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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 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

. Specialized

. Will typically publish primary sources/research

. Longer articles

. Scholarly/specialized language

. Articles are often peered reviewed (refereed by several experts)     

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