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Finding the Full-Text of an Article - Long

Finding the Full-Text of an Article

  1. If the full-text of an article is available through a database, you'll see a link to view the article in HTML and/or PDF.
  2. If the full-text of the article is NOT available through the database, click on the Find It button and a new page will pop-up.
  3. If we have the article in another database, you should see a link to either the article itself or the journal containing the article. (NOTE: You may need to conduct an additional search once you are taken to the other database.)
  4. If the article is NOT available in full-text you could search IUCAT to see if we have it in print. If you can wait 2-3 days, request the article through InterLibrary Loan. You'll receive an email when your article is available and can download a PDF copy.

Finding Articles in Library Databases Infographic

Finding Articles in Library Databases : in 6 Steps

Use this process to find scholarly (peer-reviewed, academic) and popular (newspapers, magazine) articles in library databases.

  1. Define your research question or topic (You did this in Step 1 of the Research Process, and will need it to effectively search databases.) EXAMPLE: What is the impact of air quality on children with asthma?
  2. Break it down - Pick out hte core concepts (usually noun and noun phrases). EXAMPLE: air quality, children, asthma
  3. Identify 1-2 synonyms for each core concept. EXAMPLE: air quality = pollution ; children = youth, adolescents ; asthma = "bronchial asthma"
  4. Combine your keywords with AND; synonyms with OR. EXAMPLE: (air quality OR pollution) AND (children OR youth OR adolescents) AND asthma
  5. Enter your search phrase in a relevant database. Library databases are at EXAMPLES: General Databases - Academic Search Premier, ProQuest Central, JSTOR; Subject Databases - ERIC (Education), PubMed (Medicine), PsycINFO (Psychology)
  6. Look at your results and modify your search if necessary. If you get thousands of results, your search is too broad. If you only get a few results, your search is too narrow. Use relevant results to help you identify other keywords. Look at the bibliographies or relevant articles to find other relevant articles. If you don't get any relevant hits, brainstorm different keywords. Background Information (Step 2 of the Research Process) can help you find keywords.

Conclusion: Researching your topic or research in databases takes time. You won't always get relevant results the first time you search. Modify and give it another try!


InterLibrary Loan - Infographic

Want materials (e.g., books, articles) that the library doesn't have? Use InterLibrary Loan.

  1. Find the citation or source for the item (If it's a book in the IU system, click "Request This" in IUCAT. For everything else, use ILL.
  2. Login to ILLiad (Library Home Page > InterLibrary Loan OR IUPUI University Library InterLibrary Loan Services from "Find It" link.)
  3. Fill out the appropriate request form (book, article, thesis, etc.)
  4. Your request is sent to librarians.
  5. Librarians request materials from another library.
  6. Your material is sent back to IUPUI
  7. You receive an email telling you your material has arrived
  8. Retrieve your material at the Service & Information Desk or at the ILL website
  9. PDF files are yours to keep, Books must be returned.

For More Information: or

Time it takes to get articles and books if UL owns or doesn't own them

Getting Stuff

(The time it takes to get stuff (articles & books) if University Library has or doesn't have it...)


  • On the Shelf: Books - Check IUCAT to see if the item is at IUPUI and not checked out, if so, you can check it out immediately.
  • Find It: Articles in Databases - In library databases, look for the red "Find It" button which will link you to the full-text of an article if IUPUI has access to it.


  • InterLibrary Loan: Articles - If "Find It" can't locate the full-text of an article, request it via InterLibrary Loan. Articles usually arrive in a couple of days.
  • Request This: Books - If you search IUCAT for a book and it isn't at IUPUI but is in the IU system, click "Request This" in IUCAT. The book will arrive in 4-7 working days.


  • InterLibrary Loan: Books - If IUCAT doesn't have the book you want, you can use ILLiad (InterLibrary Loan) to request the item. Requests can take 10 days or longer.
  • Recall: Books - The person with the book has 10 days to return it before you can check it out. So the entire process can take close to two weeks.

Literature Review Process

Literature Review Process

(A cyclical process)

  1. Identify the question
  2. Review discipline styles
  3. Search the literature
  4. Manage your references
  5. Critically analyze and evaluate
  6. Synthesize
  7. Write Literature Review

Primary v. Secondary - Infographic

Primary v. Secondary Sources


Primary Sources: Original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched. They are first-hand observations, contemporary accounts of events, viewpoints of the time. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information.

Secondary Sources: Works that analyze, assess, or interpret an historical event, era or phenomenon, generally utilizing primary sources to do so. They provide interpretation of information, usually written well after the event. They offer reviews or critiques.


Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Diaries Biographical Works
Journal articles detailing original research Books (except fiction & autobiographies)
Letters Commentaries, crtiicisms
Newspaper articles written at the time Histories
Oral & video recordings Journal articles (depending on the discipline these can be primary)
Original documents (e.g., birth certificate, trial transcripts) Literature Reviews
Photgraphs Magazine and Newspaper Articles (this distinction varies by discipline)
Records of organizations, government agencies (e.g., annual report, treaty, constitution)  
Survey Research (e.g., market surveys, public opinion polls)  
Works of art, architecture, literature, and music)  
Data, Statistics, etc.  


Scholarly v. Popular Infographic

Scholarly v. Popular*

What are they? Scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields. Popular sources aim to inform a wide audience about issues of interest and are much more informal in tone and scope.

Why do we care? Evidence. You want to base your writing and arguments on the best available evidence. While both types of sources contain credible information, scholarly articles (usually) provide the best evidence for the authors' claims (through high-quality citations and the peer-review process).

How do you know which is which?

Scholarly [Criteria] Popular
research projects, methodology, and theory Contents personalities, news, and general interest articles
specialized Audience general
subject experts Authors journalists and generalists
academic institutions Affiliation staff or freelance writers
highly focused, geared towards researchers and professionals Topics more generalized, geared towards nonprofessionals
peer-reviewed (usually) Review Process edited but not peer-reviewed
bibliographies/footnotes References no bibliographies
many have dull covers Appearance glossy, eye-catching covers
few or none Advertisements many
Journal of Food Science, Urban Studies, Journal of Applied Psychology, Annals of Human Genetics Examples People, New York Times, Psychology Today, Time

*Types of Periodicals - Periodical is a generic term used for magazines and scholarly journals. They are materials that are published at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, daily, etc.).

How to Read a Scholarly Article Infographic

How to Read a Scholarly Article

Order to read it Part of the Article Reason
#4 Title & Authors Be sure to check author & journal credentials. Are the authors reputable? Is the journal peer-reviewed? Use Google to find out.
#1 Abstract

Read me first. I contain the main points

(NOTE RE: Arts & Humanities & Social Sciences - Some articles aren't as nicely divided as science articles. The information is still there - but many not be broken into sections like this. In that case, read the beginning and end of the article to get the main points.

#3 Full Article If you find anything interesting in the abstract or conclusion, then skim the article for that information.
#6 Introduction If you need more information, read me. I contain an overview of the paper and will discuss other research on the topic in the literature review.
#7 Methodology If you need more information, read me. I explain the research process so that you can replicate it.
#8 Results If you need more information, read me. I have data and numbers on the outcome often with charts, graphs, or formulas.
#9 Discussion If you need more information, read me. I explain if the thesis was proved or disproved and any unexpected findings.
#2 Conclusion Read me second. I restate the findings and results, what was discovered, and what still needs to be researched.
#5 References If this article has a lot of relevant information, check the references to find other articles that may also be relevant.


Brainstorming Keywords Infographice

Brainstorming Keywords

  1. Define your research question or topic (Why? Understanding your topic before you dive into searching databases keeps you focused on your topic and less likely to get sidetracked by irrelevant material.) EXAMPLE: What is the impact of air quality on children with asthma?
  2. Break it down - Pick out the core concepts (usually noun or noun phrases) (Tip: You want between 2-4 keywords. Avoid fluff words like impact and effect. Why? Words such as impact are used all the time so you are more likely to get results that aren't relevant to your topic.) EXAMPLE: air quality, children, asthma
  3. Identify 1 or 2 synonyms for each core concept (Why? Computers aren't that smart. They won't do any interpretations for you, which means they will spit out only what you put in.) EXAMPLE: air quality = pollution ; children = youth, adolescents ; asthma = "bronchial asthma"

Developing a Research Question - Infographic

Developing a Research Question

In a research paper, you develop a unique question and then synthesize scholarly and primary sources into a paper that supports your argument about the topic.

  1. Identify your Topic (This is the starting place from where you develop a research question.)
  2. Refine by Searching (find background information) (Before you can start to develop a research question, you may need to do some preliminary background research to see (1) what has already been done on the topic and (2) what are the issues surrounding the topic.) HINT: Find background information in Google and Books.
  3. Refine by Narrowing (Once you begin to understand the topic and the issues surrounding it, you can start to narrow your topic and develop a research question. Do this by asking the 6 journalistic question words.

6 Journalistic Question Words to help you refine by Narrowing

Who: Are you interested in a specific group of people? Can your topic be narrowed by gender, sex, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status or something else? Are there any key figures related to your topic?

What: What are the issues surrounding your topic? Are there subtopics? In looking at background information, did you notice any gaps or questions that seemed unanswered?

Where: Can your topic be narrowed down to a geographic location? Warning: Don't get too narrow here. You might not be able to find enough information on a town or state.

When: Is your topic current or historical? Is it confined to a specific time period? Was there a causative event that led your topic to become an area of study?

Why: Why are you interested in this topic? Why should others be interested?

How: What kinds of information do you need? Primary sources, statistics? What is your methodology?

6 Question Words Source Evaluation

Evaluating Information: 6 Question Words

Use the following 6 journalistic question words to guide you through evaluating whether information sources are authoritative (to be trusted as being accurate and reliable) for your needs.

Important: A source is never only “good” or “bad” but can be more or less appropriate depending on the research you are doing.

Example: Your friend runs out of the basement yelling “it’s flooding!” and is an authoritative source on if the basement is flooding. However, your friend has never read Jane Eyre and gives you his opinion about the book, is not an authoritative source on Jane Eyre.

WHO : Author

Explanation: Authority exists in many forms such as subject expertise (a professor), societal position (a member of Congress), or special experience (a participant at an event). What are the author’s qualifications? What credentials contribute to the author’s authority? Many disciplines have acknowledged authorities (e.g., well-known scholars) that are considered “standard” in the field. But even these “standards” can be and have been challenged.

Example: A blog posting by an eye-witness to a riot would be an authoritative primary source on the subject. That same blog posting would not be an authoritative secondary source.

WHAT : Type of Document & Overall Tone

Explanation: Authoritative content may be any type of media (books, articles, videos, social media, etc.) and come in many different tones (conversational, academic, technical). Authoritative sources are appropriate to the research being done.

Example: Research on Malcolm X would be enhanced by an informal conversation with one of his friends, not by the study of technical reports. Research on structural engineering, however, would be enhanced by the study of technical reports.

WHERE : Source of Information (Where it Appears)

Explanation: Authoritative content may be in formal (such as a scholarly article) or informal (a blog posting) sources. Many disciplines have acknowledged authorities (publications like scholarly journals or books) that are considered “standard” in the field. Similarly, there are publishing houses, academic presses, or even certain restricted website domains (e.g., .gov or .edu) that have reputations for providing high-quality information. But even these “standards” can be and have been challenged. It is important to evaluate not only the work but also where you found it.

Example: Authoritative research on fracking produced by the federal government but then re-purposed by a fracking company website, may be authoritative, but should be carefully analyzed in the context of the site on which it was found.

WHEN : Publication Date & Occurrence that Precipitated Publication

Explanation: Authoritative information may be recently published or very old. Subject and context are all important when asking “when.”

Example: Referring to a book published in 1900 for research on the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) could be very authoritative. Researching stem cell transplantation using a journal article published in 2010 could be out-of-date.

WHY : Author’s Purpose for Writing the Document

Explanation: Bias can exist in any source (newspapers, scholarly articles, blog posts, etc.). When evaluating a source, asking why they wrote the document (and if the work was funded or sponsored, by whom) can help you decide if it is authoritative. Having a bias doesn’t mean a source shouldn’t be used, rather any information should be examined critically and verified with another source.

Example: Research explaining the benefits of smoking funded by a tobacco company very likely has a bias but could still contain authoritative information if verified by other sources.

HOW : Author’s Method of Gathering & Analyzing Data

Explanation: There are many different ways to gather & analyze information. When gathering data an author may have done their own original study, compiled various outside sources, interviewed people, or be writing from personal experience. Any method can be authoritative, depending on the information need. When analyzing data, the author's use of proprietary, inter-operable (the extent to which systems can exchange, interpret, and share data), or open data formats signals how and if an author intends the data to be used and shared.

Example: Using interviews to support the effectiveness of a new drug is not a sound methodology; however, using interviews to give context to a riot is.


Method adapted from Rachel Radom and Rachel W. Gammons, “Teaching Information Evaluation with the Five Ws: An Elementary Method, an Instructional Scaffold, and the Effect on Student Recall and Application,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 53, 4 (2014): 334-47.

Using Wikipedia for Research

Using Wikipedia for Research


Find Background Information - Entries and embedded links can be used to generate ideas and learn the terminology associated with your topic.

Generate Search Terms - Take a look at the embedded links, bolded words, or table of contents. They can help generate search terms to use for searching in library databases.

Look at the Bibliography - The bottom of the page should list the sources used to compile the entry. They can point you to other resources (sometimes scholarly) on the topic.


Cite to Wikipedia - In academic research, you usually never cite to an encyclopedia or other sources of background information.

Believe Everything - Because the content is user-created, anonymous, and does not have a mandatory review process, there is no guarantee that the information is accurate and credible.

Find a Book at University Library

[begin header]

Find a Book at University Library

Questions: or call 317-274-0469.

[end header]


  1. Do you know which book you want?
    1. Yes – Locate the book in IUCAT: (Hint: Go to the advanced search screen and do a search for the ‘Title’ and ‘Author’) [Example: Title: 1984, Author: Orwell, George]
    2. No. – Search IUCAT for a keyword related to your topic (Hint: Try doing a Subject search by changing the dropdown menu from ‘All Fields’ to ‘Subject’). [Example: Subject: Dystopias]
  2. Is it available at IUPUI University Library? (Hint: Click on the title to view the item’s record, look at the holdings information).
    1. Yes. – Take it to the Service & Information Desk and bring your Crimson Card!
    2. No. – See next question.
      1. Stuck? Ask a librarian for maps of the library and how to use the Library of Congress call numbers to locate your book.
  3. Is the book available at another IU library?
    1. Yes. – Use the ‘Request This’ link on the IUCAT record. [Red ‘Request This’ button icon]. Then, Use your IU Login and choose your pickup library! [Request Delivery screen showing ‘Indpls – IUPUI University Library’ as pickup location]
    2. No. – Try WorldCat ( and borrow the book using Interlibrary Loan (ILL). [Red ‘Request Item through Interlibrary Loan’ button]

Library DIY I don't know what peer reviewed means

A peer-reviewed article can have many names:

  • Peer reviewed
  • Scholarly
  • Academic
  • Refereed

The Process of Peer Review:

  1. Draft of Article is sent to experts in the field to: ensure that there are no errors; evaluate the quality of the research documented in the article; checks for unsupported claims; recommends revisions to improve the article before it is published
  2. Author revises article based on feedbadck
  3. Article published


Some common characteristics of peer reviewed articles are:

  • The author's credentials include an advanced degree and affiliation with a university
  • The writing style used technical terms because it is written for other scholars
  • The article contains an abstract, literature review, and reference list.

Library DIY Need Help Avoiding Plagiarism

A General Guide to Understanding Written Plagiarism


Are my own words being used? > Yes > Is it my idea? > Yes > Yay! You're not plagairizing!

Are my own words being used? > Yes > Is it my idea? > No > You're paraphrasing > Now What? > Add a Citation and Bibliography!

Are my own words being used? > No > Are you using quotation marks or placing it in a block quote? > Yes > Yay! You're not plagiarizing! > Now what? > Add a citation and bibliography!

Are my own words being used? > No > Are you using quotation marks or placing it in a block quote? > No > You're plagiarizing! > Go Quote it! > Now What? > Add a citation and bibliography!

[Brought to you by EasyBib]

[How to Recognize Plagiarism, Indiana University Bloomington School of Education, 2005. Web.]


Compare Library and non-library resources



Google Scholar


-Library catalog

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)


-Library database

Informe Académico

-Library database

Finds news articles?

Yes, Google finds news in its regular web search, the news tab, as well as at




Finds scholarly articles? 

Yes, but they’re buried and often behind a paywall

Yes, also has the “Find It @ IUPUI” link located in Settings > Library Links to get full text from our databases

No, but finds the journals

Yes, and often has the full text PDF

Sí, utiliza el filtro "Publicaciones académicas." También puede filtrar por "texto completo" 

Has peer-reviewed filter?



No, but most of the library’s collection is scholarly


No, las noticias típicamente no se someten al proceso de "peer review," sino son revisadas por una editora


Finds books?

Yes, but only full text of older books that are out of copyright or citations to books

Yes, but only full text of older books that are out of copyright or citations to books


Yes, finds books and chapters but doesn’t always find full text

No, sólo revistas y periódicos

Has an advanced search screen?

Yes, but you have to search first then find where it’s hidden or go to:

Yes, it's available from the dropdown arrow in the search bar



From Topic to Question - Infographic

From Topic to Question - Narrowing your Topic

  Example Types of Sources


TIP: Think of the 6 Question Words to help you narrow: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How

Climate Change Background Information (Wikipedia, Books - IUCAT)
Broad Question (What) What is the effect of climate change on the environment? Secondary Sources (Scholarly Articles)
More Specific Question How is climate change affecting glaciers? Secondary Sources (Scholarly Articles)
Research Question (Who, What, & Where) How is glacial melting affecting wildlife in Alaska? Primary Sources (Research Articles, Newspapers, Data & Statistics)

TIP: How specific you get depends on the assignment and how much time you have to complete it.

Your question needs to be narrow enough to work on in the time allotted and broad enough to find sources. If your question requires data collection or obscure primary sources, it may not be feasible for a semester-length paper.

(Adapted from an original by Shonn Haren, Wichita State University Libraries, 2015)

Boolean Searching Infographic

Boolean Searching

The AND operator narrows your search. Ordering "a burger and fries" gets you both, so using AND between keywords returns results with both or all of your keywords.

The OR operator expands your search. Ordering "a Pepsi(TM) or a Coke(TM)" gets you a brown soda with cola flavoring, so using  OR returns results with either of your keywords.

The NOT operator excludes something from your search. Ordering a beer but NOT wine will get you a beer. So use NOT to exclude words you don't want to find. For example, you want to search for articles about football but NOT college football.

Example Searches:

Search statements include keywords and the logical, or Boolean operators that connect them. To create a search statement, combine your keywords with AND, OR, and sometimes with NOT to strategically look for your information.

  • ("Hot dog" OR Hamburger) AND Fries AND Cola
  • Cheese AND Tomato NOT Onions


  1. Google recognizes a space as AND. For example, hot dog is searched as hot AND dog.
  2. Use the OR between synonyms or closely-related words (and isolate these words in parentheses or in a separate search box).
  3. Use NOT to declutter your results if you need to exclude something. In Google use a dash before the term you wish to exclude: jaguars -cars.
  4. Put phrase you want to search in quotation marks, e.g. "hot dog."

Using the VPN off-campus at IUPUI

Using the VPN off-campus at IUPUI

What is it?

VPN, or virtual private network, let's you join IUPUI's network while off-campus by creating a secure connection to campus.

Why use it?

Using a VPN lets you access IP-restricted resources easily from home. For example, library databases, e-books, and shared folders.

How to Connect

  1. Download Pulse Secure from IUWare. http://iuware.iu/edu
  2. Connect Your computer to IUPUI's network and login to start your session.
  3. Use library resources to do research from home using your computer, phone, or tablet.


Contact the UITS Support Center @ 317-274-HELP or go to:

Our Favorite Library Apps

Our Favorite Library Apps

Besides social media apps (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that you use to follow @iupui_ulib, did you know there are a bunch of apps to help you use University Library and its resources?

Here are some of our favorites:


BrowZine allows you to discover and follow journals in your field by subject or title. Fill a virtual bookshelf with journals you read and create alerts to new issues. Read and save individual articles or share them through email, citation management programs, or social media.

Bluefire Reader / Ebrary / EBSCO e-books / OverDrive

E-reader apps that accommodate many types of ebooks. NOTE: Overdrive also allows you to listen to audiobooks and is available at the Indianapolis Public Library.


Box is a secure cloud storage sponsored by Indiana University. Use Box to view and share your saved files. (Edit them in a separate app like Word or DocsToGo).


Access the IUPUI Learning Management System (LMS) from your mobile device.


Apps used by many public libraries, including in Indianapolis, which all you to stream movies & music.

IU Mobile

The IU Mobile app allows you to access One.IU from your mobile device.


PulseSecure connects you to the campus network through a VPN so you can access library subscription materials such as databases.

EndNote / Mendeley / Zotero (ZotPad, 3rd party)

Citation management tools have apps that allow you to access your research on mobile devices. Some are from third parties, like ZotPad.

Information Timeline

Information Timeline

An Event Occurs (An event, discovery, artistic creation...)

Minutes to Hours: Television, radio, the Internet, News Sites, Social Media report basic facts of the event. Since information is reported as the event happens, facts may not be accurate or verified. Audience? General Public. Purpose? Response to the Event.

Days to Weeks: The event appears in newspapers and magazines. There has been some time to fact check. New information is reported and often includes expert opinions. Analysis of the event begins. Audience? General Public. Purpose? Analysis of the Event.

Months to Years: Academics and experts begin researching, experimenting, and studying the event. Academic articles and books appear. Audience? Academics, Experts, Professionals. Purpose? Analysis of the Event.

More Years: General facts about the event are established and overviews appear in reference materials like textbooks and encyclopedias (e.g., Wikipedia). Audience? Both General Public and Academics. Purpose? Place the event into the general context of knowledge.

Adapted from: "Knowledge Cycle" Start Your Research Tutorial, IUPUI University Library from an original at the University of California Irvine and an adaptation at Claremont Colleges Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License; and, Meagan Lacy, "Problems with Authority," Guttman Community College, slide 5,

A very short overview of Peer-Review

A very short overview of Peer-Review

  1. A Scholar studies something, writes about it, and submits it to a journal for publication.
  2. Journal editor receives the article and sends it to other scholars for peer-review.
  3. Peer-reviewers read the article and provide feedback to the editor.
  4. The editor either accepts, accepts with edits, or rejects the article.
  5. Author revises the article based on peer-review feedback & submits.
  6. If it is accepted, the article is published in a peer-reviewed journals.

What do peer-reviewers do?

  • Ensure there are no errors.
  • Evaluate the quality of the research in the article.
  • Check for unsupported claims.


Which Source Do I Use?

Which Source Do I Use?

I need....Scholarly Sources. Then Use....Political Science & Legal Databases, Interdisciplinary Databases, and Books (IUCAT).

I need....Very Current Information. Then Use...Newspapers, Think Tanks, IGOs & NGOS.

I need....Data or Statistics. Then Use....Think Tanks, Statistics Databases, Opinion & Poll Databases, IGOs & NGOs.

I need....Primary Sources. Then Use....Newspapers, Government Sources.

Which source do I use? LGBTQ Resources

Which Source do I use?

This page is organized primarily by subject (except for the separate Books and Organizations & Assocations pages).

  • If you need LGBTQ resources, then use LGBTQ Databases; Organizations & Associations; and Multimedia.
  • If you need Scholarly Sources, then use LGBTQ Databases; Interdisciplinary Databases; Legal & Political; Culture & History, Arts, Film, Media, & Literature; Psychology & Sociology; Books (IUCAT).
  • If you need Very Current Information, then use Newspapers & Magazines (find them in the same databases as "Scholarly Sources"); Organizations & Associations.
  • If you need Data or Statistics, then use Google; Legal & Political.
  • If you need Primary Sources, then use LGBTQ Databases; Culture & History; Arts, Film, Media, & Literature; University Library > Home Page > Databases > Limit "Database Type" to "Primary Sources."
  • If you need Community Information, then use Organizations & Associations.

Types of Sources

Types of Sources

Books = In-depth, detailed coverage of a topic and background information.


  • Scholarly Journals = Up-to-date and highly specific for scholars and researchers.
  • Trade Publications = Targeted towards professionals in a discipline or industry.
  • Magazines = Broad summaries of issues for a general audience.

Newspapers = Up-to-date, national and regional information for a general audience.

Internet = Wide variety of information. Evaluate websites carefully.

Which Source Do I Use?

Which Source Do I Use?

I need.....Scholarly Sources. Then use.....Disciplinary databases (e.g., Business Source, Historical Abstracts); Interdisciplinary Databases (e.g., Academic Search); Books (IUCAT); Google Scholar.

I need....Very Current Information. Then use....Newspapers; Google.

I need....Data or Statistics. Then use....Google; Statistics databases; Government Sites; Think Tanks; IGOS & NGOs.

I need....Primary Sources. Then use...Newspapers; Government Sites; Google; Library Websites.

Databases Page URL:

To find scholarly sources, sort by: All Subjects.

To find data or statistics, sort by: All database types, then data & statistics.

To find primary sources, sort by: All database types, then primary sources.




The Research Process - CRAAP Evaluation

The Research Process

(A cyclical process)

  1. Your Question (your information need, aka thesis or topic)
  2. Find Background Info (Wikipedia, Textbooks, Books, Newspapers, Google)
  3. Find Materials (IUCAT, Library Databases, Bibliographies, Footnotes) (CHECK: Are you finding enough sources? If not, you may need to return to #1 and refine your topic.)
  4. Read & Evaluate (Think of the CRAAP criteria - Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose - to determine if the source is good) (CHECK: Think! Are your sources the best evidence to support your argument? If not, return to #3.)
  5. Organize, Write, & Cite (Citation software can help: Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero) (CHECK: Synthesize and take good notes! Don't fall victim to plagiarism when you write.)

Identifying a Research Gap

Identifying a Research Gap

What is a research gap? Missing pieces or areas in the literature that have not yet been explored or are under-explored.

The gap could be in: population or sample (e.g., size, type, location, etc.); methodology; data collection and/or analysis; other research variables.

How to identify a gap:

  1. Figure out your topic or research area.
  2. Read the literature (articles, literature reviews, meta-analysis, systematic reviews).
    1. Tip: Read the "introduction," conclusion," and "suggestions for future research" sections which often mention the reasons why that research was done as well as where additional research is needed.
  3. Find additional articles.
    1. Tip: Mine the bibliography. Look at who has cited the article (Google Scholar, Web of Science).