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Library Glossary: O-P


On - Display – This is a code used in item records to show the status of an item. This code is when items are featured on a display shelf in the library.

On - Shelf – This is a code used in item records to show the status of an item. This code is when items are in their correct location in the stacks.

Open  AccessResources such as books or articles that are freely available via the internet. More information about Open Access can be found here.

Open Educational Resources (OER)Teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. More information about Open Educational Resources can be found here.

OverdueLibrary items are considered to be overdue when they are not returned to the library on/before their due date and time.

OversizedA book that is too large to fit on standard sized library shelves. Oversized books are located in the atrium on the second floor of the library, at the end of the Reference Collection.



Peer ReviewedArticles contained within a publication have been anonymously reviewed and/ or evaluated by experts and scholars in their field prior to the article being published.

Periodical or SerialA publication issued at regular intervals (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, annually, etc.) Some types of periodicals:

  • Popular magazines:

- Often available at a newsstand, containing articles about news, popular information and entertainment.

  • Journals:

- Usually contain scholarly information and research relating to a particular field.

  • Trade, Professional or Business magazines:

- Emphasize current information in a particular subject or area of interest, especially fields relating to jobs and industry.

Periodicals can be searched for using the catalogue and/ or databases.


Public Domain – A work that is not protected by copyright. The work is no longer protected either because the copyright has expired or because the author has made his or her work freely available to the public to use. Anyone can use a public domain work without having to seek permission of the copyright owner. However, when borrowing words or ideas from any work, including works in the public domain, you must cite the sources.