Understanding source types can help you determine where you need to search for your research. Below is a list of commonly used resources with brief descriptions of the information they can provide.
Books and Ebooks
- Cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction.
- Useful for the complete background on an issue or an in-depth analysis of a theory or person.
- Can take years to publish, so may not always include the most current information.
- Find these sources by using ICC's library catalog found on our homepage
Reference Sources, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks
- Offer introductory overviews.
- You can find background information to help you select a topic and place it in the broader context of the discipline.
- Include facts, figures, addresses, statistics, definitions, dates, etc.
- Find ICC's reference source list on the A-Z Database List.
Scholarly Peer-Reviewed/Academic Journals
- Contain articles written and reviewed by experts in the discipline.
- Topics are usually more narrowly focused.
- Articles must go through a peer review process before they're accepted for publication.
- Articles tend to have a narrower focus and more analysis of the topic than those in other types of publications.
- Include cited references or footnotes at the end of research articles.
- Use Journal Search to find specific academic journals.
- Written for general audiences and are meant to entertain, inform, or present an opinion.
- Include articles on diverse topics of popular interest and current events.
- Articles typically written by journalists or professional writers.
- Available in print and online and one of the first mediums to report on an event.
- Provides very current information about events, people, or places at the time they are published.
- Useful for information on current events or to track the development of a story as it unfolds.
- NewsBank and Newspaper Source are popular databases to search for news articles. Find them on the A-Z Database List.
- Available through the library and provide scholarly coverage in a variety of disciplines.
- Users can create playlists and create clips that can be embedded into other documents.
- Video databases such as Films on Demand and Kanopy can be found through the A-Z Database List.
- Provide ready access to information of all kinds.
- They often provide valuable information, but you must carefully evaluate the credibility and reliability of web sources.