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Intro

Right tools

Information comes in many ways. To search efficiently and be able to answer your research needs you must know what is available and understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Resources

ENCYCLOPEDIAS

. Good for an overview of your topic or for the historical perspective on a topic.
. Online encyclopedias (like GrolierBritannica and Universalis) are updated regularly and often provide links to external sources.
. Check our LibGuide on Wikipedia here.

NON FICTION BOOKS or informational books

Written by experts in their fields
. Not updated regularly.
. Less contestable
. Usually more in-depth.

MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS (see also box on the right)

. Good for current events and general information.
. Print magazines are better for browsing and for serendipitus searching. 
. The library only keeps past print issues for 1 or 2 years. For research purposes, use our databases and get access to hundreds of full-text articles.

ONLINE DATABASES

Our databases provide access to the full text of hundreds of magazines and academic journals as well as the full text of selected general and subject-specific reference works. Databases are more reliable than the Internet.

INTERNET

. The internet is powerful if you know how to search it and frustrating if you don’t.
. Make sure you check the Web Site Evaluation section of this site.
. There are good online tutorials, or come see me for a short one-on-one session.

INTERVIEWS

Field experts can offer a wealth of information. An interview gives you the chance to ask the questions that matter to you and be up-to-date with the topic at hand.

And don't forget community resources:

Associations and organisations, government agencies, universities and colleges, city halls

There are other types of information as well:

Documentaries, surveys, statistics, studies, music, plays

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Journals vs. Magazines

       

JOURNAL = Scholarly, professional, peer-reviewed academic publication
MAGAZINE = Popular publication

MAGAZINES JOURNALS

. Authors are typically generalists 

. Provide overview of topic

. Cover several topics of general interest 

. Focus is on secondary writing

. Short articles 

. Familiar language

. Articles reviewed by an editor


. Written by field or discipline experts

. Provide deep analysis of topic

. Specialized
 

. Will typically publish primary sources/research

. Longer articles

. Scholarly/specialized language

. Articles are peered reviewed (refereed by several experts)