call number, and Boolean operator.

Access to Electronic Resources

Several of the Libraries' research databases provide access and assistance in languages other than English. These include:

EBSCOhost Research Databases - provides access to research databases covering many subject areas. Using the Preferences option, several different languages can be selected for use.

For many of the EBSCOhost databases, you may choose to have an article automatically translated into Spanish, French, German or Portuguese. This feature is available if the article is listed as HTML Full Text. At the top of the web page that displays the English HTML fulltext article, you can choose another language from the drop down box."Choose Language," and then click Translate. Databases with this feature include:

  • Academic Search Elite
  • Business Source Premier
  • Health Source Academic
  • MasterFile Select
  • General Science Collection
  • Military & Government Collection
  • Newspaper Source
  • Professional Development Collection
  • Regional Business News

Informe! (Revistas en Espagnol) : "Created exclusively for Spanish-speaking users, this full-text electronic reference tool is the first system to provide indexing, images and full text of popular Hispanic magazines -- not just translations. Terms and thesaurus are based on the expressions Spanish-speakers commonly use, allowing users to easily navigate through the database without experiencing inaccurate search terms. Informe! also features title annotations in both English and Spanish to help non-Spanish speaking staff to easily assist users. Provided free to the public by the New York State Library through NOVEL, the statewide virtual library.

MathSciNet : A choice of languages for all search pages and the MathSciNet home page is now offered for the convenience of users. This choice is offered in a pull down menu on each of the search pages and the home page. Languages offered are English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. This choice will change the appearance of the search screens, the home page, and the various error messages and "not found" messages.

ClasePeriodica : produced by Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mexico (UNAM), ClasePeriodica combines CLASE and PERIDICA. CLASE indexes documents published in Latin American and Caribbean journals specializing in the social sciences and humanities and PERIDICA covers journals specializing in science and technology.

WorldCat : Search interface and assistance available in Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Chinese (Simplified), by clicking on the appropriate link at the bottom of the WorldCat web page.

  • Alternative Press Index : Indexes 300 alternative publications in the humanities and social sciences
  • ArticleFirst : OCLC index of articles from the contents pages of journals
  • Books In Print : In-print, out-of-print, and forthcoming books, audios and videos, with optional reviews
  • ClasePeriodica : Index of Latin American journals in the sciences and humanities
  • Dissertations Abstracts : Dissertations and theses from institutions in the North America and Europe
  • ECO : An OCLC collection of scholarly journals
  • ERIC : Journal articles and reports in education
  • GPO : U.S. government publications
  • PapersFirst : OCLC index of papers presented at conferences worldwide
  • Proceedings : An OCLC index of worldwide conference proceedings
  • WorldCat : OCLC catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide
  • WorldCatDissertations : A database of all dissertations and theses available in WorldCat

Reference Sources for TOEFL

A basic collection of English Dictionaries and Thesauri, from Oxford Reference Online.

American Heritage Book of English Usage. 2000. With a detailed look at grammar, style, diction, word formation, gender, social groups and scientific forms, this valuable reference work is ideal for students, writers, academicians and anybody concerned about proper writing style.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.This most extensive handbook of the language ever published features over 6,500 descriptive and prescriptive entries with 4,300 hyperlinked cross-references.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3rd ed. 2002.The 6,900 entries in this major new reference work form the touchstone of what it means to be not only just a literate American but an active citizen in our multicultural democracy.

American idiom and some phrases just for fun : An ESL Meaning and Usage Workbook--contains Both Practice Exercises and Tests, by Edward Swick. Hauppauge, N.Y. Barron's, 1999.

Writing American Style : An ESL/EFL Handbook, by Sydney L Langosch. Hauppauge, N.Y. Barron's, 1999.

Library Help

For more online help to use the Libraries, go to our Library Help page and our page of Online Guides.

To contact a member of the Libraries' reference staff for assistance in using the library collections for your research, go to Reference, Research and Consulting Services.

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