Skip Nav

Research Paper Resources: Online Resources

Navigation menu

❶Then, as you are writing down notes, you can just write down the number of that source. These principles include deontology , consequentialism , virtue ethics and value ethics.

Don't want to cite by hand?

The 411 on Research Papers
Periodical Databases
Contact a Librarian

A book can have a great title, but no information. On the other hand, a book that doesn't seem to go along with what you are doing can turn out to have a lot of usable information. Books are generally a great resource--they often contain a lot of information gathered into one place, and they can give you a more thorough investigation of your topic. As you are reading a book, journal article, or newspaper article, you should keep the following questions in mind, which will help you understand how useful the book will be to you.

Magazines including Time or Newsweek are called periodicals as they are published periodically weekly, monthly, etc. Most libraries only keep the most current issues of these magazines on the shelf. The rest are bound together in collections, usually by year.

These are usually kept in a separate room in the basement, to my experience! Usually, the location is a place called "the stacks," which is where you go to look for periodicals that are older than the current issue.

Remember that you can't take these out of the library. If you find articles that you want to take home, you need to photocopy them. Newspaper articles are sometimes in the bound periodicals, but are more often found on microfiche or microfilm. Make sure to distinguish between general interest magazines and professional journals; this is an important distinction in college-level research.

Microfiche or microfilm is a device which can be extremely frustrating. Don't hesitate to ask for help from your nearby reference person.

Microfiche or microfilm comes in two forms--small cards of information fiche , or long film-type strips of information film. Once you insert these into the microfiche or microfilm machine and there are separate machines for each , you will be able to see the text of the article that you are looking for.

Often, you will have to scan through quite a bit of film to find what you are looking for. Microfiche and microfilm are kept in boxes, and sometimes you have to request the date that you are looking for. With persistence, you can find some wonderful resources on microfiche and microfilm. Many libraries today, especially if they are larger libraries, have information available on CDROM or through what are called specialized databases. Be sure to tell a reference librarian what you are working on, and ask her advice on whether or not there is information available on CDROM or through a specialized database.

Government documents are currently available on CDROM and often offer updated information census data, for example. The reference librarian can tell you which CDs might be the most helpful and can help you sign them out and use them. There are many specialized databases. Some examples are ERIC, the educational database, and Silver Platter, which offers texts of recent articles in particular subjects yep, the whole article is available right through the computer, which is often less time-consuming than looking through the stacks for it The American Psychological Association has the titles of articles on specific subjects psychology, sociology, etc.

Sociofile is another example. Ask your reference librarian to see exactly what is available. One good thing about specialized databases is that you already know the source and orientation of the article. You also know that the source is a valid and reputable one. You will need the reference librarian's help getting into specialized databases--most libraries require that the databases have passwords.

Bring your own paper if you plan on doing this type of research! Many libraries allow you to print from the databases, but you must supply your own paper. Internet research is another popular option these days. You can research from home if you have internet search capabilities, or you usually can research from the library. Most libraries have internet connections on at least a few computers, although sometimes you need to sign up for them in advance.

Even if there doesn't seem to be much of a crowd around, be sure to sign up on the sheet so that you don't have someone come along and try to take your spot. Internet research can be very rewarding, but it also has its drawbacks.

Many libraries have set their computers on a particular search engine, or a service that will conduct the research for you. Internet research can be time consuming. You will need to search much the way you would on the library database computers--simply type in key words or authors or titles, and see what the computer comes up with. Then you will have to read through the list of choices that you are given and see if any of them match what you think you are looking for.

There are a lot of resources on the internet that are not going to be valuable to you. Part of your internet research will include evaluating the resources that you find. Personal web pages are NOT a good source to go by--they often have incorrect information on them and can be very misleading.

Be sure that your internet information is from a recognized source such as the government, an agency that you are sure is a credible source the Greenpeace web page, for example, or the web page for the National Institute of Health , or a credible news source CBS, NBC, and ABC all have web pages. A rule of thumb when doing internet research: One good source to help you determine the credibility of online information is available from UCLA: Check out the Content and Evaluation and Sources and Data sections.

Taking notes is an important part of doing research. Be sure when you take notes that you write down the source that they are from! One way of keeping track is to make yourself a "master list"--a number list of all of the sources that you have. Then, as you are writing down notes, you can just write down the number of that source. A good place to write notes down is on note cards.

This way you can take the note cards and organize them later according to the way you want to organize your paper. While taking notes, also be sure to write down the page number of the information. You will need this later on when you are writing your paper. Any time that you use information that is not what is considered "common knowledge," you must acknowledge your source.

For example, when you paraphrase or quote, you need to indicate to your reader that you got the information from somewhere else. This scholarly practice allows your reader to follow up that source to get more information.

You must create what is called a citation in order to acknowledge someone else's ideas. You use parentheses in your text, and inside the parentheses you put the author's name and the page number there are several different ways of doing this.

You should look at your course guide carefully to determine which format you should be using. Check out more specific information on how to document sources. Using sources to support your ideas is one characteristic of the research paper that sets it apart from personal and creative writing. Sources come in many forms, such as magazine and journal articles, books, newspapers, videos, films, computer discussion groups, surveys, or interviews.

The trick is to find and then match appropriate, valid sources to your own ideas. But where do you go to obtain these sources? For college research papers, you will need to use sources available in academic libraries college or university libraries as opposed to public libraries.

Here you will find journals and other texts that go into more depth in a discipline and are therefore more appropriate for college research than those sources written for the general public. Some, though not all, of these sources are now in electronic format, and may be accessible outside of the library using a computer.

Primary sources are original, first-hand documents such as creative works, research studies, diaries and letters, or interviews you conduct. Secondary sources are comments about primary sources such as analyses of creative work or original research, or historical interpretations of diaries and letters.

You can use a combination of primary and secondary sources to answer your research question, depending on the question and the type of sources it requires. If you're writing a paper on the reasons for a certain personality disorder, you may read an account written by a person with that personality disorder, a case study by a psychiatrist, and a textbook that summarizes a number of case studies. The first-hand account and the psychiatrist's case study are primary sources, written by people who have directly experienced or observed the situation themselves.

The textbook is a secondary source, one step removed from the original experience or observation. For example, if you asked what the sea symbolized in Hemingway's story "The Old Man and the Sea," you'd need to consult the story as a primary source and critics' interpretations of the story as a secondary source.

An on-line catalog has replaced card catalogs in many libraries as a means of listing and indexing what is in the library. You use an on-line catalog the same way you use a card catalog: So don't feel intimidated if you haven't yet searched on-line; anyway, the directions are right on the screen. Most of the searches that you do for a research paper will be subject searches, unless you already know enough about the field to know some standard sources by author or title. When using an on-line catalog or a card catalog, make sure to jot down the source's name, title, place of publication, publication date, and any other relevant bibliographic information that you will need later on if you choose to use the source in your research paper.

Also remember to record the call number, which is the number you use to find the item in the library. Magazines are written for the general public, so they contain articles that do not present a subject in depth. Journals are written by and for professionals in various fields and will provide you with in-depth, specific information. Your professors will expect you to use some journals; in fact, the more advanced your courses are, the more you should be using journal articles in your research as opposed to magazine articles.

How do you find articles to answer your research question? It's inefficient to go through volumes of magazines and journals, even if you could think of appropriate ones. Most magazine and journal articles are referenced in either an index or an abstract. An index lists magazine or journal articles by subject.

Find the correct subject heading or keyword to search for articles. Write down all the information for each article. Check the index's abbreviation key if you can't understand the abbreviations in the entry. Make sure to write down all of the entry's information so you can find the article IF your library carries the magazine or journal. If not, you can use the information to request the article through interlibrary loan. Specific indices the "correct" plural of index exist for journals in just about every field of study Business Index, Social Science Index, General Science Index, Education Index, and many more , while there's only one major index to general interest magazines The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature.

Many libraries have many of these indices on their on-line systems; check with the reference librarian if you have a question about indices available on-line.

An abstract is like an index with a brief description of the article's content added. You'll soon see that it's great to be researching in a field that has an abstract, since this short explanation can help you make an early decision about the relevance of the article to your research question or working thesis. A bound, printed abstract takes two steps to use.

The first step is the same--find the appropriate subject heading in the index portion and write down all of the information in the entry.

Note that the entry will also include a number or some kind of an identifying code. Then use the number or code in the "abstracts" portion to find a description of the type of information that's in the article. Again, if an article seems appropriate, write down all of the entry information so you can find the article in your library or through interlibrary loan and so you'll have the information for your works cited or references list at the end of your paper.

The most commonly used index to newspaper articles is the New York Times Index, organized alphabetically by subject.

Find the appropriate subject heading and jot down the information so you can find the article, which is usually on microfilm, unless you're dealing with a very recent issue of the Times. Your local newspaper also may publish an index, which may be useful if you are researching local history or politics. Encyclopedias provide background information about a subject. Note that you should confine your use of encyclopedias to background information only, since their information is too general to function as an appropriate source for a college paper.

Specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries provide background in specific fields e. Facts on File and Statistical Abstracts provide brief bits of statistical information that can aid your research. For example, if you're doing on a paper on airline safety since deregulation, it's a safe bet that you can find statistics on airline safety problems in one of these reference books. Other reference books abound e. Take time, at some point, to browse your library's shelves in the reference section to see how many different types of reference books exist and to consider how you may use them.

It will be time well spent. This includes lower criticism and sensual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following concepts are part of most formal historical research: The controversial trend of artistic teaching becoming more academics-oriented is leading to artistic research being accepted as the primary mode of enquiry in art as in the case of other disciplines. As such, it is similar to the social sciences in using qualitative research and intersubjectivity as tools to apply measurement and critical analysis.

It is based on artistic practices, methods, and criticality. Through presented documentation, the insights gained shall be placed in a context. According to artist Hakan Topal , in artistic research, "perhaps more so than other disciplines, intuition is utilized as a method to identify a wide range of new and unexpected productive modalities". This may be factual, historical, or background research. Background research could include, for example, geographical or procedural research. The Society for Artistic Research SAR publishes the triannual Journal for Artistic Research JAR , [22] [23] an international, online, open access , and peer-reviewed journal for the identification, publication, and dissemination of artistic research and its methodologies, from all arts disciplines and it runs the Research Catalogue RC , [24] [25] [26] a searchable, documentary database of artistic research, to which anyone can contribute.

Patricia Leavy addresses eight arts-based research ABR genres: Research is often conducted using the hourglass model structure of research. The major steps in conducting research are: The steps generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps.

Often, a literature review is conducted in a given subject area before a research question is identified. A gap in the current literature, as identified by a researcher, then engenders a research question. The research question may be parallel to the hypothesis.

The hypothesis is the supposition to be tested. The researcher s collects data to test the hypothesis. The researcher s then analyzes and interprets the data via a variety of statistical methods, engaging in what is known as empirical research.

The results of the data analysis in rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis are then reported and evaluated. At the end, the researcher may discuss avenues for further research. However, some researchers advocate for the reverse approach: The reverse approach is justified by the transactional nature of the research endeavor where research inquiry, research questions, research method, relevant research literature, and so on are not fully known until the findings have fully emerged and been interpreted.

Rudolph Rummel says, " It is only when a range of tests are consistent over many kinds of data, researchers, and methods can one have confidence in the results. Plato in Meno talks about an inherent difficulty, if not a paradox, of doing research that can be paraphrased in the following way, "If you know what you're searching for, why do you search for it?!

The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. This process takes three main forms although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be obscure:. There are two major types of empirical research design: Researchers choose qualitative or quantitative methods according to the nature of the research topic they want to investigate and the research questions they aim to answer:.

Social media posts are used for qualitative research. The quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories.

If the research question is about people, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments this is the only way that a quantitative study can be considered a true experiment. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants.

In either qualitative or quantitative research, the researcher s may collect primary or secondary data. Primary data is data collected specifically for the research, such as through interviews or questionnaires. Secondary data is data that already exists, such as census data, which can be re-used for the research.

It is good ethical research practice to use secondary data wherever possible. For example, a researcher may choose to conduct a qualitative study and follow it up with a quantitative study to gain additional insights. Big data has brought big impacts on research methods so that now many researchers do not put much effort into data collection; furthermore, methods to analyze easily available huge amounts of data have also been developed.

Non-empirical theoretical research is an approach that involves the development of theory as opposed to using observation and experimentation. As such, non-empirical research seeks solutions to problems using existing knowledge as its source. This, however, does not mean that new ideas and innovations cannot be found within the pool of existing and established knowledge.

Non-empirical research is not an absolute alternative to empirical research because they may be used together to strengthen a research approach. Neither one is less effective than the other since they have their particular purpose in science. Typically empirical research produces observations that need to be explained; then theoretical research tries to explain them, and in so doing generates empirically testable hypotheses; these hypotheses are then tested empirically, giving more observations that may need further explanation; and so on.

A simple example of a non-empirical task is the prototyping of a new drug using a differentiated application of existing knowledge; another is the development of a business process in the form of a flow chart and texts where all the ingredients are from established knowledge.

Much of cosmological research is theoretical in nature. Mathematics research does not rely on externally available data; rather, it seeks to prove theorems about mathematical objects. Research ethics involves the application of fundamental ethical principles to a variety of topics involving research, including scientific research. These principles include deontology , consequentialism , virtue ethics and value ethics.

Ethical issues may arise in the design and implementation of research involving human experimentation or animal experimentation , such as: Research ethics is most developed as a concept in medical research. The key agreement here is the Declaration of Helsinki.

The Nuremberg Code is a former agreement, but with many still important notes. Research in the social sciences presents a different set of issues than those in medical research [44] and can involve issues of researcher and participant safety, empowerment and access to justice.

When research involves human subjects, obtaining informed consent from them is essential. In many disciplines, Western methods of conducting research are predominant. The increasing participation of indigenous peoples as researchers has brought increased attention to the lacuna in culturally-sensitive methods of data collection.

Non-Western methods of data collection may not be the most accurate or relevant for research on non-Western societies. Periphery scholars face the challenges of exclusion and linguicism in research and academic publication.

As the great majority of mainstream academic journals are written in English, multilingual periphery scholars often must translate their work to be accepted to elite Western-dominated journals. Peer review is a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication.

Usually, the peer review process involves experts in the same field who are consulted by editors to give a review of the scholarly works produced by a colleague of theirs from an unbiased and impartial point of view, and this is usually done free of charge.

The tradition of peer reviews being done for free has however brought many pitfalls which are also indicative of why most peer reviewers decline many invitations to review. The open access movement assumes that all information generally deemed useful should be free and belongs to a "public domain", that of "humanity". For instance, most indigenous communities consider that access to certain information proper to the group should be determined by relationships.

There is alleged to be a double standard in the Western knowledge system. On the one hand, "digital right management" used to restrict access to personal information on social networking platforms is celebrated as a protection of privacy, while simultaneously when similar functions are utilised by cultural groups i. Even though Western dominance seems to be prominent in research, some scholars, such as Simon Marginson, argue for "the need [for] a plural university world".

This could be due to changes in funding for research both in the East and the West. Focussed on emphasizing educational achievement, East Asian cultures, mainly in China and South Korea, have encouraged the increase of funding for research expansion. In several national and private academic systems, the professionalisation of research has resulted in formal job titles.

In present-day Russia, the former Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet states the term researcher Russian: The term is also sometimes translated as research fellow , research associate , etc. Academic publishing is a system that is necessary for academic scholars to peer review the work and make it available for a wider audience. The system varies widely by field and is also always changing, if often slowly. Most academic work is published in journal article or book form.

There is also a large body of research that exists in either a thesis or dissertation form. These forms of research can be found in databases explicitly for theses and dissertations.

In publishing, STM publishing is an abbreviation for academic publications in science, technology, and medicine. Most established academic fields have their own scientific journals and other outlets for publication, though many academic journals are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields.

The kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions of knowledge or research vary greatly between fields, from the print to the electronic format. A study suggests that researchers should not give great consideration to findings that are not replicated frequently. Since about the early s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. Presently, a major trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is open access.

Most funding for scientific research comes from three major sources: These are managed primarily through universities and in some cases through military contractors. Many senior researchers such as group leaders spend a significant amount of their time applying for grants for research funds. These grants are necessary not only for researchers to carry out their research but also as a source of merit.

The Social Psychology Network provides a comprehensive list of U. Government and private foundation funding sources. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the search for knowledge. For other uses, see Research disambiguation.

For other uses, see Researcher disambiguation. For Wikipedia's policy against directly including in articles the results of editor-conducted research, see Wikipedia: Original research redirects here. For the Wikipedia policy, see Wikipedia: This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs to be updated.

Three Types of Resources

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

– Tell one of these people your research topic and ask them to point you towards useful sources. Chances are that they know more about what’s available about your particular topic than you do. Depending on the size of your school, you may have a subject area librarian for the particular type of research you are doing.

Privacy FAQs

Secondary sources are those that describe or analyze primary sources, including: reference materials – dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and; books and articles that interpret, review, or sythesize original research/fieldwork. Tertiary sources are those used to organize and locate secondary and primary sources.

About Our Ads

Research resources are usually thought of as primary sources and secondary sources. Primary sources can be firsthand accounts of actual events written by an eyewitness or original literary or artistic works. You may get lucky and get great sources, or you may get stuck with less credible sites that leave your professor wondering where you got such information. Learning how to evaluate sources for research paper writing is a key .

Cookie Info

For more indepth research or graduate level research, see the resources listed under specific academic subjects. Other useful guides include: Resources for Rhetoric Students; Citation Formats; News and Newspapers; Periodical Databases They may also expect you to cite your sources at the point in your paper where you refer to them. Sometimes it's not easy finding research sources. Find out how to find more sources for your research paper when the library doesn't help.