Book - more in-depth but dated information
Encyclopedia - general overviews of topics
Peer-reviewed journal article - up-to-date information on a topic; peer-review increases the reliability of the information
Magazine article - up-to-date information, often not very reliable and/or biased
Newspaper article - most up-to-date information on news stories; due to deadlines, information may be inaccurate
Government document - information gathered by a government intended for its own use or use by the public
Pamphlet - brief information that may be inaccurate or biased
Advertisement - always biased information
Webpage - wide variety of quality of information and it may be difficult to tell how old the information is
Blogs, message boards, discussion lists, chat rooms, e-mails - these vary widely in quality
Why do you need the information?
What kind of information will satisfy your need?
Books are useful for both general overviews of an issue and for in-depth analysis, depending on the book. You can search for books using the Library Quick Search and selecting "Books" under the "Sources" tab.
When you click on a specific book, scroll down and see if there is a Table of Contents with chapter titles. You might not need to read an entire book, just the one or two chapters that address your topic.
Databases are collections of scholarly articles, book chapters, reviews, and other information sources that have been selected by experts. Use them to find high-quality, in-depth information on specific topics. Below is a list of good places to start depending on your topic. Be aware that aspects of your topic might fall under more than one discipline. The full list of databases can be found here.