Finding Print Resources
While it's tempting to use the Web for all your research, the information available there is often incomplete and its technical accuracy can be harder to verify. For projects that require detailed, specific, accurate information, include print resources to help verify and extend your results.
For locating print resources, you have two primary paths:
If you are researching a very current topic such as the Human Genome Project, the electronic databases will lead you to the most recently published information. Regardless of your topic, these databases are usually the best place to start.
If you are researching an "older" topic such as the history of computers, a library catalog can lead you to books, videos, and published conference proceedings that may summarize information. The library catalog also helps you locate the resources you find through the electronic databases.
When using any resource, be sure to check its bibliography for additional sources; often you can find useful information by following up on soruces other people have already tracked down.
The next sections of the module walk you through using the library's electronic databases and online catalog.
*Note 1: Electronic Databases: Until computers, of course, these databases were published on paper; some came out yearly, while others had monthly or quarterly updates. And in many libraries, you can still find the paper versions in the library's reference area. Importantly, the print version often goes back much further than the electronic version. Most electronic databases index information dating back only to about 1980-85. Back
*Note 2: A periodical is any publication that comes out "periodically" - daily newspapers, weekly or monthly magazines like Time or The Atlantic Monthly, and quarterly academic journals such as Contemporary Literature or Journal of the American Medical Association. Back