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Research Process

Finding Sources

When considering where to look for your information, it can be helpful to think about the way information is shared and distributed, where it would be collected, and whether or not you have access, and how you have access. This section will help you understand these processes and how to access what is available to you.  

Terms & Definitions

There are a few key terms and definitions to know when talking about accessing information that will come up as you conduct your research.

Only available on paper, with no easily accessible online counterpart. 
Only is published digitally, with no print counterpart in existence. 
Open Access
A publishing model in which articles are placed onto a website with no fee to access the article. 
Pay Wall
A digital barrier preventing access to an article unless you pay money directly to the publisher.
In order to encourage subscriptions to print journals, publishers may limit databases from including digital versions of their content for a certain period of time after publication.


target store map When you go to the store, you know you will find sections that have groups of similar items together. So while you may not know exactly what you need to start a garden, you can go to a specific section and see all your options. In the same way, library databases are broken into sections that allow you to search for something that is related to that area.

Unfortunately, you may not automatically know what a section is called, the database name may not make it obvious what it is about, or it could be found in multiple places. Whether you are the kind of person who prefers to search through the whole store until you find what you need or would rather be pointed in the right direction, we can help you search for something!

Search the Whole Library:

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Point me in the right direction:

Research Library (ProQuest)

Use this database for general or multidisciplinary topics. It covers a broad range of academic subjects from arts, business, education, health, humanities, law, military, psychology, science & technology, to social sciences. Includes full text articles and ebooks.


ScienceDirect, the full-text sciences periodicals database from Elsevier, contains over 25% of the world's science, technology and medicine full text and bibliographic information.

Databases A-Z

You can choose a subject in the dropdown to see a complete listing of the databases that contain content in that discipline.