Deciding Where to Search

Use these questions to help you decide where to search.

Are certain sources required?


Double check the assignment and look for the types of sources the instructor requires, such as peer-reviewed articles, newspaper articles, data, books, or videos. Different sources are found in different places.

What type of source is most likely to have information on your topic?


The research topic you choose will have an impact on the types of resources you will find. Some topics are covered in both books and articles. Current events are more likely to be covered in the news. The peer-review process takes months, and research covering very recent events may not be available until some time after the event occurs.

What broader subject encapsulates your topic?


Think about what broader subject your topic falls under. For example, the topic of “race relations” may be explored by scholars in sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology or ethical studies.

Different Types of Resources

View our Guide on Selecting Research Types
Resource Type Best Place to Start
Books Use OneSearch on the library homepage and narrow to Book/eBook under Content Type.
Journal Articles Use OneSearch on the library homepage and narrow to Journal Article under Content Type. You can also find a database that relates to your topic by going to the Databases list on the library homepage and choosing Articles from the All Databases Types drop-down menu and a particular subject from the All Subjects drop-down menu.
Newspaper Articles Find a database that specializes in newspaper articles by choosing News from the All Database Types drop-down menu in the library Databases list. See the News Sources Guide for more information on searching for news sources.
Primary Sources Find a database that specializes in primary sources by choosing Primary Sources from the All Database Types drop-down menu in the library Databases list. You can also use OneSearch on the library homepage and narrow to a particular Content Type such as Manuscript or Archival Material.
Video Use OneSearch on the library homepage and narrow to Video Recording or Streaming Video under Content Type. You can also find a database that specializes in streaming video by choosing Video from the All Database Types drop-down menu on the library Databases list. See the Streaming Video Guide for more information on streaming video sources.