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Research: From selecting a topic to writing the bibliography

Use this guide for assistance with all aspects of the research process.

Starting to search for sources

Now that you've decided what kinds of materials you need -- be they books, peer-reviewed articles, government reports, newspaper articles, statistics, etc. -- librarians can walk you through selecting the best place to search.

Here are two often-used places to search - the catalog and a general database.  Select subject specific databases are listed in a separate box below.

Examples of the Process of Selecting Where to Search

Let's say your general topic is "Cloud Computing Security" and you want to see what kinds of peer-reviewed articles are out there on this topic.

Consider this:

  • Who would produce this information?  Peer-reviewed articles are written by academics who are experts in their field

               → You will need to select a database that includes peer-reviewed articles (not every library database does).

  • What angle, discipline, or perspective am I looking for?  Consider what class this research is for -- are you studying Engineering? Safety and Security Leadership? Business Management? Computer Science? Or do you want a multi-disciplinary approach?

               → The library has databases that focus on different disciplines.  Select the discipline that best captures your approach; or better yet, search a few databases to get a fuller perspective on your research question.

Specialized Places to Search

This is a short list to demonstrate the breadth of options. Browse all databases GW subscribes to.  

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