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POLI: Political Science

Guide to resources, sources, and research (discovery) tools for those studying Political Science at the University of Calgary.

Abstracting and Indexing Services: Introduction

What is an Abstracting and Indexing resource?

This is "a category of database that provides bibliographic citations, and/or abstracts for the literature of a discipline or broad subject area." (Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Notes.  Bibliographic citations include information about an item like author, title, publisher, publication date, etc.

Notes:  Abstracts are short summaries about the content of an item.

Why use an Abstracting and Indexing source?

These sources are used mainly to:

  • locate articles in journals
  • locate articles in news sources, eg. newspapers, etc.

Depending on the source being used, these may also help in the finding of:

  • books
  • chapters in books
  • audio, film and video  sources
  • etc.

Where can Abstracting and Indexing sources be found?

These sources are available in print (paper) and electronic formats.

Those in print (paper) format are found on the Library shelves, often in an Reference Area.  Use the Classic Catalogue to find these.

Those in electronic format are listed in the Database listings

Abstracting and Indexing Services: Types

There are several types of abstracting and indexing services including:

  • Abstracting Journal
  • Abstracting Service
  • Periodical Index - sometimes referred to as Journal Index

The boxes on this page describe each of these.

 

          Introduction to Periodical Indexes

          A periodical is a publication that comes out over a "period" of time.  Examples include:

          • journals
          • magazines
          • newsletters
          • newspapers
          • etc.

          A  periodical index is a finding aid that is used to locate articles in journals, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, etc.  These are also sometimes called journal indexes.

          Periodical/Journal Indexes

          Periodical Index

          What is a Periodical?

          A periodical is a publication that comes out over a "period" of time.  Examples include:

          • journals
          • magazines
          • newsletters
          • newspapers
          • etc.

          What is a Periodical Index?

          A  periodical index is a finding aid that is used to locate articles in journals, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, etc.  These are also sometimes called journal indexes.

          Where are These Found?

          • Paper/Print Format:  Found on the shelves in the library, often in the Reference Collection of the library.
          • Electronic/Online Format:  Found in the listings of the Databases

          How are these Found?

          Periodical Indexes may be found by:

          • Searching the title of the Periodical index in the Library Search Box
          • Browsing Lists of Databases
            • NB.  Although found in these listings, periodical indexes are not specifically identified in these listings

          Abstracting Journals

          What is an Abstracting Journal? 

           An Abstracting Journal "...specializes in providing summaries (called abstracts) of articles and other documents published within the scope of a specific academic discipline or field of study". (Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn An.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

          Where are these Found?

          The location of these depends on the format that they are in:

          Paper/Print Format
          Found on the shelves in the Library, often in the Reference Collection
          Electronic/Digital Format
          Found in the listings of Databases
          Some found freely available via The Web.  NB.  Some of the freely available sources are found in the Database listings.  They are identified with this symbol Freely Available

          How are these Found?

          Abstracting Journals may be found by:

          • Searching the title of the abstracting journal in the LIbrary Search Box
            • Browsing Lists of Databases
              • NB.  Although found in these listings, abstracting journals are not specifically identified in these listings

           

           

          Abstracting Service

          What is an Abstracting Service?

          An Abstracting Service is a publication that provides both an index with citations and an abstract (brief summary) to the documents included in that publication.

          Where are these Found?

          • Paper/Print Format:  Found on the shelves in the library, often in the Reference Collection of the library.
          • Electronic/Online Format:  Found in the listings of the Online Resources.

          How are these Found?

          Abstracting Services may be found by:

          •  Searching the title of the abstracting journal in the Library Search Box
          •  Browsing Lists of  Databases
            •  NB.  Although found in these listings, abstracting services are not specifically identified in these listings