Last Updated: Jan 04, 2018     Views: 1

Now that so much information is accessible online, it’s easy to get confused about types of information sources — what’s what and what’s useful — whether or not it’s accessed from this Library, another Library or the free internet.

Because of different information source formats, different content providers and different availability due to ownership agreements, there is a fair amount of overlap in ability to access some information sources. To illustrate, consider all of the ways you might find an academic or “scholarly” or “peer-reviewed” journal article relevant to a specific information need.

Locating an academic journal article: A few possible access points

  • Searching All Library Search or one of many subject-specific databases and using limiters to ensure results are relevant, scholarly
  • Browsing the Periodicals section on the second floor of the Library, then paging through journals for relevant articles
  • Browsing the free internet, meaning:
    • Typing keywords into a search engine and browsing results returned,
    • Using Google Scholar,
    • Visiting official websites of scholarly organizations or publications, or
    • Receiving a link from a colleague or mining citations from another publication

Many of these methods would lead to overlapping results, but each also has the possibility to lead you to an accidental discovery or a fair amount of frustration. Hey! Research is messy.

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