Deciding Where to Search
Where you search often depends on what kind(s) of information you need. There are several factors to consider:
What type(s) of sources might you need?
Does your assignment recommend certain source types (e.g. peer-reviewed articles, newspaper articles, data, books, videos)? What role do sources play in the project?
Depending on the topic, you might look for books, articles, media coverage, or other online sources. If your topic is very new, there may not be many books or scholarly articles available because scholarly works can have a long publication process.
Who has written on/discussed your topic?
A topic like "race relations in prisons" might be explored by scholars in sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology, or ethnic studies. Search by discipline or your academic field by using the databases and other library resources recommended in the Subject and Course Guides.
Articles: Academic Search Complete contains scholarly, popular, and professional journal articles from most disciplines. Or search most of our databases simultaneously through OneSearch. These are often good places to start your research.
Primary Sources: See our guide to Finding Primary Sources.
Newspaper Sources: Go to Finding Newspaper Articles.
Still not sure where to search? Use Ask a Librarian!