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Research Guides

The Process of Information Research

Research, it must be understood, is a process.  Depending on the goal of the researcher, it can take many forms.  For example, a general search for a few broad articles to understand an area of study looks very different from the type of in-depth search required to start a research project or dissertation.  Here's a very loose guide to the process:

  • Start with dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias to help understand and define your topic.
  • Review articles, useful to understand what's currently being done in the field of your topic.  Articles generally provide excellent bibliographies.
  • In-depth searching of databases will update and fill in the complete picture.
  • Take advantage of citation links, which indicate which papers have cited your key articles as well as the papers that it cited.