Start the Search
Adapt the Search
Database Selection: Choices Available
Before starting a search, you will need to plan where to search for information. Broadly speaking you can search three distinct places: library catalogs (for books), databases (for articles) and the freely available Internet (for rare needles in the haystack).
Books, searchable via library catalogs, are great sources of both general and highly specific information. Depending on the topic or discipline, books may be the preferred source of information. Searching for books via the library catalog, however, is covered in another tutorial.
Databases provide access to high quality, up-to-date information from respected publishers and publications. They provide sophisticated search capabilities and access in many instances to online full-text articles.
Be very careful using the freely available web. You risk finding too much "junk," with web pages that contain potentially biased information from unreliable and unverifiable sources. For finding accurate, useful information quickly, the web is generally no match for database and catalog searching.
May 4th, 2004