Students will select the appropriate search tool and resource type to meet their information need.
Tend to be broader in focus, less current because of the time it takes to write and publish. Have usually gone past an editor and publisher.
You can find books using the library catalog.
Very broad. Useful for general background on a topic.
Reference books can be found in our library catalog.
Reference databases include:
More current and focused than books. Named because they come out ‘periodically’ (daily, weekly, etc.) Have usually gone past an editor and publisher.
Can be very recent, although there are a lot of sites out there last updated in 2000. May or may not be mediated by publishers or editors. Websites are more of a medium than a genre, because there’s a lot of variety. A few types of web sources include:
Where most people go first when looking for information. Personal knowledge can be valuable, as long as you know what people are qualified to talk about.
Take a moment to ask yourself, what do I want from my source? This table offers some examples of questions to ask, and shows how someone might answer those questions for the following research needs.
Example 1: I've found three apartments in my neighborhood. Now I'm trying to decide which one to rent.
Example 2: My psychology instructor asked me to find a empirical scholarly article to write a review of so I can practice understanding scholarly writing.
|Question||Example 1: Apartment rental||Example 2: Article review|
|Do I need one or multiple sources?||multiple||one|
|Do I need a specific format? (Ex: book, statistics, etc.)||No.||yes - scholarly research article|
|What kind of perspective do I want? (Ex: academic, mainstream media, personal)||I'd like a personal perspective from people who've rented there or lived in the area.||academic|
|Does currency matter? How current do I need this information to be?||Yes - reviews for the apartments from 10 years ago won't help me now. Same thing for cost estimates.||Normally I'd want the most recent psychology research, but for this assignment date may not matter.|
|Who has authority on this topic?||The apartment landlords, people who've rented there, residents of the neighborhood||If I'm looking for a scholarly psychology article, the author should be someone with a degree in the field.|
|What kind of coverage do I need? (Ex: In-depth, just the basics)||I'd like a deep dive - the more detail the better.||Needs to be empirical, so narrowly focused|
|Is bias likely to be a problem? How might I avoid it?||The apartment website will probably present a rosy picture - I won't want to rely on their word alone.||Since I'm looking for any article just to review it, I'm not as worried about this.|
|Given all this, some sources that might help me are:||Recent online reviews from former renters. The apartment websites. Conversations with former/current residents - I might find them on social media.||One scholarly article written by someone with a psychology degree. I'll try searching in an academic database.|