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Source Types

This guide shows students the definitions of the types of print and online materials they will find using the library's search Summon. This guide will also help students understand what their professors are requiring of them.

Source Types: by subject

Find your college course below and click on the tab titled Terms & Definitions to find subject-specific terms not listed on the Common Source Types page. 

For courses from the Lewis College of Business

  • Accounting
  • Advertising & PR
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Health Care Management
  • Management
  • Advertisements- A notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy.
  • Annual Reports- A company's yearly report to shareholders, documenting its activities and finances in the previous financial year.
  • Best Practice Paper- A document that contains methods or techniques that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.
  • Blog Entries- A discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries.
  • Clinical Care Notes- A wide variety of documents generated on behalf of a patient in many care activities. They include notes to support transitions of care, care planning, quality reporting, billing and even handwritten notes by a providers.
  • Clinical Trials- An experiment or observation done in clinical research.
  • Cohort Studies- A study that identifies a group of people and follows them over a period of time.
  • Company Profile- A written introduction to a company that tells the reader about its activities, mission, goals and strengths.
  • Company Records and Publications- All books, records, ledgers, reports, plans and files related to the conduct of the businesses of the Company and its Subsidiaries in paper, electronic or other forms that are maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries.
  • Company Reports- All books, records, ledgers, reports, plans and files related to the conduct of the businesses of the Company and its Subsidiaries in paper, electronic or other forms that are maintained by the Company or any of its Subsidiaries.
  • Dockets- Any method by which a firm keeps track of its tax returns to be prepared.
  • Financial Statements- A written record that conveys the business activities and the financial performance of a company.
  • Industry Profiles- An in-depth document that gives insight into an industry, where it came from, and where it appears to be going.
  • Lab Notebooks- A complete record of procedures (the actions you take), the reagents you use, the observations you make (these are the data), and the relevant thought processes that would enable another scientist to reproduce your observations.
  • Magazines- A periodical publication containing articles and illustrations, typically covering a particular subject or area of interest.
  • Market Analysis- A document that studies the attractiveness and the dynamics of a special market within a special industry.
  • Marketing Journals- A publication that develops and disseminates knowledge about real-world marketing questions relevant to scholars, educators, managers, consumers, policy makers and other societal stakeholders.
  • Newsletters- A tool used by businesses and organizations to share relevant and valuable information with their network of customers, prospects and subscribers.
  • Newspapers- A printed publication (usually issued daily or weekly) consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, feature articles, advertisements, and correspondence.
  • Patient Education Information- A document that covers the common health problems in the community, as well as frequently requested health promotion topics.
  • Pilot/prospective studies- A small-scale, preliminary studies which aim to investigate whether crucial components of a main study will be feasible.
  • Practice Guidelines and Standards- A systematically developed statement based on the best evidence and the most current data.
  • Press Releases- A short, compelling news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media.
  • Speeches- A formal address or discourse delivered to an audience.
  • Stock Analysis- A method that an investor or trader uses to evaluate and investigate a particular trading instrument, investment sector, or the stock market as a whole.
  • SWOT Analysis- A strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.
  • Trade Journals- A publication whose target audience is people who work in or are very familiar with the trade or industry which the journal covers.

For courses from the College of Liberal Arts

  • Anthropology
  • Literary Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • History
  • International Affairs
  • Political Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social work
  • Advertisements- A notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy.
  • Anthropological Field Work or Notes- An essential resource that helps document and organize the data that’s been collected during research.
  • Art Works- A physical object that may have an aesthetic and/or conceptual value. This could be a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, an installation, a drawing, a collage, etc. Some works fall beyond the scope of traditional art: this is the case of land art, where the work is made directly in the landscape; performance art which involves an artist's actions in front of a live audience; or readymades, where artist gives ordinary objects the status of an artwork.
  • Audio Recordings- An electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects.
  • Census Records- An official list of the people in a particular area at a given time.
  • Court Cases- A dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case is typically based on either civil or criminal law.
  • Creative Works- A manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork dance, writing (literature), filmmaking, and composition.
  • Cultural Artifacts- An item that, when found, reveals valuable information about the society that made or used it.
  • Diaries- A record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period.
  • Ethnographies- A specific kind of written observational science which provides an account of a particular culture, society, or community.
  • Experiments- A procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis.
  • Films- A motion picture; a movie.
  • Historical Texts- An original documents that contain important historical information about a person, place, or event.
  • Legal Documents- A document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right.
  • Magazines- A periodical publication containing articles and illustrations, typically covering a particular subject or area of interest.
  • Maps- A symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.
  • Newspapers- A printed publication (usually issued daily or weekly) consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, feature articles, advertisements, and correspondence.
  • News Footage- A reproduction of an image (whether by means of video, film, photography or other sound and/or image reproduction technology) of a news event occurring within 24 hours prior to the broadcast or other distribution thereof that has been produced but not been edited into a News Segment.
  • Obituaries- A notice of a death, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person.
  • Oral histories - A collection of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews.
  • Pamphlets- A small booklet or leaflet containing information or arguments about a single subject.
  • Photographs- A picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused onto film or other light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.
  • Posters- A large printed representation of research or creative work, presented at an academic or industry conference, workshop, etc.
  • Questionnaires- A set of printed or written questions with a choice of answers, devised for the purposes of a survey or statistical study.
  • Social Media Posts- Content shared on social media through a user's profile. It can be as simple as a blurb of text, but can also include images, videos, and links to other content. Other users of the social network can like, comment, and share the post.
  • Speeches- A formal address or discourse delivered to an audience.
  • Statistical Documents- A record of the statistical activity, including the concepts, definitions and methods used to collect, process and analyze data and produce statistical products.
  • Video Recordings- An electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media.
  • Working Papers- A preliminary scientific or technical paper.

For courses from the College of Arts and Media

  • Journalism
  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Art Works- A physical object that may have an aesthetic and/or conceptual value. This could be a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, an installation, a drawing, a collage, etc. Some works fall beyond the scope of traditional art: this is the case of land art, where the work is made directly in the landscape; performance art which involves an artist's actions in front of a live audience; or readymades, where artist gives ordinary objects the status of an artwork.
  • Audio Recordings- An electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects.
  • Census records- An official list of the people in a particular area at a given time.
  • Church or Synagogue Records- A religious record that can provide documentation of births, marriages, and burials with additional information about family members and friends.
  • Criticism- The discussion or evaluation of visual art.
  • Diaries- A record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period.
  • Divorce Records- A document that provides evidence that a married couple has legally and officially terminated their marriage.
  • Education Records- A record that is directly related to a student and that are maintained by an educational agency or institution or a party acting for or on behalf of the agency or institution.
  • Film Footage- An electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media.
  • Land and Title Records- A document that can include deeds, mortgages, liens, property maps, and every other legal document pertaining to transfer of lands in the county.
  • Maps - A symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.
  • Military Records- A document that can contain information such as: enlistment/appointment. duty stations and assignments. training, qualifications, performance
  • Newspapers- A printed publication (usually issued daily or weekly) consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, feature articles, advertisements, and correspondence.
  • Obituary- A notice of a death, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person.
  • Organization Records- The internal documents produced by an organization to guide its work or as a result of its work
  • Photographs- A picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused onto film or other light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.
  • Public Records- A document or piece of information that are not considered confidential and generally pertain to the conduct of government.
  • Reviews- A formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary.
  • Scores- Transcript of the original and entire draft of a musical composition or an arrangement with the parts for the different instruments or voices written on staffs one above another.
  • Speeches- A formal address or discourse delivered to an audience.
  • Video Recording- An electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media.

For courses from the College of Engineering and Computer Science

  • Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Architectural Drawings- A technical drawing of a house, a building or any kind of structure.
  • Code- An organized collections of mandatory standards that have been made into law by a governmental authority.
  • Lab Notebooks- A complete record of procedures (the actions you take), the reagents you use, the observations you make (these are the data), and the relevant thought processes that would enable another scientist to reproduce your observations.
  • Patents- A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.
  • Preprints- A a full draft research paper that is shared publicly before it has been peer reviewed.
  • Scientific Experiments- A procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis.
  • Standard- An approved set of criteria defining the performance or design of a product or defining the process of constructing a product.
  • Technical Reports- A document written by a researcher detailing the results of a project and submitted to the sponsor of that project.

For courses from the College of Science

  • Criminal Justice
  • Sciences, general
  • Geology
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Computer Program- A collection of instructions that can be executed by a computer to perform a specific task.
  • Court Cases- A dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case is typically based on either civil or criminal law.
  • Crime Reports- A written account of an incident observed from one or more sources.
  • Diaries- A record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period.
  • Guidebook- A book of information about a place, designed for the use of visitors or tourists.
  • Lab Notebooks- A complete record of procedures (the actions you take), the reagents you use, the observations you make (these are the data), and the relevant thought processes that would enable another scientist to reproduce your observations.
  • Maps - A symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.
  • Notes- A paper that mentions or remarks on a published paper on a specific subject. Generally finds records dating back to 1996 or before.
  • Open-File Report- Unpublished manuscript reports, maps, and other material available for public consultation and use.
  • Patents - A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.
  • Technical Reports- A document written by a researcher detailing the results of a project and submitted to the sponsor of that project.
  • Trade Journals- A publication whose target audience is people who work in or are very familiar with the trade or industry which the journal covers.

For courses from the College of Health Professions

  • Dietetics
  • Health Sciences
  • Administrative Data- The data that organizations collect about their operations. It includes data for routine operations, and is frequently used to assess how well an organization is achieving its intended goals.
  • Claims Data- The information found in medical billing claims forms filed on behalf of a group or population.
  • Clinical Trials- An experiment or observation done in clinical research.
  • Health Records- A health record (also known as a medical record) is a written account of a person’s health history. It includes medications, treatments, tests, immunizations, and notes from visits to a health care provider.
  • Health Surveys- A systematic collection of factual data pertaining to health and disease in a human population within a given geographic area.
  • Lab Notebooks- A complete record of procedures (the actions you take), the reagents you use, the observations you make (these are the data), and the relevant thought processes that would enable another scientist to reproduce your observations.
  • Patient/Disease Registries- A collection of secondary data related to patients with a specific diagnosis, condition, or procedure, and they play an important role in post marketing surveillance of pharmaceuticals.