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Determine Your Information Need

Source Types

Various source types and their use
Type Information Use Example
Website Websites provide access to information, images, videos, and audio.
  • to locate government information/documents
  • to find current information
  • when you have plenty of time to evaluate the site

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

US Census

United Nations

Newspaper A collection of articles written by journalists about current events. Typically published daily.
  • to locate up to date information about a current event
  • to find local information
  • to read editorials, commentaries, or expert/popular opinions
Brookens Newspaper Subscriptions
Magazine A collection of articles and images about a variety of popular topics and current events. Articles are written by journalists for the general population.
  • to find information /opinions about popular topics or current events
  • to learn more about a topic if you are not an expert in the field



Psychology Today

Scholarly Article / Peer Reviewed  A collection of articles written by scholars or experts in the field. Scholarly articles, also called academic articles, can be found using databases and cover a wide range of topics and can either be original research or analysis of an issue or topic.
  • to locate original research
  • to find specific studies within a field of research
  • to locate literature reviews on a topic

Academic Search Complete

Databases by Subject

Book Provide in-depth coverage of a subject. Often include historical or contextual information regarding a topic.
  • to put a topic in context
  • to learn the history of a topic
  • to find in-depth analysis or summaries of a topic

Brookens Library Catalog

Reference Material Materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks are considered reference materials. Reference materials can be found both in print and online.
  • to learn more about a topic (background research)
  • to locate key terminology, people, or dates

Credo Reference