6. Smart Research Strategies: Specialized web search engines
In-depth research is a large part of the reason college/university library
exists. As you progress into higher-level courses, the importance of in-depth
research will increase.
While some in-depth resources are at a lower content level, many are written
at a higher level. Some may be only understood by experts in a very narrow
One of the issues with in-depth resources is that they often take longer to
get published. Remember the diagram from the previous page:
As mentioned on the previous page, news or opinion resources
tend to be the best places to find information on extremely recent events.
Generally, topics will take longer to get into scholarly journal articles and
even longer to make it into books.
Here are some in-depth sources of information you may want to
Scholarly & Government Web Sites
While there is a lot of good information online, some of the best and
most authoritative information will be found on academic or government
You can use general search engines to find these resources (use the
advanced search to limit to domains such as .gov for US government sites
and .edu for US academic sites) or focus in on specific disciplines
using subject-specific search engines. Some examples (click on image
Books are usually the most in-depth information resource type and
because of that, usually take longer to become available than other
information types. However, they can’t be beat for the amount of detail
on a topic.
Try out these sources for e-books (click image to access):
Find items in print and other formats (free to search):
Articles from newspapers and magazines are usually brief overviews on a
topic. These are usually written for the general public,
Journal articles, especially peer-reviewed journal articles,
offer some of the most important information on a topic available. These
are written by experts in the field and target others studying or
researching that field.
You can use specialized databases to find articles. While free
resources may give you access to articles, they may ask you to pay for
content. Using the OSU Libraries' subscription databases will get you
access to far more content that is free to users.
Here are some databases to try for finding articles (click image to
Free resources (free to search, articles may
not be free):
Data is very important to research in many disciplines. While many
people use data they gather themselves, it is also possible for people
to find existing data. Many books and journal articles on a topic will
contain data, but you can also search resources directly for data.
Data can be numerical, textual, or even audio or visual (or a mix of
any of these). If you use data in any fashion, you need to cite your
source for it.
Try out these resources for data (click image to access):