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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.
. Good for an overview of your topic or for the historical perspective on a topic.
. Online encyclopedias (like Grolier, Britannica 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.
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.
. 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.
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
Journals vs. Magazines
JOURNAL = Scholarly, professional, peer-reviewed academic publication
MAGAZINE = Popular publication
. 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
. Will typically publish primary sources/research
. Longer articles
. Scholarly/specialized language
. Articles are peered reviewed (refereed by several experts)