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.
Books: Search the FAU Libraries catalog. For help finding books, visit Finding Books on Your Topic.
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.
Subject-Specific Research: Browse the Subject and Course Guides for more specialized resources. For more guidance, look at Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles.
Primary Sources: See our guide to Finding Primary Sources.
Newspaper Sources: Go to Finding Newspaper Articles.
Looking for data? FAU Libraries provide access to databases that contain statistics. Or search Google for data on your topic. Search for
"[your topic] statistics" or "[your topic] data."
Still not sure where to search? Use Ask a Librarian!
Florida Atlantic University Libraries
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431