Steps in library research: Overview
- Background information on a topic can often be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources. There are encyclopedias in the reference area on the first floor of Milne Library that cover most topics.
- Find books. Books often treat a topic more comprehensively than journal articles. Books can be a good place to find an overview of a topic. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of a chapter.
- Find articles. Since journal articles are often more focused than books, they may provide more specific information than books. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of an article. Information in journal articles is usually more current than information in books.
- Find supplementary materials such as internet sites. Since articles found on the internet have rarely gone through the peer-review process, they must be carefully evaluated. It may be possible to find peer-reviewed journal articles by using Google Scholar; however, some of these articles may be author preprints and therefore may not be exactly the same as the final version.
- Organize the findings.
- Use the information to address the research topic, integrating the information you've found into a reasoned argument or presentation.
E-mail a question to a Milne librarian & get a response within 48 hours Monday through Friday.
Schedule a research consultation with a librarian to discuss your research project in depth.
Call the Research Help Desk at Milne Library at 607-436-2722.
Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library.