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Best Practices for SAC LibGuides

Best Practices for LibGuides

Terminology Tips

Tips from UCLA Best Practices

Summary of Shared Terminology Best Practices:

  • Name pages for the kinds of content users are looking for, e.g. Books, Articles, Primary Sources, Data & Statistics, Newspapers, Encyclopedias & Dictionaries, etc.
  • Articles, Journals, and Databases are three different things. Try to keep them distinct and define their relationship where necessary.
    • Avoid combo terms like Article Databases and Journal Articles unless you're specifically using them to contrast with other sub-categories, e.g. Article Databases and Dissertation Databases, Journal Articles and Magazine Articles.
    • If you have a page called Databases, it should have info on all kinds of databases. You can use individual boxes on the page to divide your recommended databases by sub-disciplines (Botany Databases and Zoology Databases), source (Academic Databases and Government Databases), format (Book Discoverys and Article Indexes), or function (Full Text Content and Index Only).
    • If you have a page called Journals, make sure it lists journals by title or links to tools that search journal titles.
    • If you have a page called Articles, you're probably going to list databases and discovery tools, but be sure to include some explanatory text.
  • For page titles, don't say Find Books or Search for Articles. If you say Books, the user will click on it for all info about books.
    • You can, however, use active verbs or gerunds for activities other than finding library materials, e.g. Citing Your Sources, Find a Subject Librarian
    • Individual boxes on the Books page may be titled Find Books or similar.

General Rules for Page and Box Titles

  • Use the name of the thing users are searching for: Articles, Books, etc.
    • Don't call it Finding Books or Get Articles, unless you specifically need to contrast with another page/box that's about Losing Books or Eat Articles.
    • Avoid generic categories like Web Sites or Internet Resources that concentrate on where or how you look for content rather than what the content is. If you need a category for multi-format collections, try using more descriptive terms like Web Portals or Archives, even if a big jargony.
    • In keeping with the above rule, you usually don't need a page for Databases. But if you do, make sure to link to all types of databases; either duplicate database lists from other pages or include cross-links to those other lists.
  • Avoid combo terms like Journal Articles or Article Databases, unless you're using them to differentiate from a neighboring page/box titled Magazine Articles or Statistical Databases.
  • Subject guides should use the terms and page order listed below, but there's more leeway for course guides. Course guides should still default to these practices, but may use alternate terminology and order of presentation when required to sync up with the syllabus.

Specific Pages

  • Home may be re-named Getting Started or other descriptive alternative.
  • After Home, your first three pages should be Books, Articles, (in any order). You don't have to have all three, but the ones you do have should be up front.
    • Books should include any e-book content, either integrated or in its own box or sub-page. If e-books are especially important in the field, you can name the page Books & E-books.
      • This is also a good place to put Dissertations if you don't have a separate later page for it.
    • Articles can be sub-divided into Journal/Magazine/Newspaper Articles, though News can also be its own later page (in which case a cross-link won't hurt).
      • There's standard wording you can use to explain why your Articles page is listing a bunch of online databases.
      • You can include a box or sub-page titled Journals or Key Journals as long as it actually lists journal titles or links to tools that search periodical titles.
    • Reference Sources can be sub-divided into the usual categories, or you can just skip the meta-category and dive straight into pages for Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks, etc.
  • Next, move on to the more specialized content types.
    • You can use Primary Sources as a category, or just list specific content like Statistics, Goverrnment Information, Tests, Scripts, etc.
    • Book Reviews are problematic since they could logically go under Books, Articles, or a top-level page. Wherever you put them, consider re-using or cross-referencing those boxes on other pages where people might look.
  • Finally, you usually want to end with any pages devoted to Info Literacy-type content, though if you don't have much of this it can probably fit onto the home page.
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