Answered By: Research Librarian
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023     Views: 55

Decide Where to Search

Are certain sources required?
Look at whether the assignment specifies using peer reviewed articles, newspaper articles, data, books, and/or videos. You will look for these different sources in different places.

Does your topic lend itself to a particular type of source?
Your research topic will have an impact on the kinds of sources that you will use. Some topics are more likely to be covered in books, and others are more likely to be covered in the news. You may not be able to find books or peer reviewed articles on current topics because they take a long time to publish.  

Who writes about your topic?
A topic like "race relations" and prisons might be explored by scholars in sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology, or ethnic studies. See recommended sources from the subject librarians for each discipline in the Library Research Guides

Search for Types of Resources:

  • Searching for books? Use GLOCAT. Enter in the title or author of the book and select search. On the results screen, select "Books/Ebooks" under Content Type to limit your catalog search to books. 
  • Searching for articles? General databases such as Academic Search Complete and ProQuest contains scholarly, popular, and professional journal articles from most disciplines. These are often a good places to start your research.
  • Looking for primary sources? See our Finding Primary Sources research guide. 
  • Searching for newspaper sources? See our News Research Guide
  • Looking for data? Explore the Library Data CollectionsOr search Google for data on your topic. Search for "[your topic] statistics" or "[your topic] data."
  • Finding government information? Use the following resources to help you find government information: