HERO: Health and Environmental Research Online
Other EPA Glossaries
This glossary will help you understand the terms and concepts used in HERO in the areas of library and information science and databases. If you would like to suggest a term for addition to this glossary, please send us your suggestions.
Abstract An abstract can be viewed as a miniature version of the paper. The scientific abstract provides a brief summary of each of the main sections of the paper: Introduction or Background, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion.
A&I Database An A&I - or Abstract and Indexing - database provides bibliographic citations and abstracts of the literature of a discipline or subject area, as distinct from a retrieval service that provides information sources in full-text.
Bioinformatics Bioinformatics is the study of molecular biology with the use of information technologies such as databases, algorithms, visualization, and text mining.
Blog A blog is a website frequently updated with different entries, links to other websites, and comments, all relating to a certain topic. The word blog is short for web log.
Boolean Operators AND, OR, and NOT are Boolean Operators. These three words can be used to make a query in a literature search more narrow or broad, or to exclude certain results.
Citation A citation is a reference to another work that identifies it. A citation explicitly states who wrote the work, the complete title, what year it was published, and other publication information.
Classification A classification system separates items into classes or groups in order to organize items in a library collection, index, or database.
Controlled Vocabulary A controlled vocabulary is an established set of terms used for the purpose of having consistent subject headings, ease of searching, and overlap for synonymous search terms.
Data Visualization Data visualization is a branch of bioinformatics that focuses on the graphical presentation of information, such as genomes, sequences, or MRIs.
Deep Web The deep web makes up information on the internet that is accessible, but will not be found by regular search engines. The information stored in databases is considered to be a part of the Deep Web.
Delimiter Delimiters are characters used to separate items in the same field in a database. In the HERO database, a semicolon is used as the delimiter.
Full Text Full text is an entire work in a digital format. Full text articles are often included in a database along with each article's abstract and citation.
Full Text Searching If a database utilizes full text searching the entire work will be searched instead of just selected fields such as author, title, and subject.
Information Science Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.
International Standard Serials Number (ISSN) ISSN is a unique eight digit code that identifies periodicals.
Open URL Linking When link resolvers automatically direct users to a URL where they can access their library's holdings when searching in a database.
Peer-Reviewed Journal / Peer-Reviewed Literature A peer-reviewed (or refereed) journal uses a formal approval process for acceptance of articles. An editor and one or more subject specialists reviews the article before it is accepted for publication. This process is intended to ensure that the article is accurate, well-researched, and contributes to the body of knowledge in the field. Peer reviewed scientific papers are papers published after they have been reviewed by other scientists, knowledgeable in the field of inquiry, to determine whether the studies they describe are of reasonable quality and the conclusions reported are supported by the evidence. Reputable scientific journals use a process of peer review before accepting a paper for publication. We use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to determine which journals are peer-reviewed.
Personal Communication Personal communications may be letters, memos, some electronic communications (e.g., email or messages from non-archived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), personal interviews, telephone conversations, etc.
Text Clustering When a large set of search results are returned after a query, text clustering can sort the results by categories.
Text Mining Text mining is the parsing of text to find patterns and the analysis of those patterns either qualitatively or quantitatively.
Unstructured Text Mining Unstructured text mining is the parsing of text that has not been organized in any way. In a database, unstructured information would be that which has not been organized into specific fields (such as title, author, and keywords) but could still be useful for text mining.
Variability Refers to the range of toxic response or exposure. For example, the dose that might cause a toxic response can vary from one person to the next depending on factors such as genetic differences, preexisting medical conditions, etc. Exposure may vary from one person to the next depending on factors such as where one works, time spent indoors or out, where one lives, how much people eat or drink, etc.
Web 2.0 This term is used to describe the collaborative and user-driven ways in which people use the internet and share information online. Wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, and social networking sites are examples of Web 2.0 technologies.
Wiki A wiki is an application that is collaborative in nature, where anyone can add, delete, or edit content and the page's history is viewable to everyone.
Wildcard Any symbol, often an asterisk (*), that represents any possible spelling used when searching to replace missing letters. Example: genom* would pull up results for genome and genomics.