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BCORE 104G: Academic Literacy: Building Community, Talent, and Cultural Competency Skills (Buttler): Research

Get academically-approved Background Information from Gale Virtual Reference

Sort of like an episode recap at the beginning of a tv show, reference sources are designed to get you up to speed on a subject quickly, providing background information and the history of a topic. Reference materials can be very general or can be discipline-specific (like specialized subject encyclopedias). Researchers use encyclopedic and reference sources to establish a fuller picture of the players, conditions, perspectives and events related to their topics.

When you search in Gale Virtual Reference, it will suggest subtopics if you type in your broadest keyword (e.g., "coffee"). You can override Gale's suggestions to combine your keyword with another of your choosing by using the word AND in all caps like this: coffee AND culture.

Academic Search Complete

As you progress in college, you'll learn more about the nature of scholarly communication, and what it means that an article is "peer reviewed" or "scholarly." Academic Search Complete offers a way to limit your search to "Scholarly (peer reviewed) journals." Just check the box, and Academic Search Complete will skip over news and magazine articles that aren't peer reviewed, and give you only results from "scholarly journals."

UW Libraries Search

Explore Research Guides by Subject

Each academic discipline has specialized ways of doing research and specialized tools for finding sources. The Research Guides at the Campus Library serve as an introduction to doing information-related research in the interdisciplinary areas of study that you'll find at UW Bothell.  These Research Guides by Subject provide access to the research tools (journal article databases, catalogs, background information, data sources, web sites, and more) important in that area of study.

  • Research Guides by Subject
    Discipline-specific and interdisciplinary guides to doing research and finding sources, with contact information for subject librarians. This page also links to other specialized guides, about academic tasks like creating annotated bibliographies, citing using different citation styles, evaluating sources, and more. The "Starting Points" box leads to 3 large interdisciplinary databases, like Academic Search Complete.


The tutorials below do not reflect a change that has been made to our libraries' systems recently. You should now be automatically prompted to enter your UW NetID to get into UW restricted content when off campus, so please ignore references to the off-campus access button.

How Do I use Gale Virtual Reference?

Gale Virtual Reference thumbnailFind background information on a topic with Gale Virtual Reference | Time - 0:3:26 | Transcript | Play video

Getting to the full text

To locate the full text of an article in a database, use the purple button: 

How do I use Academic Search Complete?

Ebsco - Academic Search Complete tutorialSearch for articles in the Academic Search Complete database | Time - 0:3:54 | Transcript | Play video

What is a scholarly journal article?

Chances are you’ll need to find a scholarly journal article for a research paper or project in the near future. But, wait, what is a "scholarly journal article?" How is it different from a popular source like a newspaper or magazine article? Let's reduce the confusion on scholarly journal articles.  | Time - 3:00 | Transcript | Play Video

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