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Research Guides

Getting Started on Research in the UI Library : Information Formats

A general introduction to using the library's resources.

Information Formats

Reference Books

Includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc.  Can be helpful in providing an overview of topics when you are beginning your research. Search the catalog for locations and call numbers 

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Provides in-depth information on a topic. Print books are located on the 2nd-4th floors of the library. Ebooks are linked to the library catalog. 

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Government Documents 

Any document created by a government agency in a variety of formats, such as books, pamphlets, databases, periodicals, etc. The UI Library is a federal depository for government documents. 

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Primary and Secondary Sources 

Primary sources are first-hand accounts of a specific place or time, such as diaries, photographs, interviews, etc. Secondary sources are anything that interprets or analyzes a primary source

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Scholarly Journals 

Contain articles written by experts in a particular field. Often go through a peer-review process. Print journals can be found on the 2nd floor of the Library and electronic journals on the website. 

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Trade Journals 

Written for people working in a particular industry or profession by professionals in the field. Are not peer-reviewed. 

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Popular magazines are written for the general public by journalists or professional writers. Are not peer-reviewed. 

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Newspapers and News Media 

Provides the fastest coverage of current topics and events. Written by journalists and professional writers for the general public. Print and microfilm newspapers can be found on the 2nd floor of the UI Library.

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Any Internet based site that provides information. Can be published by anyone and are not held to standards of accuracy and truthfulness. Evaluate all websites using the CRAAP Test. 

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  • Google Scholar (set Scholar preferences to include UI Library 360 Link as a Library link)

The Information Timeline

Knowing how and when different types of information are produced can be important for your research process.  Some information is produced immediately after an event, while other types are produced later.  The time can affect the content and quality of the information.  For more information,  see this page on the information cycle.

Image credit: adstarkel 

Information Timeline Video (oddest)