Good researchers make use of more than one type of material and weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each type.
- In-depth coverage of topics.
- Provide footnotes and bibliographies which lead to other sources of information.
- Give you historical perspectives on topics.
- Often provide case studies, statistics, facts, in-depth knowledge and authors' opinions.
- Some are published online through such Library subscription services as NetLibrary; tables of contents, bibliographies and indexes can be searched and information obtained full-text.
- Will not always contain the most current information. Magazine or journal articles are a better source for the most up-to-date information.
- Shorter than books, can be read in less time.
- Published frequently, so the information contained in them is usually up-to-date; especially important when you need the most current information.
- Scholarly articles provide reliable information written by experts in the field.
- Can often be found online, in full-text. (But to search them by subject, you need to use a database. See "Articles" resources tab under your subject.)
- Need to be the right type of periodical for the topic: scholarly, trade, or popular. (If you are unsure about a periodical title, ask a Librarian for assistance or consult your instructor.)
- Tend to feature very focused, in-depth information, will not help if you need the "big picture."
- Very current information; newspapers are usually published daily or weekly.
- Excellent sources of regional and local news.
- Articles are usually short and easy to read.
- Provide insight into events, trends, and issues as they become current in the news.
- Articles often found online, in full-text. See Lexis/Nexis, also "Newpapers" resource tab under your subject.
- Not usually considered scholarly resources.
- For the most part, articles do not provide in-depth insight and information on subjects.
- May reflect a political, economic, personal or social bias; learn to evaluate the information to discover its worth.
- Advice on evaluating and choosing Web sites.
- Often provides the most current information of any resource.
- Can provide statistics, opinions, factual information. illustrations, tables, charts, photographs, maps and more.
- Enormous amounts of government, educational, and institutional information can be found on the World Wide Web.
- Search engines make Web sites easy to find...although you may get thousands of hits.
- Your instructor may not permit you to use Web sites. Better check to make sure!