The top list of academic research databases

best research databases

2. Web of Science

5. ieee xplore, 6. sciencedirect, 7. directory of open access journals (doaj), get the most out of your academic research database, frequently asked questions about academic research databases, related articles.

Whether you are writing a thesis , dissertation, or research paper it is a key task to survey prior literature and research findings. More likely than not, you will be looking for trusted resources, most likely peer-reviewed research articles.

Academic research databases make it easy to locate the literature you are looking for. We have compiled the top list of trusted academic resources to help you get started with your research:

Scopus is one of the two big commercial, bibliographic databases that cover scholarly literature from almost any discipline. Besides searching for research articles, Scopus also provides academic journal rankings, author profiles, and an h-index calculator .

  • Coverage: 90.6 million core records
  • References: N/A
  • Discipline: Multidisciplinary
  • Access options: Limited free preview, full access by institutional subscription only
  • Provider: Elsevier

Search interface of Scopus

Web of Science also known as Web of Knowledge is the second big bibliographic database. Usually, academic institutions provide either access to Web of Science or Scopus on their campus network for free.

  • Coverage: approx. 100 million items
  • References: 1.4 billion
  • Access options: institutional subscription only
  • Provider: Clarivate (formerly Thomson Reuters)

Web of Science landing page

PubMed is the number one resource for anyone looking for literature in medicine or biological sciences. PubMed stores abstracts and bibliographic details of more than 30 million papers and provides full text links to the publisher sites or links to the free PDF on PubMed Central (PMC) .

  • Coverage: approx. 35 million items
  • Discipline: Medicine and Biological Sciences
  • Access options: free
  • Provider: NIH

Search interface of PubMed

For education sciences, ERIC is the number one destination. ERIC stands for Education Resources Information Center, and is a database that specifically hosts education-related literature.

  • Coverage: approx. 1.6 million items
  • Discipline: Education
  • Provider: U.S. Department of Education

Search interface of ERIC academic database

IEEE Xplore is the leading academic database in the field of engineering and computer science. It's not only journal articles, but also conference papers, standards and books that can be search for.

  • Coverage: approx. 6 million items
  • Discipline: Engineering
  • Provider: IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Search interface of IEEE Xplore

ScienceDirect is the gateway to the millions of academic articles published by Elsevier, 1.4 million of which are open access. Journals and books can be searched via a single interface.

  • Coverage: approx. 19.5 million items

Search interface of ScienceDirect

The DOAJ is an open-access academic database that can be accessed and searched for free.

  • Coverage: over 8 million records
  • Provider: DOAJ

Search interface of DOAJ database

JSTOR is another great resource to find research papers. Any article published before 1924 in the United States is available for free and JSTOR also offers scholarships for independent researchers.

  • Coverage: more than 12 million items
  • Provider: ITHAKA

Search interface of JSTOR

Start using a reference manager like Paperpile to save, organize, and cite your references. Paperpile integrates with PubMed and many popular databases, so you can save references and PDFs directly to your library using the Paperpile buttons:

online sources for research papers

Scopus is one of the two big commercial, bibliographic databases that cover scholarly literature from almost any discipline. Beside searching for research articles, Scopus also provides academic journal rankings, author profiles, and an h-index calculator .

PubMed is the number one resource for anyone looking for literature in medicine or biological sciences. PubMed stores abstracts and bibliographic details of more than 30 million papers and provides full text links to the publisher sites or links to the free PDF on PubMed Central (PMC)

online sources for research papers

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21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2024

#scribendiinc

Written by  Scribendi

Has this ever happened to you? While looking for websites for research, you come across a research paper site that claims to connect academics to a peer-reviewed article database for free.

Intrigued, you search for keywords related to your topic, only to discover that you must pay a hefty subscription fee to access the service. After the umpteenth time being duped, you begin to wonder if there's even such a thing as free journal articles.

Subscription fees and paywalls are often the bane of students and academics, especially those at small institutions who don't provide access to many free article directories and repositories.

Whether you're working on an undergraduate paper, a PhD dissertation, or a medical research study, we want to help you find tools to locate and access the information you need to produce well-researched, compelling, and innovative work.

Below, we discuss why peer-reviewed articles are superior and list out the best free article databases to use in 2024.

Download Our Free Research Database Roundup PDF

Why peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are more authoritative.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Determining what sources are reliable can be challenging. Peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are the gold standard in academic research. Reputable academic journals have a rigorous peer-review process.

The peer review process provides accountability to the academic community, as well as to the content of the article. The peer review process involves qualified experts in a specific (often very specific) field performing a review of an article's methods and findings to determine things like quality and credibility.

Peer-reviewed articles can be found in peer-reviewed article databases and research databases, and if you know that a database of journals is reliable, that can offer reassurances about the reliability of a free article. Peer review is often double blind, meaning that the author removes all identifying information and, likewise, does not know the identity of the reviewers. This helps reviewers maintain objectivity and impartiality so as to judge an article based on its merit.

Where to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-reviewed articles can be found in a variety of research databases. Below is a list of some of the major databases you can use to find peer-reviewed articles and other sources in disciplines spanning the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

What Are Open Access Journals?

An open access (OA) journal is a journal whose content can be accessed without payment. This provides scholars, students, and researchers with free journal articles. OA journals use alternate methods of funding to cover publication costs so that articles can be published without having to pass those publication costs on to the reader.

Open Access Journals

Some of these funding models include standard funding methods like advertising, public funding, and author payment models, where the author pays a fee in order to publish in the journal. There are OA journals that have non-peer-reviewed academic content, as well as journals that focus on dissertations, theses, and papers from conferences, but the main focus of OA is peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.

The internet has certainly made it easier to access research articles and other scholarly publications without needing access to a university library, and OA takes another step in that direction by removing financial barriers to academic content.

Choosing Wisely

Features of legitimate oa journals.

 There are things to look out for when trying to decide if a free publication journal is legitimate:

Mission statement —The mission statement for an OA journal should be available on their website.

Publication history —Is the journal well established? How long has it been available?

Editorial board —Who are the members of the editorial board, and what are their credentials?

Indexing —Can the journal be found in a reliable database?

Peer review —What is the peer review process? Does the journal allow enough time in the process for a reliable assessment of quality?

Impact factor —What is the average number of times the journal is cited over a two-year period?

Features of Illegitimate OA Journals

There are predatory publications that take advantage of the OA format, and they are something to be wary of. Here are some things to look out for:

Contact information —Is contact information provided? Can it be verified?

Turnaround —If the journal makes dubious claims about the amount of time from submission to publication, it is likely unreliable.

Editorial board —Much like determining legitimacy, looking at the editorial board and their credentials can help determine illegitimacy.

Indexing —Can the journal be found in any scholarly databases?

Peer review —Is there a statement about the peer review process? Does it fit what you know about peer review?

How to Find Scholarly Articles

Identify keywords.

Keywords are included in an article by the author. Keywords are an excellent way to find content relevant to your research topic or area of interest. In academic searches, much like you would on a search engine, you can use keywords to navigate through what is available to find exactly what you're looking for.

Authors provide keywords that will help you easily find their article when researching a related topic, often including general terms to accommodate broader searches, as well as some more specific terms for those with a narrower scope. Keywords can be used individually or in combination to refine your scholarly article search.

Narrow Down Results

Sometimes, search results can be overwhelming, and searching for free articles on a journal database is no exception, but there are multiple ways to narrow down your results. A good place to start is discipline.

What category does your topic fall into (psychology, architecture, machine learning, etc.)? You can also narrow down your search with a year range if you're looking for articles that are more recent.

A Boolean search can be incredibly helpful. This entails including terms like AND between two keywords in your search if you need both keywords to be in your results (or, if you are looking to exclude certain keywords, to exclude these words from the results).

Consider Different Avenues

If you're not having luck using keywords in your search for free articles, you may still be able to find what you're looking for by changing your tactics. Casting a wider net sometimes yields positive results, so it may be helpful to try searching by subject if keywords aren't getting you anywhere.

You can search for a specific publisher to see if they have OA publications in the academic journal database. And, if you know more precisely what you're looking for, you can search for the title of the article or the author's name.

Determining the Credibility of Scholarly Sources

Ensuring that sources are both credible and reliable is crucial to academic research. Use these strategies to help evaluate the usefulness of scholarly sources:

  • Peer Review : Look for articles that have undergone a rigorous peer-review process. Peer-reviewed articles are typically vetted by experts in the field, ensuring the accuracy of the research findings.
Tip: To determine whether an article has undergone rigorous peer review, review the journal's editorial policies, which are often available on the journal's website. Look for information about the peer-review process, including the criteria for selecting reviewers, the process for handling conflicts of interest, and any transparency measures in place.
  • Publisher Reputation : Consider the reputation of the publisher. Established publishers, such as well-known academic journals, are more likely to adhere to high editorial standards and publishing ethics.
  • Author Credentials : Evaluate the credentials and expertise of the authors. Check their affiliations, academic credentials, and past publications to assess their authority in the field.
  • Citations and References : Examine the citations and references provided in the article. A well-researched article will cite credible sources to support its arguments and findings. Verify the accuracy of the cited sources and ensure they are from reputable sources.
  • Publication Date : Consider the publication date of the article. While older articles may still be relevant, particularly in certain fields, it is best to prioritize recent publications for up-to-date research and findings.
  • Journal Impact Factor : Assess the journal's impact factor or other metrics that indicate its influence and reputation within the academic community. Higher impact factor journals are generally considered more prestigious and reliable. 
Tip: Journal Citation Reports (JCR), produced by Clarivate Analytics, is a widely used source for impact factor data. You can access JCR through academic libraries or directly from the Clarivate Analytics website if you have a subscription.
  • Peer Recommendations : Seek recommendations from peers, mentors, or professors in your field. They can provide valuable insights and guidance on reputable sources and journals within your area of study.
  • Cross-Verification : Cross-verify the information presented in the article with other credible sources. Compare findings, methodologies, and conclusions with similar studies to ensure consistency and reliability.

By employing these strategies, researchers can confidently evaluate the credibility and reliability of scholarly sources, ensuring the integrity of their research contributions in an ever-evolving landscape.

The Top 21 Free Online Journal and Research Databases

Navigating OA journals, research article databases, and academic websites trying to find high-quality sources for your research can really make your head spin. What constitutes a reliable database? What is a useful resource for your discipline and research topic? How can you find and access full-text, peer-reviewed articles?

Fortunately, we're here to help. Having covered some of the ins and outs of peer review, OA journals, and how to search for articles, we have compiled a list of the top 21 free online journals and the best research databases. This list of databases is a great resource to help you navigate the wide world of academic research.

These databases provide a variety of free sources, from abstracts and citations to full-text, peer-reviewed OA journals. With databases covering specific areas of research and interdisciplinary databases that provide a variety of material, these are some of our favorite free databases, and they're totally legit!

CORE is a multidisciplinary aggregator of OA research. CORE has the largest collection of OA articles available. It allows users to search more than 219 million OA articles. While most of these link to the full-text article on the original publisher's site, or to a PDF available for download, five million records are hosted directly on CORE.

CORE's mission statement is a simple and straightforward commitment to offering OA articles to anyone, anywhere in the world. They also host communities that are available for researchers to join and an ambassador community to enhance their services globally. In addition to a straightforward keyword search, CORE offers advanced search options to filter results by publication type, year, language, journal, repository, and author.

CORE's user interface is easy to use and navigate. Search results can be sorted based on relevance or recency, and you can search for relevant content directly from the results screen.

Collection : 219,537,133 OA articles

Other Services : Additional services are available from CORE, with extras that are geared toward researchers, repositories, and businesses. There are tools for accessing raw data, including an API that provides direct access to data, datasets that are available for download, and FastSync for syncing data content from the CORE database.

CORE has a recommender plug-in that suggests relevant OA content in the database while conducting a search and a discovery feature that helps you discover OA versions of paywalled articles. Other features include tools for managing content, such as a dashboard for managing repository output and the Repository Edition service to enhance discoverability.

Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles : Yes

Advanced Search Options : Language, author, journal, publisher, repository, DOI, year

2. ScienceOpen

Functioning as a research and publishing network, ScienceOpen offers OA to more than 74 million articles in all areas of science. Although you do need to register to view the full text of articles, registration is free. The advanced search function is highly detailed, allowing you to find exactly the research you're looking for.

The Berlin- and Boston-based company was founded in 2013 to "facilitate open and public communications between academics and to allow ideas to be judged on their merit, regardless of where they come from." Search results can be exported for easy integration with reference management systems.

You can also bookmark articles for later research. There are extensive networking options, including your Science Open profile, a forum for interacting with other researchers, the ability to track your usage and citations, and an interactive bibliography. Users have the ability to review articles and provide their knowledge and insight within the community.

Collection : 74,560,631

Other Services : None

Advanced Search Options :   Content type, source, author, journal, discipline

3. Directory of Open Access Journals

A multidisciplinary, community-curated directory, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) gives researchers access to high-quality peer-reviewed journals. It has archived more than two million articles from 17,193 journals, allowing you to either browse by subject or search by keyword.

The site was launched in 2003 with the aim of increasing the visibility of OA scholarly journals online. Content on the site covers subjects from science, to law, to fine arts, and everything in between. DOAJ has a commitment to "increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, OA scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language."

Information about the journal is available with each search result. Abstracts are also available in a collapsible format directly from the search screen. The scholarly article website is somewhat simple, but it is easy to navigate. There are 16 principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing that clearly outline DOAJ policies and standards.

Collection : 6,817,242

Advanced Search Options :   Subject, journal, year

4. Education Resources Information Center

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) of the Institution of Education Sciences allows you to search by topic for material related to the field of education. Links lead to other sites, where you may have to purchase the information, but you can search for full-text articles only. You can also search only peer-reviewed sources.

The service primarily indexes journals, gray literature (such as technical reports, white papers, and government documents), and books. All sources of material on ERIC go through a formal review process prior to being indexed. ERIC's selection policy is available as a PDF on their website.

The ERIC website has an extensive FAQ section to address user questions. This includes categories like general questions, peer review, and ERIC content. There are also tips for advanced searches, as well as general guidance on the best way to search the database. ERIC is an excellent database for content specific to education.

Collection : 1,292,897

Advanced Search Options : Boolean

5. arXiv e-Print Archive

The arXiv e-Print Archive is run by Cornell University Library and curated by volunteer moderators, and it now offers OA to more than one million e-prints.

There are advisory committees for all eight subjects available on the database. With a stated commitment to an "emphasis on openness, collaboration, and scholarship," the arXiv e-Print Archive is an excellent STEM resource.

The interface is not as user-friendly as some of the other databases available, and the website hosts a blog to provide news and updates, but it is otherwise a straightforward math and science resource. There are simple and advanced search options, and, in addition to conducting searches for specific topics and articles, users can browse content by subject. The arXiv e-Print Archive clearly states that they do not peer review the e-prints in the database.

Collection : 1,983,891

Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles : No

Advanced Search Options :   Subject, date, title, author, abstract, DOI

6. Social Science Research Network

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a collection of papers from the social sciences community. It is a highly interdisciplinary platform used to search for scholarly articles related to 67 social science topics. SSRN has a variety of research networks for the various topics available through the free scholarly database.

The site offers more than 700,000 abstracts and more than 600,000 full-text papers. There is not yet a specific option to search for only full-text articles, but, because most of the papers on the site are free access, it's not often that you encounter a paywall. There is currently no option to search for only peer-reviewed articles.

You must become a member to use the services, but registration is free and enables you to interact with other scholars around the world. SSRN is "passionately committed to increasing inclusion, diversity and equity in scholarly research," and they encourage and discuss the use of inclusive language in scholarship whenever possible.

Collection : 1,058,739 abstracts; 915,452 articles

Advanced Search Options : Term, author, date, network

7. Public Library of Science

Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a big player in the world of OA science. Publishing 12 OA journals, the nonprofit organization is committed to facilitating openness in academic research. According to the site, "all PLOS content is at the highest possible level of OA, meaning that scientific articles are immediately and freely available to anyone, anywhere."

PLOS outlines four fundamental goals that guide the organization: break boundaries, empower researchers, redefine quality, and open science. All PLOS journals are peer-reviewed, and all 12 journals uphold rigorous ethical standards for research, publication, and scientific reporting.

PLOS does not offer advanced search options. Content is organized by topic into research communities that users can browse through, in addition to options to search for both articles and journals. The PLOS website also has resources for peer reviewers, including guidance on becoming a reviewer and on how to best participate in the peer review process.

Collection : 12 journals

Advanced Search Options : None

8. OpenDOAR

OpenDOAR, or the Directory of Open Access Repositories, is a comprehensive resource for finding free OA journals and articles. Using Google Custom Search, OpenDOAR combs through OA repositories around the world and returns relevant research in all disciplines.

The repositories it searches through are assessed and categorized by OpenDOAR staff to ensure they meet quality standards. Inclusion criteria for the database include requirements for OA content, global access, and categorically appropriate content, in addition to various other quality assurance measures. OpenDOAR has metadata, data, content, preservation, and submission policies for repositories, in addition to two OA policy statements regarding minimum and optimum recommendations.

This database allows users to browse and search repositories, which can then be selected, and articles and data can be accessed from the repository directly. As a repository database, much of the content on the site is geared toward the support of repositories and OA standards.

Collection : 5,768 repositories

Other Services : OpenDOAR offers a variety of additional services. Given the nature of the platform, services are primarily aimed at repositories and institutions, and there is a marked focus on OA in general. Sherpa services are OA archiving tools for authors and institutions.

They also offer various resources for OA support and compliance regarding standards and policies. The publication router matches publications and publishers with appropriate repositories.

There are also services and resources from JISC for repositories for cost management, discoverability, research impact, and interoperability, including ORCID consortium membership information. Additionally, a repository self-assessment tool is available for members.

Advanced Search Options :   Name, organization name, repository type, software name, content type, subject, country, region

9. Bielefeld Academic Search Engine

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is operated by the Bielefeld University Library in Germany, and it offers more than 240 million documents from more than 8,000 sources. Sixty percent of its content is OA, and you can filter your search accordingly.

BASE has rigorous inclusion requirements for content providers regarding quality and relevance, and they maintain a list of content providers for the sake of transparency, which can be easily found on their website. BASE has a fairly elegant interface. Search results can be organized by author, title, or date.

From the search results, items can be selected and exported, added to favorites, emailed, and searched in Google Scholar. There are basic and advanced search features, with the advanced search offering numerous options for refining search criteria. There is also a feature on the website that saves recent searches without additional steps from the user.

Collection : 276,019,066 documents; 9,286 content providers

Advanced Search Options :   Author, subject, year, content provider, language, document type, access, terms of reuse

Research Databases

10. Digital Library of the Commons Repository

Run by Indiana University, the Digital Library of the Commons (DLC) Repository is a multidisciplinary journal repository that allows users to access thousands of free and OA articles from around the world. You can browse by document type, date, author, title, and more or search for keywords relevant to your topic.

DCL also offers the Comprehensive Bibliography of the Commons, an image database, and a keyword thesaurus for enhanced search parameters. The repository includes books, book chapters, conference papers, journal articles, surveys, theses and dissertations, and working papers. DCL advanced search features drop-down menus of search types with built-in Boolean search options.

Searches can be sorted by relevance, title, date, or submission date in ascending or descending order. Abstracts are included in selected search results, with access to full texts available, and citations can be exported from the same page. Additionally, the image database search includes tips for better search results.

Collection : 10,784

Advanced Search Options :   Author, date, title, subject, sector, region, conference

11. CIA World Factbook

The CIA World Factbook is a little different from the other resources on this list in that it is not an online journal directory or repository. It is, however, a useful free online research database for academics in a variety of disciplines.

All the information is free to access, and it provides facts about every country in the world, which are organized by category and include information about history, geography, transportation, and much more. The World Factbook can be searched by country or region, and there is also information about the world's oceans.

This site contains resources related to the CIA as an organization rather than being a scientific journal database specifically. The site has a user interface that is easy to navigate. The site also provides a section for updates regarding changes to what information is available and how it is organized, making it easier to interact with the information you are searching for.

Collection : 266 countries

12. Paperity

Paperity boasts its status as the "first multidisciplinary aggregator of OA journals and papers." Their focus is on helping you avoid paywalls while connecting you to authoritative research. In addition to providing readers with easy access to thousands of journals, Paperity seeks to help authors reach their audiences and help journals increase their exposure to boost readership.

Paperity has journal articles for every discipline, and the database offers more than a dozen advanced search options, including the length of the paper and the number of authors. There is even an option to include, exclude, or exclusively search gray papers.

Paperity is available for mobile, with both a mobile site and the Paperity Reader, an app that is available for both Android and Apple users. The database is also available on social media. You can interact with Paperity via Twitter and Facebook, and links to their social media are available on their homepage, including their Twitter feed.

Collection : 8,837,396

Advanced Search Options : Title, abstract, journal title, journal ISSN, publisher, year of publication, number of characters, number of authors, DOI, author, affiliation, language, country, region, continent, gray papers

13. dblp Computer Science Bibliography

The dblp Computer Science Bibliography is an online index of major computer science publications. dblp was founded in 1993, though until 2010 it was a university-specific database at the University of Trier in Germany. It is currently maintained by the Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics.

Although it provides access to both OA articles and those behind a paywall, you can limit your search to only OA articles. The site indexes more than three million publications, making it an invaluable resource in the world of computer science. dblp entries are color-coded based on the type of item.

dblp has an extensive FAQ section, so questions that might arise about topics like the database itself, navigating the website, or the data on dblp, in addition to several other topics, are likely to be answered. The website also hosts a blog and has a section devoted to website statistics.

Collection : 5,884,702

14. EconBiz

EconBiz is a great resource for economic and business studies. A service of the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, it offers access to full texts online, with the option of searching for OA material only. Their literature search is performed across multiple international databases.

EconBiz has an incredibly useful research skills section, with resources such as Guided Walk, a service to help students and researchers navigate searches, evaluate sources, and correctly cite references; the Research Guide EconDesk, a help desk to answer specific questions and provide advice to aid in literature searches; and the Academic Career Kit for what they refer to as Early Career Researchers.

Other helpful resources include personal literature lists, a calendar of events for relevant calls for papers, conferences, and workshops, and an economics terminology thesaurus to help in finding keywords for searches. To stay up-to-date with EconBiz, you can sign up for their newsletter.

Collection : 1,075,219

Advanced Search Options :   Title, subject, author, institution, ISBN/ISSN, journal, publisher, language, OA only

15. BioMed Central

BioMed Central provides OA research from more than 300 peer-reviewed journals. While originally focused on resources related to the physical sciences, math, and engineering, BioMed Central has branched out to include journals that cover a broader range of disciplines, with the aim of providing a single platform that provides OA articles for a variety of research needs. You can browse these journals by subject or title, or you can search all articles for your required keyword.

BioMed Central has a commitment to peer-reviewed sources and to the peer review process itself, continually seeking to help and improve the peer review process. They're "committed to maintaining high standards through full and stringent peer review."

Additionally, the website includes resources to assist and support editors as part of their commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed OA articles.

Collection : 507,212

Other Services : BMC administers the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) registry. While initially designed for registering clinical trials, since its creation in 2000, the registry has broadened its scope to include other health studies as well.

The registry is recognized by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), and it meets the requirements established by the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

The study records included in the registry are all searchable and free to access. The ISRCTN registry "supports transparency in clinical research, helps reduce selective reporting of results and ensures an unbiased and complete evidence base."

Advanced Search Options :   Author, title, journal, list

A multidisciplinary search engine, JURN provides links to various scholarly websites, articles, and journals that are free to access or OA. Covering the fields of the arts, humanities, business, law, nature, science, and medicine, JURN has indexed almost 5,000 repositories to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

Search features are enhanced by Google, but searches are filtered through their index of repositories. JURN seeks to reach a wide audience, with their search engine tailored to researchers from "university lecturers and students seeking a strong search tool for OA content" and "advanced and ambitious students, age 14-18" to "amateur historians and biographers" and "unemployed and retired lecturers."

That being said, JURN is very upfront about its limitations. They admit to not being a good resource for educational studies, social studies, or psychology, and conference archives are generally not included due to frequently unstable URLs.

Collection : 5,064 indexed journals

Other Services : JURN has a browser add-on called UserScript. This add-on allows users to integrate the JURN database directly into Google Search. When performing a search through Google, the add-on creates a link that sends the search directly to JURN CSE. JURN CSE is a search service that is hosted by Google.

Clicking the link from the Google Search bar will run your search through the JURN database from the Google homepage. There is also an interface for a DuckDuckGo search box; while this search engine has an emphasis on user privacy, for smaller sites that may be indexed by JURN, DuckDuckGo may not provide the same depth of results.

Advanced Search Options :   Google search modifiers

Dryad is a digital repository of curated, OA scientific research data. Launched in 2009, it is run by a not-for-profit membership organization, with a community of institutional and publisher members for whom their services have been designed. Members include institutions such as Stanford, UCLA, and Yale, as well as publishers like Oxford University Press and Wiley.

Dryad aims to "promote a world where research data is openly available, integrated with the scholarly literature, and routinely reused to create knowledge." It is free to access for the search and discovery of data. Their user experience is geared toward easy self-depositing, supports Creative Commons licensing, and provides DOIs for all their content.

Note that there is a publishing charge associated if you wish to publish your data in Dryad.  When searching datasets, they are accompanied by author information and abstracts for the associated studies, and citation information is provided for easy attribution.

Collection : 44,458

Advanced Search Options : No

Run by the British Library, the E-Theses Online Service (EThOS) allows you to search over 500,000 doctoral theses in a variety of disciplines. All of the doctoral theses available on EThOS have been awarded by higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.

Although some full texts are behind paywalls, you can limit your search to items available for immediate download, either directly through EThOS or through an institution's website. More than half of the records in the database provide access to full-text theses.

EThOS notes that they do not hold all records for all institutions, but they strive to index as many doctoral theses as possible, and the database is constantly expanding, with approximately 3,000 new records added and 2,000 new full-text theses available every month. The availability of full-text theses is dependent on multiple factors, including their availability in the institutional repository and the level of repository development.

Collection : 500,000+

Advanced Search Options : Abstract, author's first name, author's last name, awarding body, current institution, EThOS ID, year, language, qualifications, research supervisor, sponsor/funder, keyword, title

PubMed is a research platform well-known in the fields of science and medicine. It was created and developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). It has been available since 1996 and offers access to "more than 33 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books."

While PubMed does not provide full-text articles directly, and many full-text articles may be behind paywalls or require subscriptions to access them, when articles are available from free sources, such as through PubMed Central (PMC), those links are provided with the citations and abstracts that PubMed does provide.

PMC, which was established in 2000 by the NLM, is a free full-text archive that includes more than 6,000,000 records. PubMed records link directly to corresponding PMC results. PMC content is provided by publishers and other content owners, digitization projects, and authors directly.

Collection : 33,000,000+

Advanced Search Options : Author's first name, author's last name, identifier, corporation, date completed, date created, date entered, date modified, date published, MeSH, book, conflict of interest statement, EC/RN number, editor, filter, grant number, page number, pharmacological action, volume, publication type, publisher, secondary source ID, text, title, abstract, transliterated title

20. Semantic Scholar

A unique and easy-to-use resource, Semantic Scholar defines itself not just as a research database but also as a "search and discovery tool." Semantic Scholar harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to efficiently sort through millions of science-related papers based on your search terms.

Through this singular application of machine learning, Semantic Scholar expands search results to include topic overviews based on your search terms, with the option to create an alert for or further explore the topic. It also provides links to related topics.

In addition, search results produce "TLDR" summaries in order to provide concise overviews of articles and enhance your research by helping you to navigate quickly and easily through the available literature to find the most relevant information. According to the site, although some articles are behind paywalls, "the data [they] have for those articles is limited," so you can expect to receive mostly full-text results.

Collection : 203,379,033

Other Services : Semantic Scholar supports multiple popular browsers. Content can be accessed through both mobile and desktop versions of Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera.

Additionally, Semantic Scholar provides browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, so AI-powered scholarly search results are never more than a click away. The mobile interface includes an option for Semantic Swipe, a new way of interacting with your research results.

There are also beta features that can be accessed as part of the Beta Program, which will provide you with features that are being actively developed and require user feedback for further improvement.

Advanced Search Options : Field of study, date range, publication type, author, journal, conference, PDF

Zenodo, powered by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was launched in 2013. Taking its name from Zenodotus, the first librarian of the ancient library of Alexandria, Zenodo is a tool "built and developed by researchers, to ensure that everyone can join in open science." Zenodo accepts all research from every discipline in any file format.

However, Zenodo also curates uploads and promotes peer-reviewed material that is available through OA. A DOI is assigned to everything that is uploaded to Zenodo, making research easily findable and citable. You can sort by keyword, title, journal, and more and download OA documents directly from the site.

While there are closed access and restricted access items in the database, the vast majority of research is OA material. Search results can be filtered by access type, making it easy to view the free articles available in the database.

Collection : 2,220,000+

Advanced Search Options : Access, file type, keywords

Check out our roundup of free research databases as a handy one-page PDF.

How to find peer-reviewed articles.

There are a lot of free scholarly articles available from various sources. The internet is a big place. So how do you go about finding peer-reviewed articles when conducting your research? It's important to make sure you are using reputable sources.

The first source of the article is the person or people who wrote it. Checking out the author can give you some initial insight into how much you can trust what you’re reading. Looking into the publication information of your sources can also indicate whether the article is reliable.

Aspects of the article, such as subject and audience, tone, and format, are other things you can look at when evaluating whether the article you're using is valid, reputable, peer-reviewed material. So, let's break that down into various components so you can assess your research to ensure that you're using quality articles and conducting solid research.

Check the Author

Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts or scholars with experience in the field or discipline they're writing about. The research in a peer-reviewed article has to pass a rigorous evaluation process, so it's a foregone conclusion that the author(s) of a peer-reviewed article should have experience or training related to that research.

When evaluating an article, take a look at the author's information. What credentials does the author have to indicate that their research has scholarly weight behind it? Finding out what type of degree the author has—and what that degree is in—can provide insight into what kind of authority the author is on the subject.

Something else that might lend credence to the author's scholarly role is their professional affiliation. A look at what organization or institution they are affiliated with can tell you a lot about their experience or expertise. Where were they trained, and who is verifying their research?

Identify Subject and Audience

The ultimate goal of a study is to answer a question. Scholarly articles are also written for scholarly audiences, especially articles that have gone through the peer review process. This means that the author is trying to reach experts, researchers, academics, and students in the field or topic the research is based on.

Think about the question the author is trying to answer by conducting this research, why, and for whom. What is the subject of the article? What question has it set out to answer? What is the purpose of finding the information? Is the purpose of the article of importance to other scholars? Is it original content?

Research should also be approached analytically. Is the methodology sound? Is the author using an analytical approach to evaluate the data that they have obtained? Are the conclusions they've reached substantiated by their data and analysis? Answering these questions can reveal a lot about the article's validity.

Format Matters

Reliable articles from peer-reviewed sources have certain format elements to be aware of. The first is an abstract. An abstract is a short summary or overview of the article. Does the article have an abstract? It's unlikely that you're reading a peer-reviewed article if it doesn't. Peer-reviewed journals will also have a word count range. If an article seems far too short or incredibly long, that may be reason to doubt it.

Another feature of reliable articles is the sections the information is divided into. Peer-reviewed research articles will have clear, concise sections that appropriately organize the information. This might include a literature review, methodology, results (in the case of research articles), and a conclusion.

One of the most important sections is the references or bibliography. This is where the researcher lists all the sources of their information. A peer-reviewed source will have a comprehensive reference section.

An article that has been written to reach an academic community will have an academic tone. The language that is used, and the way this language is used, is important to consider. If the article is riddled with grammatical errors, confusing syntax, and casual language, it almost definitely didn't make it through the peer review process.

Also consider the use of terminology. Every discipline is going to have standard terminology or jargon that can be used and understood by other academics in the discipline. The language in a peer-reviewed article is going to reflect that.

If the author is going out of their way to explain simple terms, or terms that are standard to the field or discipline, it's unlikely that the article has been peer reviewed, as this is something that the author would be asked to address during the review process.

Publication

The source of the article will be a very good indicator of the likelihood that it was peer reviewed. Where was the article published? Was it published alongside other academic articles in the same discipline? Is it a legitimate and reputable scholarly publication?

A trade publication or newspaper might be legitimate or reputable, but it is not a scholarly source, and it will not have been subject to the peer review process. Scholarly journals are the best resource for peer-reviewed articles, but it's important to remember that not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed.

It's helpful to look at a scholarly source's website, as peer-reviewed journals will have a clear indication of the peer review process. University libraries, institutional repositories, and reliable databases (and now you have a list of legit ones) can also help provide insight into whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal.

Free Online Journal

Common Research Mistakes to Avoid

Research is a lot of work. Even with high standards and good intentions, it's easy to make mistakes. Perhaps you searched for access to scientific journals for free and found the perfect peer-reviewed sources, but you forgot to document everything, and your references are a mess. Or, you only searched for free online articles and missed out on a ground-breaking study that was behind a paywall.

Whether your research is for a degree or to get published or to satisfy your own inquisitive nature, or all of the above, you want all that work to produce quality results. You want your research to be thorough and accurate.

To have any hope of contributing to the literature on your research topic, your results need to be high quality. You might not be able to avoid every potential mistake, but here are some that are both common and easy to avoid.

Sticking to One Source

One of the hallmarks of good research is a healthy reference section. Using a variety of sources gives you a better answer to your question. Even if all of the literature is in agreement, looking at various aspects of the topic may provide you with an entirely different picture than you would have if you looked at your research question from only one angle.

Not Documenting Every Fact

As you conduct your research, do yourself a favor and write everything down. Everything you include in your paper or article that you got from another source is going to need to be added to your references and cited.

It's important, especially if your aim is to conduct ethical, high-quality research, that all of your research has proper attribution. If you don't document as you go, you could end up making a lot of work for yourself if the information you don't write down is something that later, as you write your paper, you really need.

Using Outdated Materials

Academia is an ever-changing landscape. What was true in your academic discipline or area of research ten years ago may have since been disproven. If fifteen studies have come out since the article that you're using was published, it's more than a little likely that you're going to be basing your research on flawed or dated information.

If the information you're basing your research on isn't as up-to-date as possible, your research won't be of quality or able to stand up to any amount of scrutiny. You don't want all of your hard work to be for naught.

Relying Solely on Open Access Journals

OA is a great resource for conducting academic research. There are high-quality journal articles available through OA, and that can be very helpful for your research. But, just because you have access to free articles, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be found behind a paywall.

Just as dismissing high-quality peer-reviewed articles because they are OA would be limiting, not exploring any paid content at all is equally short-sighted. If you're seeking to conduct thorough and comprehensive research, exploring all of your options for quality sources is going to be to your benefit.

Digging Too Deep or Not Deep Enough

Research is an art form, and it involves a delicate balance of information. If you conduct your research using only broad search terms, you won't be able to answer your research question well, or you'll find that your research provides information that is closely related to your topic but, ultimately, your findings are vague and unsubstantiated.

On the other hand, if you delve deeply into your research topic with specific searches and turn up too many sources, you might have a lot of information that is adjacent to your topic but without focus and perhaps not entirely relevant. It's important to answer your research question concisely but thoroughly.

Different Types of Scholarly Articles

Different types of scholarly articles have different purposes. An original research article, also called an empirical article, is the product of a study or an experiment. This type of article seeks to answer a question or fill a gap in the existing literature.

Research articles will have a methodology, results, and a discussion of the findings of the experiment or research and typically a conclusion.

Review articles overview the current literature and research and provide a summary of what the existing research indicates or has concluded. This type of study will have a section for the literature review, as well as a discussion of the findings of that review. Review articles will have a particularly extensive reference or bibliography section.

Theoretical articles draw on existing literature to create new theories or conclusions, or look at current theories from a different perspective, to contribute to the foundational knowledge of the field of study.

10 Tips for Navigating Journal Databases

Use the right academic journal database for your search, be that interdisciplinary or specific to your field. Or both!

If it's an option, set the search results to return only peer-reviewed sources.

Start by using search terms that are relevant to your topic without being overly specific.

Try synonyms, especially if your keywords aren't returning the desired results.

Scholarly Journal Articles

Even if you've found some good articles, try searching using different terms.

Explore the advanced search features of the database(s).

Learn to use Booleans (AND, OR, NOT) to expand or narrow your results.

Once you've gotten some good results from a more general search, try narrowing your search.

Read through abstracts when trying to find articles relevant to your research.

Keep track of your research and use citation tools. It'll make life easier when it comes time to compile your references.

7 Frequently Asked Questions

1. how do i get articles for free.

Free articles can be found through free online academic journals, OA databases, or other databases that include OA journals and articles. These resources allow you to access free papers online so you can conduct your research without getting stuck behind a paywall.

Academics don't receive payment for the articles they contribute to journals. There are often, in fact, publication fees that scholars pay in order to publish. This is one of the funding structures that allows OA journals to provide free content so that you don't have to pay fees or subscription costs to access journal articles.

2. How Do I Find Journal Articles?

Journal articles can be found in databases and institutional repositories that can be accessed at university libraries. However, online research databases that contain OA articles are the best resource for getting free access to journal articles that are available online.

Peer-reviewed journal articles are the best to use for academic research, and there are a number of databases where you can find peer-reviewed OA journal articles. Once you've found a useful article, you can look through the references for the articles the author used to conduct their research, and you can then search online databases for those articles, too.

3. How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles?

Peer-reviewed articles can be found in reputable scholarly peer-reviewed journals. High-quality journals and journal articles can be found online using academic search engines and free research databases. These resources are excellent for finding OA articles, including peer-reviewed articles.

OA articles are articles that can be accessed for free. While some scholarly search engines and databases include articles that aren't peer reviewed, there are also some that provide only peer-reviewed articles, and databases that include non-peer-reviewed articles often have advanced search features that enable you to select "peer review only." The database will return results that are exclusively peer-reviewed content.

4. What Are Research Databases?

A research database is a list of journals, articles, datasets, and/or abstracts that allows you to easily search for scholarly and academic resources and conduct research online. There are databases that are interdisciplinary and cover a variety of topics.

For example, Paperity might be a great resource for a chemist as well as a linguist, and there are databases that are more specific to a certain field. So, while ERIC might be one of the best educational databases available for OA content, it's not going to be one of the best databases for finding research in the field of microbiology.

5. How Do I Find Scholarly Articles for Specific Fields?

There are interdisciplinary research databases that provide articles in a variety of fields, as well as research databases that provide articles that cater to specific disciplines. Additionally, a journal repository or index can be a helpful resource for finding articles in a specific field.

When searching an interdisciplinary database, there are frequently advanced search features that allow you to narrow the search results down so that they are specific to your field. Selecting "psychology" in the advanced search features will return psychology journal articles in your search results. You can also try databases that are specific to your field.

If you're searching for law journal articles, many law reviews are OA. If you don't know of any databases specific to history, visiting a journal repository or index and searching "history academic journals" can return a list of journals specific to history and provide you with a place to begin your research.

6. Are Peer-Reviewed Articles Really More Legitimate?

The short answer is yes, peer-reviewed articles are more legitimate resources for academic research. The peer review process provides legitimacy, as it is a rigorous review of the content of an article that is performed by scholars and academics who are experts in their field of study. The review provides an evaluation of the quality and credibility of the article.

Non-peer-reviewed articles are not subject to a review process and do not undergo the same level of scrutiny. This means that non-peer-reviewed articles are unlikely, or at least not as likely, to meet the same standards that peer-reviewed articles do.

7. Are Free Article Directories Legitimate?

Yes! As with anything, some databases are going to be better for certain requirements than others. But, a scholarly article database being free is not a reason in itself to question its legitimacy.

Free scholarly article databases can provide access to abstracts, scholarly article websites, journal repositories, and high-quality peer-reviewed journal articles. The internet has a lot of information, and it's often challenging to figure out what information is reliable. 

Research databases and article directories are great resources to help you conduct your research. Our list of the best research paper websites is sure to provide you with sources that are totally legit.

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online sources for research papers

Library Home

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research

(48 reviews)

online sources for research papers

Cheryl Lowry, Ohio State University

Copyright Year: 2016

Publisher: Ohio State University Libraries

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of use.

Attribution

Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Elbert Davis, Assistant Professor, Marshall University on 10/24/21

The author does an incredible job in explaining the research process, from choosing a research question to how to search for sources (and citing those sources), and more. There are relevant self-check quizzes throughout the book to check for... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

The author does an incredible job in explaining the research process, from choosing a research question to how to search for sources (and citing those sources), and more. There are relevant self-check quizzes throughout the book to check for understanding, along with other supplemental resources. As the book was published through The Ohio State University, some of the sources are only available to OSU students, but the author makes it clear when this is the case.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

The author did an excellent job with the accuracy of the book, Two specific examples that stood out: taking care to mention that Wikipedia is a great as a starting point, but not as an endpoint for research. Lowry also clearly explained that educational use did not automatically mean fair use, which seems to be an issue with students and faculty alike.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

The book should remain relevant in years to come, as academic research seems to follow the same basic pattern. The only issue would be if The Ohio State University changes the links used in the book, although I expect these to be easy to update. The book would still be able to be used without the supplemental links though.

Clarity rating: 5

The book seems to be targeting an introductory audience. Lowry does a great job of breaking down the jargon of academic research into plain English for the beginning researcher.

Consistency rating: 5

I thought the author used approprate terminology for a student learning about academic research.

Modularity rating: 5

The book is designed into specific chapters for the different aspects of choosing a source. While there are specific sections devoted to The Ohio State University library, I would not expect to have any trouble assigning the other chapters in my courses.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

The author started at the beginning, with how to design a research question before going into choosing a source, which gave good background knowledge.

Interface rating: 5

The contents of the book were clean and crisp. No distortions were noted. Navigation from the table of contents was easy.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

No grammatical errors were noted.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

Nothing offensive was in the book.

I have a difficult time in getting beginning graduate student to understand the different types of sources and fair use. I think using most chapters of this book would help a great deal in that comprehension.

Reviewed by Kelly LeFave, Instructor, Portland Community College on 6/15/21

This student friendly overview of academic research, including a strong focus on information literacy, covers many of the salient points that college level writing and writing for research classes curricula contain, making it a strong choice as a... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

This student friendly overview of academic research, including a strong focus on information literacy, covers many of the salient points that college level writing and writing for research classes curricula contain, making it a strong choice as a comprehensive and useful overview. Chapters include enough depth of coverage to make the leap from information to practice for students; self-directed activities are provided to check knowledge, work through concept applications, and offer more specifics. The book provides an easy-to-navigate Table of Contents, but an Index and Glossary do not seem to be available.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

Some errors appear that a thorough proofread would catch. Some resources may need to be updated since information practices and modes change so quickly; some references and links direct students to OSU information that would not apply to all readers.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

The book’s topic – academic research – necessarily demands constant updating given our fast-changing digital landscape and the shifting paradigms we are witnessing for locating and evaluating information in our times. Resources can become obsolete fairly quickly in this environment. The book’s content is largely up-to-date, though a thorough review of linked resources, perhaps annually, would be beneficial. For instance, a video on RSS mentioned a Google feature that looks to be no longer available, though finding alternatives proves simple when searched online. The book’s organization makes updating or replacing linked resources easy, so keeping the content relevant would be straightforward with regular review.

Content is presented in a style engaging for students, using the “you” pronoun address to walk readers through a thinking process that applies and links ideas to practice; this effective approach is used for many of the book’s concepts. The writing strikes a good stylistic balance between engaging the student reader and informing/challenging that same reader by modeling research brainstorming or methods. The style seems appropriate for college level readers and college level curricula. The topic of academic research does include some technical terms at times, but the book’s approach is to define and explain such terms a part of its content.

Stylistically and organizationally, the content is consistent and easy-to-follow. A user begins to anticipate knowledge check activities or “try it out” activities at particular points in each section. The knowledge check quizzes, which are simplified multiple choice questions, seem at odds with the highly contextualized concept explanations in much of the book’s prose; perhaps a different approach to knowledge check quizzing, which as an element can be helpful, would work better.

Modularity rating: 4

Headings and subheadings follow a logical organization and are easy to navigate in the book. Some sections do refer to—and link to—other book sections, but most would work as stand-alone modules. An instructor or course designer could pick and choose sections and adapt them for their own purposes. As a whole, the book remains self-referential to the context of a specific university, which limits the easy adaptation of the book, and perhaps even sections, for faculty and course designers at other educational institutions.

The book’s organization is easy to navigate and coheres with the overall focus on presenting academic research and information literacy in a way that invites students toward a practical and fuller understanding. Topic order makes sense and is organized via headings and subheadings well.

Overall, no significant navigation issues or interface distractions.

A few errors that look like typos remain in the book. Otherwise, grammatical errors are not an issue for readability.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

A more nuanced and inclusive awareness of cultural relevance and diversity is worth considering for the book. The choice of some example topics, such as school shootings, might be distracting or traumatic for some student populations, while adding more examples that showcase interests or topics related to non-dominant cultural ideas would widen the sense of inclusivity throughout the book. Choices might be contingent on the demographics of the Ohio State University population, but more awareness of this aspect of the book might also make it more appealing as a resource for others to adapt

Reviewed by Nell McCabe, Associate Professor, Berkshire Community College on 6/15/21

This text is very-student friendly and covers all aspects of writing a student research paper, including steps that students frequently overlook such as the value of preliminary research and the different ways to incorporate different kinds of... read more

This text is very-student friendly and covers all aspects of writing a student research paper, including steps that students frequently overlook such as the value of preliminary research and the different ways to incorporate different kinds of information in a paper.

This text provides a well-balanced, research-driven approach to guiding students through the process of writing an academic research paper. Spelling mistakes, flaw grammar and usage, and factual errors are few and far between (as in I didn't find any during the course of this review).

Kinds of sources and the means of evaluating them are broad enough to be long-lasting, but the examples and other supporting details are timely and relevant.

This text uses student-friendly language and avoids jargon and other symptoms of academia run amok, while still maintaining high standards and expectations for students. Connections between the different stages of conducting research and developing an argument are well laid out and clear.

Terms associated with locating, evaluating, and incorporating a range of different kinds of sources are clear and consistent throughout the text.

The chapters do stand alone and I could image someone using bits and pieces or leaving out bits and pieces, but since the text is primarily focused on supporting the needs of a college research throughout the research process, it is hard to image much need for separating it into discrete modules. You could certainly rearrange the order of the chapters too if that worked better for your approach to teaching student research.

The flow of one chapter into the next is well-integrated and smooth. The order of the chapters

I had no issues with the interface; everything worked as expected.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

The book does not go out of its way to make obviously inclusive examples. Increasing the cultural perspectives represented in the examples would enhance the overall value of this text.

Reviewed by Darci Adolf, Director of Library & Media Services, Oregon Coast Community College on 6/11/21

I found "Choosing and Using Sources" to be quite comprehensive and included the major areas that I cover in my LIB 101 Research skills class. In my class I like to cover each area of Eisenberg's Big6 Research model: Task definition, information... read more

I found "Choosing and Using Sources" to be quite comprehensive and included the major areas that I cover in my LIB 101 Research skills class. In my class I like to cover each area of Eisenberg's Big6 Research model: Task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation. I was pleased to find the subject of synthesis covered under the writing chapter-- many research textbooks leave this out. I did not find anything that talked about Evaluation of the process and product. Also, I would've liked to have seen social justice and equity issues in information publishing and access addressed as a chapter or portion of a chapter. The textbook has a great Table of Contents, but no index.

This textbook seems to contain accurate and error-free content. I spot-checked most of the chapters and didn't find anything I didn't believe to be true, and links weren't broken. Because this book is mostly factual in nature, there aren't areas where an author's opinion was used over facts, and opinions seem to be be appropriate and unbiased. For example, the author remarks on the use of blogs in research: "Blogs – Frequently updated websites that do not necessarily require extensive technical skills and can be published by virtually anyone for no cost to themselves other than the time they devote to content creation." This is a wide-held belief among librarians.

The content appeared to be up-to-date throughout the book. The area that might change the quickest is the types of sources, Chapter 2 in the book. They did a good job including an overview of all of the major source types and should stay relevant for a good period of time. Because they've listed these source types in a single chapter, updates to the text should be fairly straight forward and easy to do without disturbing much of the rest of the book.

Clarity rating: 4

The text was clear to me, a seasoned librarian. But I think there were terms used throughout the textbook that might not be familiar to a student first starting out in library research. So I would add some clarification around some of the language if I were using this textbook for a lower-level class. For example: There are several types of specialized databases listed including: Bibliographic, Full-text, Multimedia, etc. Many first year students wouldn't know those terms, or others such as "circulation, World-cat, discharge, InterLibrary Loan" and so forth.

The text was consistent throughout in terms of terminology and the overall frame. As I mentioned previously, some of the terms might need to be defined for the first-year student, either in-text or in a separate glossary. The framework is well-done, with clear chapters and sections--it was definitely written by those who teach research at the college level.

The textbook has 13 chapters that are again sub-divided into six or more sub-topics. This makes it very easy for an instructor to pick and choose which topics to cover. The thirteen broader subjects makes it easy to use the entire textbook for a term-- or just choose the pieces you want to use. For example, I would use the "Ethical Use and Citing Sources" chapter if I were doing a one-shot in a classroom, but might choose to use most of the chapters for an online class.

The structure was easy to follow. If I were setting it up myself, I'd probably combine the chapters on Ethical Use of Sources (Ethical Use and Citing Sources, Why Cite Sources, and Challenges in Citing Sources) with the chapter on "How to Cite Sources," but it's easier to have them separate and combine them for a class than to have a big block of text that would make it difficult to work through.

The textbook online version was done in Wordpress, and was easy to view and navigate. There were several other choices for students, including a PDF that could be viewed off line. There were charts, graphs, and links throughout that added to the content, but not so much as to be distracting. Any visuals were simple and enough white space was left as to not overwhelm, with colors that were contrasting visually.

I spot-checked throughout the text in each chapter and did not find any grammatical errors.

The textbook seemed to be inclusive of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Ohio State University has included a lot of links to their own pages, handouts, and resources that would need to be changed or omitted by a new user. For example, they have a handout from the OSU Writing Center, and they link to the OSU World Cat platform. These would need to be changed by the adopter.

Reviewed by Kaia Henrickson, Assistant Professor of Library & Information Science, Information Literacy Librarian, University of Alaska, Southeast on 11/4/20, updated 12/16/20

This text does a good job highlighting the steps in the research process, from formulating a strong research question, to finding and evaluating sources, to incorporating ideas from research into writing, and finally, to citing and using sources... read more

This text does a good job highlighting the steps in the research process, from formulating a strong research question, to finding and evaluating sources, to incorporating ideas from research into writing, and finally, to citing and using sources properly. Each chapter can stand on its own as useful content for a research-based course, or the entire text could be used to walk students through the entire research and writing process. Based on tutorials created for Ohio State University Libraries, some sections, like Chapter 5 on search tools as well as some of the activities, are fairly specific to OSU. Still, much of the text and many of the activities are applicable to all student researchers. This would be a great base text for someone who wanted to remix and add in information from their own university library and student service supports to replace the OSU-focused sections.

The material is accurate overall.

Text content, as well as videos and activities, are fairly current. Sections are small, so making updates should be fairly easy.

While the text is generally clear, there are sections that are a bit cumbersome or wordy. The Evaluating Sources section, especially, seems overly complicated.

References and links to other helpful sections within the text are appropriate and useful. Key concepts and ideas are repeated and built upon as the text progresses.

Each chapter is divided into manageable sections, and there are few sections which require a lot of scrolling. Those that are longer are broken up by subheadings. Embedded video content, visuals, and boxes are used to break up the text for easier reading and more visual appeal.

The text clearly progresses through the steps in the research and writing process from start to finish, but it can also be accessed by section if a particular subtopic is all that is needed. Each chapter stands on its own, as well as being integrated into the whole.

Interface rating: 3

The web version of the text has no paragraph indents or lines of space between paragraphs, which makes it a bit difficult to read, especially when there are longer blocks of text. There are many videos included that only have automatically-created closed captions (and a few with no closed captions available at all). A few of the graphics are blurry, but most visual and audiovisual content is clear and easy to read. With some of the linked activities, it is unclear what to do when you have selected an incorrect answer, and there is not much feedback for students who answer questions incorrectly.

Grammatical Errors rating: 4

There are a few typos and other minor issues here and there in the text. Some of the linked activities have more significant errors.

The text is not culturally insensitive, but it also doesn't present much in the way of diversity in examples or ideas. In addition, there is a noticeable amount content that is focused on Ohio State University resources and students, and this may not be relevant for readers from other universities.

Reviewed by Marybeth Beller, Associate Professor, Marshall University on 3/13/20

The book provides a thorough review of the research process; that said, a professor will have to add discipline-specific information and requirements, such as expected citation practices and research methods. read more

The book provides a thorough review of the research process; that said, a professor will have to add discipline-specific information and requirements, such as expected citation practices and research methods.

I found no errors in the text.

I will use this book for my undergraduate research course as it gives a very good introduction to research, from narrowing the topic to turning questions into hypotheses.

The book is very clear and provides graphs, links and videos for the reader to have additional information as needed.

Each chapter is organized similarly to the others and is written in the same easy-to-follow, technical-free language. It removes any inhibitions a reader might have.

Each chapter section has its own heading and link. The entire book could be assigned or sections of the book could be just as easily assigned. A drop-down table of contents menu allows the reader to move freely between topics.

This guide is beautifully organized for the beginning researcher but can easily be followed through the table of contents for students needed refreshers on particular elements of research.

I found no interface issues at all in navigating the book.

There were no grammatical errors in the text.

I believe the book would be welcomed by a diverse group of people. There is no insensitive language or use of poor examples in the book.

I really enjoyed the organization of the book and that the author takes the time to include links to additional information as well as videos for students who want to spend more time with a particular concept.

Reviewed by Racheal Rothrock, Assistant Professor, Miami University on 2/28/20

The text is comprehensive in its covering of topics related to choosing and using sources, though it does not go into great depth for each topic. Rather this text provides a broad overview around the topic of sources. This text seems to be written... read more

The text is comprehensive in its covering of topics related to choosing and using sources, though it does not go into great depth for each topic. Rather this text provides a broad overview around the topic of sources. This text seems to be written for an upper-level, undergraduate student audience. No glossary is provided.

This information is presented in an unbiased way that informs on the topic rather than presenting a strong bias or slant toward a particular type of source (though, there is cultural bias—see review comments in “cultural” section). The text does provide details on what approaches might be more helpful in certain situations. This provides a balance of usefulness for students trying to determine which sources to use, while also not assigning value to some sources over others or create a hierarchy.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 3

The text demonstrates a current understanding around the topic of sources, taking into account the shift away from paper and toward digital sources. While overall this text should be useful for several years, there are some areas that may require updating (e.g. links, OSU policies or statements, specifics about various citation styles, software options available, copyright laws, etc.). Throughout the text, the authors do depend on examples that are specific to OSU (e.g. a section on “WorldCat@OSU”), and this might provide less useful for non-OSU students.

The text is written with simple language and explanations are given for more technical terminology (e.g. peer-reviewed, quantitative, qualitative, etc.).

Little specialized terminology is used throughout the text, however, the language and terminology used is consistent throughout. The format, structure, and approach the authors use, is also consistent throughout the text and forms a cohesive narrative.

The text is broken up by main topics and then within each topic, subtopics are provided to support the main topic. The length of each subtopic is fairly brief and examples are provided throughout with graphical separation for clarity. While the topics and subtopics support each other, each subtopic could be assigned individually and would maintain usefulness.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

Overall, the organization is logical and clear. There are a few topics that might be shifted in their order, but this is not a critical need. For instance, moving the information about copyright closer to the section on ethical use of sources might make sense, but does not overly disrupt the general flow of the text.

There are no significant issues. A fixed bar at the bottom of the screen allows for navigation to pages directly preceding and proceeding the current page and a clickable contents button at the top right side of the page allows further navigation between sections. Overall, visuals do not appear to be distorted, however, many of the visuals are quite large, taking up the majority of the screen, and could be reduced in size without losing effectiveness. Additionally, on pages 9 and 11, a graphic is presented that contains text that is too small to read. While it is not necessary to read the text in the visual in order to understand the lesson of the section, because it is provided, it would be reasonable to make this large enough to be legible.

The text seems to be free of any major grammatical errors.

This text is written from an academic, western cultural perspective that is relevant to the particular topic and audience (i.e. “A guide to academic research”), but does not take into other ontological or epistemological scholarly perspectives (e.g. testimonios or oral histories as significant sources). The visuals and examples do privilege the U.S. and mainstream cultures, such as through a photo of a White woman using her Mac computer in a library, a photo of a football team, an illustration with the U.S. flag in it, an example question of “How has NASA helped America,” an example opinion of “George Clooney is the sexiest actor alive,” etc. The text is not overtly insensitive or offensive, but it also does not appear to take up or address non-dominant perspectives and cultures in any substantive way.

Reviewed by Audrey Besch, Temporary Faculty , East Tennessee State University on 10/31/19

This text is very comprehensive! From choosing sources to the final research project, this book does a wonderful job of providing all the steps. read more

This text is very comprehensive! From choosing sources to the final research project, this book does a wonderful job of providing all the steps.

Information is accurate for the purposes of writing research and using sources.

Up-to-date and relevant, this text does a good job of outlining various types of sources that can be used and the appropriate ways in which to use them.

Very easy to read content that would be great for students, especially those who are just starting the academic writing process for research.

The text remained consistent in it's use of terminology and framework.

Text has an appropriate use of subheadings and includes activity sections that focus on concepts. Material was broken into easy to grasp ways that didn't seem too lengthy.

Content is well organized and in a logical format for the content provided.

Book did not have any navigation issues and all images were appropriately used for content.

To the extent of my knowledge, there were no grammatical errors in this text.

There were no culturally insensitive issues or offensive language in this text that I could find.

Reviewed by Kris Frykman, Community Faculty, Minnesota State University System on 10/18/19

Comprehensive overview, with examples, to punctuate learning. read more

Comprehensive overview, with examples, to punctuate learning.

Clear, accurate process in showcasing academic research.

Appropriate book for researchers of all levels.

Chapter follow-up questions and videos are included to further enhance clarity.

Terminology and examples are included to further make the content accessible for the reader.

The book is divided in sections so that students can study and apply one concept at a time.

Content is clearly organized.

Charts, diagrams, examples, and videos are highlighted to exemplify key contents.

No discernable grammatical errors.

Appropriately culturally sensitive.

Reviewed by TyRee Jenks, Research Librarian & Library Instruction Coordinator, Montana State University - Billings on 7/31/19

The text is very comprehensive and covers all the necessary aspects of information literacy and student research. There is no index or glossary included, but terms are well explained within the text. The extensive coverage of topics, like types... read more

The text is very comprehensive and covers all the necessary aspects of information literacy and student research. There is no index or glossary included, but terms are well explained within the text. The extensive coverage of topics, like types of sources and copyright, was thorough while not being so in-depth as to bore students. The activities, quizzes, and short videos reinforce the concepts covered in the chapters and add interest, however some quizzes would benefit from additional explanation as to why answers are right or wrong.

The content of the text seems to be accurate. Very minor spelling errors and a copy/paste duplicate. No apparent bias.

Content is up to date and relevant for students while being broad enough to be useful for a longer period of time. Updating information would be easy. The text contains a lot of hyperlinks that an instructor would need to stay on top of to keep the links current. In some cases the links were to very reliable sources that will remain stable for a long time (i.e. Purdue OWL) while others are more transient (i.e. YouTube videos).

In general the text is clear, including good explanations of terms and concepts. It contains very little jargon and the prose is accessible. In “The Details Are Tricky” section, the finer points of primary, secondary, or tertiary information could be confusing to students who are trying to comprehend the basics. The author’s inclusion of informative tables with sample responses as well as the blank template for students to use was helpful.

There is consistent use of terminology and layout throughout the text.

The book has good modularity, excellent graphics, and the text and/or activities can easily be used at the point of need in an information literacy class or one that is discipline specific. Chapters can be used individually or rearranged as needed.

Overall the organizational flow worked well, however the chapters on copyright and fair use might make more sense when grouped with the chapters on the ethical use of sources and how to cite sources.

The EPUB and web versions of the text are easy to navigate with a clickable table of contents and left/right arrow navigation at the bottom of each page. Other than some images that could be resized, the formatting lent itself to consistency throughout the text giving students a uniform experience. In some cases the URL links were just written text instead of hyperlinked which was a little inconsistent. Pleasant graphics added value, explained concepts, balanced out the text, and added visual interest. The inclusion of links that lead out to further explanations of concepts (i.e. the peer review process or how to read a scholarly article) are a nice addition.

There are no major grammatical errors that would be distracting to the reader.

The text is applicable to students in all disciplines, and there are no concerns about cultural relevance or insensitivity. The text is heavily OSU centric (i.e. referencing the OSU code of conduct and requiring students to log in to OSU resources for some activities and examples) and requires effort on the part of instructors at other institutions to make the necessary changes making the content applicable at their institution.

With modifications this text could be incorporated into a three credit information literacy course for undergraduates or into other disciplines. The fair use and copyright sections could be useful to instructors as well as students. Could easily integrate with the ACRL Framework. There is some great general information on writing and making an argument that are applicable across disciplines.

Reviewed by Eric Bradley, Research and Instruction Librarian, Goshen College on 5/31/19

The focus of the book is on published sources for college level research and writing. In this area it is comprehensive. It does not address other areas of academic research. read more

The focus of the book is on published sources for college level research and writing. In this area it is comprehensive. It does not address other areas of academic research.

The content is accurate, error-free, and politically neutral. The last piece makes this a excellent source in the current United States political climate.

Content reflects the current realities of the information landscape. Several of the chapters use up-to-date wording that may need to be updated more frequently, but the excellent modularity of the text allows for accommodation.

The book is straight forward and uses contemporary language of the information and academic landscapes.

The text follows a consistent framework throughout the book.

The text is divided in a way to teach across a course. While the text builds upon itself, many of the chapters stand alone well. I have skipped several chapters of the text and it has not caused any disruption with students.

Excellent organization. The text guides the reader step by step through the research process.

Interface rating: 4

The overall interface is strong. The images and charts are excellent, although the use of branded logos in some of the images may become dated.

No grammatical errors noted.

The text is focused on academic research practices for a North American context. While not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way, it does not take into consideration research practices of other cultures.

I use this text as a replacement of Booth et al.’s Craft of Research. Beside the benefits of being a open textbook, this text provides a more relevant guide to finding sources in the current academic environment.

Reviewed by Kathleen Murphy, Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Music Thearpy, Loyola University-New Orleans on 4/30/19

This book includes all relevant information to help students choose appropriate sources for an academic research paper. It clearly defines different types of sources that can be used, and the difference between primary and secondary sources. It... read more

This book includes all relevant information to help students choose appropriate sources for an academic research paper. It clearly defines different types of sources that can be used, and the difference between primary and secondary sources. It gives an overview of how to search various databases, and defines and describes boolean operators. The chapter on ethical uses of sources clearly defines plagiarism and how and when to cite so as to avoid plagiarizing. The chapter on copyright is an excellent addition; that information is not common in many texts related to academic writing. Each chapter contains extra activities students can work on independently to help with understanding and application of the material covered.

Overall, I found the book to be accurate. I did find one error in Chapter 7. In the section titled "Challenges in Citing Sources" the entry labeled "Running out of Time" was repeated. In regards to bias--I did not find the content to be biased; however, the majority of links where students could go to get extra information were connected to Ohio State University. The one notable exception were the links to the Perdue Online Writing Lab.

The content is up-to-date and relevant. Choosing and using sources for an academic paper has not changed much. What has changed is how to access and find the sources to choose and use. This book does a nice job of explaining how to find sources--databases, google scholar, and search engines. My only concern is the frequent suggestion to search Wikipedia. As an academic, I find this a little troubling. To the author's credit, they did not that one should not cite Wikipedia or use information from Wikipedia in an academic paper. I am not able to comment on ease of updating information, as that is a technical issue.

The book is written in clear, accessible language, with limited "jargon." At times I found the writing to be too simple, written more for high school students than college students. Definitions are provided for all relevant terms.

The book is internally consistent. It moves through the process of choosing and using sources in a linear fashion. However, to their credit, the authors note that writing an academic research paper is not always a linear process.

Each chapter is broken up into smaller units that cover a topic relevant to the chapter theme. Sections of this book could be assigned as individual assignments based on areas of difficultly students seem to be having. Alternatively, a professor could develop a class session or two around each of the chapters. These book seems to be very versatile; there are links to previous chapters that readers can click on to refresh their memories.

The topics in the text are presented in a logical and clear way. The book moves through each topic associated with choosing and using sources in sequence that most researchers would follow. The table of contents, with main headings and subtopics provide a step-by-step guide to help undergraduate students through the research process.

There are many links in throughout the book that students can click on to get more information or to practice skills. Navigation back to the main text is a little trickier. Sometimes, clicking on the back arrow will get the reader back to the page s/he was studying before clicking on the hyperlink. More often, however, the back arrow will take the reader back to the Table of Contents, or front cover of the book. Not all the links worked when I went through the book

I did not fine any grammatical or mechanical errors. I think the book is well-written and appropriate for high school students. I think the language may be too simplistic for most college students.

I did not come across anything that was culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.

I think this book is an excellent resource for high school students, and maybe college freshman who need help in choosing and using sources for an academic paper. The book is logical, gives an overview of the process and provides excellent examples and extra activities to enhance learning. I think it also could be used as a self-study guide.

Reviewed by Miguel Valderrama, Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York City College of Technology on 4/7/19

This book is a great resource of all steps needed to be taken in an academic research process. The book's index clearly displays a suggested methodology to follow and makes it easier to comeback for the review of previous chapters. In general the... read more

This book is a great resource of all steps needed to be taken in an academic research process. The book's index clearly displays a suggested methodology to follow and makes it easier to comeback for the review of previous chapters. In general the book is easy to read and every time a new world or a particular terminology related to the topic comes up, it is clearly defined and put into context.

This book collects a series of methodologies that have been proven to be efficient when they are put into use during the process of academic research. These techniques are not only presented and described to the readers, they are also actively used in the various examples, pretty much in every chapter in the book. These techniques may not be the only way a person can start and develop a research process but they are certainly a clear and convenient way to do so for beginners. There may be complex terminology entered to the discussion which may slow down the reading process. However, this is effectively addressed by separated easy to access links; This provide more in detail definitions and exercises from a particular section.

This book is a guide that presents many particularities of research methods and techniques that have been used for long time. These methodologies have been proven to be very effective in academic research. This book not only collects many of these techniques but carefully relate them to new searching tools that are part of the communication era we live in nowadays. This was not the case just couple of decades ago. I anticipate long life to the methodologies presented in this text with years or decades before they could become obsolete. Within this context, the searching tools may keep changing but the methodologies that are used here could keep working efficiently; at least as a way to approach to a research process for an undergrad student.

The author uses a clear and easy way to understand the language and terminology that makes part of a research process. Without getting too deep into technical terminology the book marks clearly words that deserve more understanding and usually provides separate links which connects the reader with a deeper explanation. The text doesn't have very large paragraphs all around which to me allows readers to keep a good and dynamic paste. Links to previous discussed topics presents a quick way to review previous content without loosing the paste.

Consistency rating: 4

Through out the entire text it is consistent that at the beginning of every chapter there's a statement related to what the previous set of contents was, also in several parts of the book this first paragraph makes a point about how this relates to what it is about to be presented in that chapter. This is why several words allusive to the subject of research are reuse constantly in different chapters. This makes lots of sense to me as a way to keep the reader's familiarity with these terms which will also ended up increasing retentivity levels in the subject. Since the book is clearly broken down into steps they all seemed to be well placed in order to present a cohesive structure that guides the process of research.

Academic research it is a process that should be flexible by nature in many ways. Even though some parts of the process could be done simultaneously to others, this will definitely not apply to all of them. This book brings up an interesting way to order this process which even though may look rigid at times it tries to make sure that some parts are developed before others in the research. It is presented that way so that there's enough understanding of the bases before there can be any progression or even conclusions. This is mostly reflected in the techniques that are presented, where some of then have as their main job to detonate creative thinking. For example: the importance of the set of questions that are asked at the beginning is that the answers will be used mostly to clarify the end goals of a research.

This text is organized following a clear and efficient way to develop an academic research process. It is well distributed in chapters that are all connected to each other in one or other way. The book is efficient at establishing this connections, specially at the beginning and end of every chapter where there's mentioning of the previous and following topic's main ideas. This helps readers to keep track with the overall content.

This book presents an excellent graphic approach to expose its content. The electronic version has the really nice feature of having the index accessible at any point of the reading process. This text is full of links that are either deeper explanations of a particular topic or a set of exercises that are directly related to what the reader is learning. If the idea was to present the information in a format that doesn't look congested to the eyes and that it is not distracting the reader from the important ideas, the editors made an excellent job. This book can't be easier to read, follow through and understand.

Besides a couple of punctuation spaces here and then I was not able to perceive any major grammatical errors. The book is well written all around. Punctuation is pretty much excellent and its composition keeps the reader in track with the content effectible.

Particularly the topics used as examples were very diverse in therms of gender allusion, cultural backgrounds and specialized fields. Research is a process that apply to all disciplines and the professionals working in them. This makes the research process a particularly broad one. The book makes efforts to present this idea by using numerous examples that connect with different segments of the population at numerous levels.

This books is an excellent tool available to anyone who wishes to start a serious research process in almost any particular professional area or field, even amateur researchers can benefit from its content. The book was written to merge the topic content with a series of exercises, tests and examples using a cohesive testing dynamic that helps to increase retention. This dynamic becomes the most efficient way to understand what it takes to start a professional research. The steps to follow the process are laid out clearly in this guide and the important things that need to be taking in account during the research process are highlighted and deconstructed to obtain a deeper overall understanding by the reader or researcher. The fact that the reader is being quizzed constantly during the entire book generates a stronger connection with the important subjects and a good way to evaluate the reader's understanding in real time as well. Highly recommended to undergrad and graduate students and perhaps even amateur researchers becoming familiar with the process of research as well.

Reviewed by Cindy Gruwell, Professor/Research Librarian, Minnesota State on 1/11/19

Choosing and Using Sources does a very good job of covering the topic of Academic Research. Each chapter focuses on an aspect of the research process and thoroughly covers the content with easy to read text and examples/activities for student... read more

Choosing and Using Sources does a very good job of covering the topic of Academic Research. Each chapter focuses on an aspect of the research process and thoroughly covers the content with easy to read text and examples/activities for student practice. Most importantly first-year students through seniors should find the content informative and presented in a collegial format.

All of the content is accurate and explained in a manner that is easy to grasp. There are some minor typos in some of the activities, but they do not confuse the reader. The text is bias-free and includes interesting examples that students can relate to.

The overall content is highly relevant and will age very well. Updates would definite be easy to handle and manipulate. By breaking down each chapter into a variety of content areas, readers will be able to focus and review areas of concern.

Having read several print and online texts of a similar nature, it was a pleasure to come across a text that is clean, consistent, and concise. Each topic has an appropriate amount of information to get the point across as well as tips that lead the reader to additional information. The presentation is consistent throughout without any bloating often found in print texts.

The authors of the text did an excellent job of producing an online text that is consistent and easy to use. No tricks that make it difficult to navigate or confusing to read.

One aspect of the text that I especially like is the modularity that allows for the use of a particular chapter or page(s). Too often texts have chapters that make readers feel like there is no end in sight. The concise nature of this work blends extremely well with the modularity of the complete text.

What makes this text easy to adapt is the layout from beginning to end. Each chapter and section scaffolds upon the other which will allow students to build their skills in a natural manner. Knowledge attained will easily transfer from one topic to another as they move through the book.

While I believe that the text is excellent and I have adopted it for my class, I do find myself frustrated by not being able to move from one section to another within a chapter without having to go back to the contents list. This surprised me because most books and tutorials have forward and backward links, especially within chapters.

There are a few grammatical (spelling) errors in several of the exercises, however, they do not interfere or confuse the reader.

This is definitely a professional work that has no cultural issues and is an excellent example of a non-biased text.

While looking for an OER text I was delighted to come across this book. The content and flow fit in with my class content extremely well and is an excellent resources for courses in the liberal arts, general research, and library-centric classes.

Reviewed by Kathy Moss, Clinical Professor, University of Missouri on 11/27/18

The hyperlinks and examples include a wide range of topics that include cooking, surgery, architecture and sports. read more

The hyperlinks and examples include a wide range of topics that include cooking, surgery, architecture and sports.

Credit is given to an editor, production and design specialists, as well as several content contributors. No additional information is provided to support inference regarding author credibility.

The open textbook Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research presented material that is relevant to my current issues course, including Background reading, Developing a complex research question, Classifying sources, and Evaluating sources.

The topics are presented clearly, using an engaging conversational style and frequent tips and activities. A reader who has no background in information science may be hampered by some terms used in the book (e.g., blog, podcast, Wikipedia, browser, database, Gawker, Reddit). The book does give intentional attention to the technology-naïve audience with some skills (Control-F) and topics (brief description of LexisNexis Academic, Lantern Online).

Terms and organizational framework are consistent throughout the text.

I plan to assign particular chapters of this text that are most relevant to my course's goals. The consistency of the text's terminology and organization should permit this reading plan with minimal distraction to the reader.

The information is clearly organized with a contents listing, chapter numbers and section headers. This organization facilitates easy access for learners with a specific interest in a single topic.

The author’s frequent use of hyperlinks invites students to explore topics more in-depth.

I note a few minor typographical errors that did not adversely affect my ability to comprehend the text.

The book includes examples of non-Western sources such as the allAfrica news database. Some of the links and examples are only available to individuals who have accounts with The Ohio State University. Though the book includes examples in audio and video formats, it could be improved by giving specific attention to topics related to accessibility.

The book provides the opportunity for readers to apply the topics by analyzing its frequent examples.

Reviewed by Lori Meier, Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University on 11/8/18

This text is exceedingly comprehensive. It addresses all elements of academic research (i.e. choosing questions, exploring and selecting sources, searching strategies, citation issues, copyright) as well as providing abundant links for student... read more

This text is exceedingly comprehensive. It addresses all elements of academic research (i.e. choosing questions, exploring and selecting sources, searching strategies, citation issues, copyright) as well as providing abundant links for student use. It is lacking an index or glossary - although many concepts are defined in the various chapters.

This book is accurate and comprehensive. I would not hesitate to use this resource with undergraduate or graduate students as a beginning primer for research.

The book is relevant and timely in regards to the various resources and tech tools it mentions (Google Scholar, EndNote, Ref Works). Given the subject matter I suspect that this book will have longevity to users.

The text is clear and provides definitions for jargon/technical terminology that is used. It is very comprehensive which might be a bit intimidating for the first time reader, but all elements needed for cogent research are included and therefore necessary. I appreciate the use of student scenarios as a way to step-by-step show the thinking process of choosing research questions.

Very consistent and thorough.

This text would be ideal for use as single chapters in courses where the content is needed. While the content is crafted with Ohio State University students in mind it is still very relevant for use by students and scholars. I am already thinking how I might use this next semester with an undergraduate honor's thesis student - both as modules to be read but also as a reference source.

The book is organized in a logical manner but spends only a brief amount of time about qualitative and quantitative research as peer-reviewed sources and only gives basic definitions for those two terms. I would perhaps suggest an additional section on qual/quant/mixed methods research methodology and perhaps a quick overview of research methods or samples via discipline. Additionally, a mention of the common IRB process for Human Subject Research might be helpful to those students using academic sources that discuss that process. It is a very clear text and this could be added with just a few pages of information that might be beneficial to students.

Navigation links worked well for me. The book is easy to read and the display features are not troublesome to me.

Grammatically sound.

Appropriate and is accessible to a wide audience.

Reviewed by Kathy Lamb, ELL Specialist/ English Instructor, Miami University on 8/2/18

The text covers most areas of academic research, and has a table of contents but no glossary, which is much needed. Topics are clear and concise, transitioning smoothly from general to more specific, such as “What is a Research Question?” to... read more

The text covers most areas of academic research, and has a table of contents but no glossary, which is much needed. Topics are clear and concise, transitioning smoothly from general to more specific, such as “What is a Research Question?” to “Narrowing Topics” and finding “Related Terms”. Perfect for college freshmen.

The content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.

The source is up-to-date and it would be relatively easy to update information.

The text is easily understand and flows in a clear manner. Ideas and topics progress easily and examples are used to offer context.

Ideas build one upon another and academic vocabulary is repeated throughout.

Some parts of the book seem a little “text heavy”, but overall it is well organized with efficient flow. The embedded links in the text connect earlier concepts

One problematic is that there lacks a glossary. The table of contents is very long, but broken down so that one is able to easily reference topics. Chapters are concise enough to be read in a timely manner and effectively used.

For some of the online activities it was confusing to discern which answers were correct or incorrect. And, after clicking on and completing an activity one must go back to the former page in order to navigate further. On the other hand, being able to access other information about the chapter topics via link is a handy tool.

There are no grammatical errors.

This book is culturally relevant and not offensive or insensitive in any way.

Reviewed by Sara Abrahamson, Faculty, Minneosta West Community and Technical College on 8/2/18

This text is very comprehensive. The complete research process is broken down from start to finish. read more

This text is very comprehensive. The complete research process is broken down from start to finish.

Very accurate information.

The content is very relative to today's researchers and does a fine job of detailing types of sources.

Very easy to read with content that is easily understood by even a first-time researcher.

The content was very consistent and easy to follow because if it.

LOVED the easy of reading because of the small, digestible informational pieces!

The flow of the text was perfect, following the research process from beginning to end.

I enjoyed the hyperlinked Activities, however, they did not all work for me.

No grammatical errors found.

Very culturally unbiased.

Excellent text that I wished I had years ago!

Reviewed by Justin Megahan, Librarian / Associate Professor, Fontbonne University on 6/19/18

The text does a good job covering academic research. There is a table of contents, but I feel like a glossary and index would be helpful for this book. read more

The text does a good job covering academic research. There is a table of contents, but I feel like a glossary and index would be helpful for this book.

The content is accurate. I did not notice any errors.

The content is up-to-date. There are many databases and websites referred to in the text so it is important to check those relevant links on occasion. It would be straightforward to update the text as needed.

The text clearly steps the reader through the research process. The process is discussed in detail over the 13 chapters.

The text is consistent.

The book is modular. Chapters can be rearranged without confusion. The Copyright Chapter is a good example of a component that can be used separately as a supplemental reading in another course.

The book is organized logically. The addition of a glossary and index could help navigation.

The book has images, charts, and videos that are useful. There are quick activity questions that tests the students’ knowledge on the current topic. These activities do link out to OSU’s site so it is important to make sure those links continue to stay active.

The text contains no grammatical errors.

This book does not have cultural concerns.

Many links direct the reader to OSU resources that have restricted access. The discussion of OSU resources and tools needs to be modified to fit the reader’s institutional resources. “ACTIVITY: Quantitative vs. Qualitative” has a link that is no longer working.

Reviewed by Jane Theissen, Reference Librarian/Professor, Fontbonne University on 5/21/18

The research process is explained in detail, from how to develop a research question to where and how to research through the application of copyright, fair use and citation styles. read more

The research process is explained in detail, from how to develop a research question to where and how to research through the application of copyright, fair use and citation styles.

The content is accurate and unbiased. Most of the links, which are plentiful and well placed, are either broken or link to resources at OSU's library, which I could not access. Use of this book would require time to correct this.

The content is stable. Other than updating the links, little would need to be done to use this text.

Very clearly written; jargon is appropriately explained. Self-checks allow students to make sure they understand the material.

Each section logically builds on the previous, and tone is consistent throughout.

The text has a great deal of modularity. Each section is listed in the Table of Contents and covers a few pages or less. There is no index. It is easy to find and move to sections quickly. the structure allows one to pull sections out for other courses (which I have done).

The research process is explained step-by-step with appropriate detail and excellent graphics.

Images, charts, and diagrams serve to explain and support the text. Many seem rather large and I found them a bit distracting. Additionally, there are page breaks in strange places, leaving large blocks of white space on pages while the narrative continued on the next page. This was very confusing. It would also be helpful if the links would open in a new window.

It seemed inclusive where applicable.

This text impressed me as appropriate for high school students or college freshmen.

Reviewed by Laura Heinz, Librarian, Texas Tech University on 3/27/18

This book provides beginning student researchers with a clear and complete path to the research process for class assignments and undergraduate research projects. read more

This book provides beginning student researchers with a clear and complete path to the research process for class assignments and undergraduate research projects.

The content is presented is accurate and in an unbiased manner for students to easily grasp the process and concepts.

This book was written in 2016 and may need some minor updates. The material is presented in a logical manner that leads students through the process as they begin their research. Each chapter can be used independently as the instructor fits the chapters into course content.

This book is easily understood by an undergraduate and doesn't require extra readings or content to be understood. It is concise and clear which will be appreciated by the student as they conduct research.

This book is consistent in it's framework which leads the student to each step logically avoiding confusion or frustration.

The chapters can easily be used independently and refer students to other chapters with supporting information.

The book is written to lead students in a logical manner through the research process. The length of the chapters allows a student to easily read the chapter for that step in their research, apply it and refer to it easily.

The book downloads easily onto a laptop or e-reader. The graphics display nicely on either size screen and enhance the text.

No grammatical errors were noticed.

This book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. Examples used are appropriate.

This book introduces beginning student researchers to the academic research process in a thoughtful and deliberate manner. The books lack of jargon and abbreviations will help international students learn how to better navigate an academic library for research. Instructors in all disciplines should consider this book as an additional textbook for their classes requiring research for assignments, class projects and/or papers.

Reviewed by Hilary Johnson, Learning & Teaching Librarian, The Open University on 3/27/18

The text does not include an index or glossary. However, it covers a complex (and dry) subject in an economical and stimulating fashion. Each reader would learn about the subject from the basic text but the authors have enriched the text by... read more

The text does not include an index or glossary. However, it covers a complex (and dry) subject in an economical and stimulating fashion. Each reader would learn about the subject from the basic text but the authors have enriched the text by embedding audio-visual resources, download-and-keep checklists and formative activities of excellent quality.Chapter 9 'Making an Argument' is particularly strong and complements Chapter 1's analysis of research questions well. It is an excellent resource for undergraduates, post-graduates and beyond, and could also be useful for professionals researching topics to support evidence-based practice protocols.

More tips about applying facets to search results on services like Summon, EDS or Primo would be a useful addiition. I was surprised the authors did not employ language to frame the skill development in the language of 'employability' and life-skills, which might hook readers who are not planning to engage in academic research in the long-term.

The accuracy of the book was excellent, My score would have been 5, except the advice about copyright legislation and fair use is only applicable to students of Ohio State or elsewhere in the USA; so an institution in the Britain, Ireland or Europe would not be able to use or recommend chapters 11 or 12. However, these chapters are well-judged for the intended audience; succinct and comprehensible, where so many guides are too woolly or arcane to be useful to a general readership.

Chapter 1 had a dead link to an audio-visual resource. The explanation of how to use Wikipedia for academic study was nuanced, classic and practical. The explanation of how to use truncation and wildcards were similarly time- (and platform-) proof. There is much current interest in 'fake news' and the manipulation of Facebook and Google algorithms. So it could be timely to add a section on the known issues and some practical strategies to compensate for them.

The authors use excellent, clear English that should be comprehensible to anyone with academic english reading proficiency. My only qualms related to an ambiguous use of the term "poster" (this word has a particular meaning in an academic setting which was not explained) and more extensively around the slightly simplistic and dated language used for the university library catalogue and abstract & indexing databases. One of the activity sheets is structured like a decision-tree and starts with the question "are you working from a database"; with modern resource discovery platforms and other aggregating tools, students may not be able to tell whether they are looking at results from a single database, all the databases from one supplier or multiple databases from a variety of suppliers.

The stylesheet and planning of content is elegant and the quality is consistent throughout the text.

Each chapter is split into useful subsections, with clear formatting to demarcate between topics, tips and activities. The authors have also helpfully embedded hyperlinks to relevant chapters or sections earlier or later in the book.The length of individual subsections is consistent to make reading online easy (balancing scrolling and page turning). However, the length of embedded audio-visual materials varies so a student planning their time might be surprised in places.

The text has a sensible progression of topics, with hyperlinks back and forwards to connect relevant topics. And the final chapter, 'Roles of Research Sources', pulls together the lessons learnt with a useful acronym (BEAM), giving the book a strong ending.

I accessed the text on a variety of browsers, screen sizes and operating systems without any problems with the interface.

I only spotted two minor errors - site instead of cite and White's definition (page 186) without an apostrophe.

Not all the video materials embedded are captioned making them inaccessible to some categories of disabled users.

online sources for research papers

Reviewed by Lydia Bales, Academic Skills Tutor & Librarian, Staffordshire University on 2/1/18

Considering the book is not overly large, the guide manages to be very through and comprehensive guide to locating sources and using them correctly. It even goes further in giving some great information on making an argument and writing out the... read more

Considering the book is not overly large, the guide manages to be very through and comprehensive guide to locating sources and using them correctly. It even goes further in giving some great information on making an argument and writing out the research. The chapters are in easily digestible chunks covering the process of searching and evaluating resources in a useful and cross-discipline manner. It covers the source search process of research in an easily digestible manner.

The topics are accurate and have been written in a way that they will not date too much. The links and examples of the services provided may need updating to keep them accurate but the nature of the online format makes this easily possible. The Copyright chapter is obviously only applicable to those studying in the US. Having a version of this chapter available discussing copyright law in the UK could be useful any access the course for a different location.

The topics, examples and videos used are relevant and useful and should not date too much. The links and examples of the services provided may need updating to keep them accurate but the nature of the online format makes this easily possible. Some of the examples and links are specific to Ohio State and America and this can limit the relevance for students who do not have the ability to access Ohio State resources or are not based in America. Also the copyright section specfically is obviously only US copyright law limiting it's usefulness for students based in other locations.

The writing style is straightforward and easy to follow. It is sometimes slightly repetitive but overall the information is clearly presented and the vocabulary used is not too advanced. The style is informal and it makes a weighty topic much easier to process. I think it would be useful to have a glossary in the resource for students who maybe have not come across some of the topic specific words before and need them defining.

I was impressed with the consistency considering the work is made up of different author’s contributions. I could not identify different voices within the text, which helped improve the flow of the work. The arrangement of the contents tab is very useful to help navigate to specific sections of chapters as well as the overall chapter.

The layout of the book makes this modular. You can choose which sections to look at in any order and they read clearly and separately well. The other sections are signposted throughout the text and you can link back through to these using the hyperlinks provided. I think the order could be slightly improved by moving the citing and copyright information after the information on argument and writing but because you can choose how to read the book then it is not really an issue. I think it is important to note that if you cannot play the video content or the links in the book are Ohio State Specific the book does lose some of its positive features.

Overall, the structure is straightforward and logical. It flows in a manner that is easy to read and to process. Using the navigation you can work your way through the book in any order you feel is appropriate. As I stated I feel the referencing and copyright information could be in a different place but because you can choose to read this in a different order, it does not really matter.

Having read the online version on both a PC and a tablet I found the interface both easy to use and accessible. The page and chapter length worked well on both platforms and it was easy to access the links and activities contained within the resource. I could not access the videos on the PC due to not having Adobe Flash and it would be useful to have known I would require this to access the resource in its entirety. The video content is a refreshing change to just text and the images used are overall relevant. The videos do not all include a text version and this would be useful for accessibility. A few of them do have this option. Some of the images in the text viewed blurry on my PC and tablet. I am not sure if this was an issue with my own software or an error in the book.

I did not notice any errors during this read through. In some places, the text was a bit repetitive but this not disrupt the flow too drastically.

The examples used are not offensive and are diverse in their range. They have not given examples that define the guide for specific subset of students, which makes it more applicable.

Just for accessibility purposes, I think all the videos need a text version not just some. In addition, the RefWorks program has now been updated and it is called New Refworks with a changed logo and this could be updated in the book along with the guide to setting up Refworks if your institution subscribes. I feel that there are many links that you could not access unless you were an Ohio State user and this could disrupt the flow of the book for some users.

Reviewed by Lori Jacobson, Associate Director, Curriculum Development, William & Mary Writing Resources Center on 2/1/18

The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the use of sources in academic writing. read more

The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the use of sources in academic writing.

The book is a polished, professional and appropriate tool to help students improve their information literacy.

The content is relevant for undergraduate students and their instructors. It focuses primarily on fundamental approaches to finding, evaluating, and deploying sources in order to enter the scholarly conversation. While the authors occasionally mention a specific tool, or insert links to outside sources, these are placed within "Tip" boxes that can easily be updated.

Because this book was created for students at Ohio State University, it is sometimes quite specific about tools or processes that are unique to OSU. Instructors using this book at other institutions may sometimes need to suggest their own's institution's available tools to keep the text relevant for their students.

The book is well-crafted for an undergraduate audience, taking an easy-going, friendly tone and clearly defining key terms and concepts. It is also accessibly structured, making it fairly easy for users to jump between topics, rather than requiring a linear read. Links between related sections are provided wherever it is appropriate.

The book uses a consistent design scheme and structure. Features that appear in each chapter include graphics, tip boxes, examples, activities, and summaries.

Each unit of the text stands on its own and could be easily assigned as an individual reading. Rather than being self-referential, the text will suggest that more information on a related topic can be found in one of the other modules.

The text is organized to flow in roughly the same sequence as a typical research project. Students who are reading the text while working on a project should find individual sections logically presented and relevant. This is clearly not a text designed as background reading; rather it functions best as "just in time" information for students working through the research process.

I found the text quite easy to use in it its online form. It is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and thoughtfully arranged.

I noticed a couple of typos, but no significant grammatical errors.

The examples provided are of broad interest, and most readers will have some familiarity with them. There were no insensitive or offensive comments or examples.

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research is a practical tool for novice researchers. It asks students to begin the process with a research question, and then provides a step-by-step approach to creating the question. All the other chapters flow from this effective beginning, and should increase students' information literacy by helping them understand types of sources available to researchers, the relationship between sources and information needs, how sources should be evaluated, and how they can be deployed effectively and ethically. Additional chapters on argumentation and copyright round out the book's overall usefulness to students engaged in a research project. This book could be easily paired with a staged research project, and would provide students with the "just-in-time" information they need to successfully complete the assignment.

Reviewed by Kristin Green, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State Worthington Scranton on 2/1/18

The aspects of academic research that are prudent to cover within the first year of any undergraduate student's general education are all covered within this textbook. From an introduction to the ethics of source use to crafting basic Boolean... read more

The aspects of academic research that are prudent to cover within the first year of any undergraduate student's general education are all covered within this textbook. From an introduction to the ethics of source use to crafting basic Boolean search strings, all facets of entering scholarly discourse are addressed in brief chapters that feel modern and accessible. While instructors may wish to supplement or replace some of the exercise sets in the text with their own assessments, the content of the text provides ample coverage if selected to serve as a primary textbook for a foundational information literacy course.

The book is accurate in addressing the current state of the information landscape as encountered in the realm of academic research, as well as the legalities of copyright and fair use.

All content within this book is current and the content within chapters sections are written in a style that today's undergraduate students will be able to learn easily from. Many of the concepts, processes, and principles that are covered in the text have an inherent longevity that will prolong the relevance of this text past its initial publication date. However some chapter sections, tutorials, and videos are institution-specific reducing the overall relevancy of using the entire text at other locations.

The text is written in a clear and concise style that current students will find very accessible. The authors consciously defined any technical terminology or jargon as it was introduced throughout the chapters. Furthermore, the technical concepts that were more complex to define are often accompanied by visuals to help convey what is being defined.

The terminology and format of the book, along with the linked exercise sets and visualizations, provide a solid consistency that will helps students focus on learning the content rather than being bogged down with understanding the textbook format.

Instructors could easily parse different chapters of this book to use for modular instruction, especially in "one-shot" or other limited instructional scenarios. Some of the chapters are a bit self-referential which may generate a minor degree of confusion if used out of the holistic context.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3

While there is a logical flow to most of the chapters, some seem a little out of place such as the "Making an Argument" chapter. I would have preferred a division of chapters into sections, where the writing-related chapters were separated from the source-related chapters. I also think the chapters that covered Copyright, Fair Use, ethical source use, and citations would have a stronger flow if organized together in their own section.

The ability to navigate through the book from the table of contents page is a great feature for students, especially when the instructor is choosing to assign only particular chapters or work through some of the chapters in a different sequence. The linked exercise sets are also easy to navigate through, allowing students to focusing on applying learned concepts rather than learning new interfaces. However, throughout my review some of the linked external content would not open for me and links to external materials always have the possibility of changing which may result in future inaccessibility

No grammatical errors were detected when reviewing this book.

This book is not offensive nor culturally insensitive in any manner.

For any instructor looking for an open textbook to orient undergraduate students to the basics of the academic research and writing processes while simultaneously providing context of contemporary issues surrounding these scholarly activities, this is a comprehensive and accessible choice!

Reviewed by Anne Behler, Information Literacy Librarian & Instruction Coordinator, The Pennsylvania State University on 2/1/18

This text offers a comprehensive breakdown of the academic research process, with special effort made to demystify jargon that may present itself in either the classroom or library environment. Beginning with establishing a research question and... read more

This text offers a comprehensive breakdown of the academic research process, with special effort made to demystify jargon that may present itself in either the classroom or library environment. Beginning with establishing a research question and carrying through to integrating and citing sources, the text includes practical tools for students to use in their own research, as well as links to supplemental information. If anything, the text errs on the side of providing too much information, such that a novice researcher may feel overloaded.

The text offers an accurate articulation of the research process, and avoids bias by covering a wide variety of potential information sources, including the use of web search engines other than Google.

Because the information landscape is constantly shifting, the text will require fairly frequent review. This is particularly important when it comes to how web sources are addressed. For example, the book does not address fake news and/or dealing with problematic web resources, and it glosses over use of social media as an information source. However, the concepts related to the research process itself change very little, and the information presented about them has staying power.

The text is written in accessible language, and works to address uses of jargon that are typical within the academic environment by providing explanations for what professors typically want when they request a particular item in the research process. This is an effective way to establish relevance with students, as well as clarify academic expectations.

The language within the text is consistent and accessible, with helpful insertions of definitions and/or links to explanatory supplementary information online.

The text's sections are clearly and logically labeled, and could very easily be plugged into a course in part or whole.

The order of topics in the text follow the research assignment process, from point of assignment decoding through to writing and source citation. Given the audience for the text and its intended purpose, this makes great sense.

The text contains links to many outside web sources that may provide helpful supplemental information for the reader; however many of these links were found to be dead. Comprehensive review of all links is highly recommended. In addition, I recommend continuing review of available videos related to the topics, as many selected are either rudimentary or contain dated material.

The writing and grammatical quality of this text are of the highest quality.

The text is culturally relevant and inclusive in its examples.

As stated, this book holds great utility and relevance, but requires updating for links to external web resources. It will also need to be adapted to keep up with the changing landscape of information sources themselves.

Reviewed by Craig Larson, Librarian, North Hennepin Community College on 2/1/18

The book is very comprehensive, sometimes almost too much so (sections on copyright seem to be more detailed than the average college student would need or perhaps be interested in; the section on the lifecycle of information, while interesting,... read more

The book is very comprehensive, sometimes almost too much so (sections on copyright seem to be more detailed than the average college student would need or perhaps be interested in; the section on the lifecycle of information, while interesting, also is a bit questionable as to its overall relevance). Instructors who choose this book for a one- or two-credit information literacy course will have much more material at their hands than they can reasonably cover in a semester. This book would make a good companion volume to just about any course involving research.

The content is accurate and unbiased. As an example, I was interested to find that the author actually recommends that students use Wikipedia, at least in the very early stages of research, to get an overall picture of their topic. So many college instructors, regardless of the subject, seem to have a strong aversion to Wikipedia. Here, the author actually goes into some detail on how using the references in an entry can lead the researcher to additional sources he/she might not find through other means. Some of the activities are a bit misleading or written in such a way that there could be more than one right answer, which isn't necessarily an error, but could be tightened up a bit.

The content is largely relevant and up-to-date, though I was a bit surprised to not find a section addressing "fake news," which has become such a watchword over the past year. I was also a bit surprised that, although the author has a section talking about which "neighborhood" certain types of information "hangs out," there wasn't a discussion of different domain names, such as ".edu," ".org," and ".com" and what they indicate to readers. Also hampering the book's relevance somewhat is an overabundance of examples and activities that require an Ohio State student ID to log-in. Many of these would have to be re-worked or re-written for the book to be useful at other schools.

In large part, the book is clearly written and new ideas are clearly explained. The writer does a pretty good job of avoiding jargon and technical terminology or where it can't be avoided, of providing examples and clear definitions of terms. Some of the activities aren't so clearly written that there is one obviously correct answer. Also, some of the scoring of activities isn't clear enough to indicate to the user what was wrong and why it was wrong or even the correct answer that should have been chosen. Not every concept is adequately explained or thoroughly developed (for instance, the crucial process of moving from an initial reading to a research question could use further clarification and development). Another area that could use further discussion and development would be how to use databases.

The book is largely consistent, though there are occasions where the consistency falls through. For example, most of the accompanying activities will open in a new window, but not all. There were several occasions where this reader closed out an activity window and closed out the entire book as well. This is an area that someone really should take a look at, as it can be confusing and irritating for the user. Also, the fact that many of the book's activities require an Ohio State student ID effectively locks out users from other institutions.

The book is largely modular, with sections that can easily be broken apart and assigned at different points in the course. There is a very useful table of contents, broken down by subject into smaller pieces that can easily be accessed. As mentioned previously, the book is very comprehensive, almost too much so at times, so having this table of contents is very helpful.

The book is fairly-well organized, though there are things placed in odd locations that could be touched on earlier or later, as the case may be. For instance, there is a good discussion fairly late in the book about deciding whether to quote, paraphrase, or summarize, which would have been much more useful if it was placed in the section of the book that directly addresses each of those activities. Instead, it is placed in a section on academic integrity (which, again, is very Ohio State-specific, too much so, really). I also question the relevance of a chapter on creating an academic argument, which if it is to be included at all, would seem to make much more sense earlier in the book, when students are learning the basics of research and how to apply it to their writing.

The book is largely free of significant issues, although as mentioned previously, many of the activities require an Ohio State student ID to log-in and use, which makes them useless to students from other institutions. Also, the activities are sometimes difficult to follow--one doesn't know why one answered incorrectly or what the correct answer even is in some instances. And the fact that some activities open a new browser window and some don't can also be confusing. There are a few activities that lead to broken links.

There are the occasional run-on sentences and spelling mistakes in the text. It's almost impossible not to have some issues in this area. However, the infrequent errors don't detract from the book or its overall usefulness, though it might be a good idea for someone to go through the text and try to clear some of these up.

The book does a good job of avoiding being culturally insensitive or offensive. Activities and examples are written in such a way as to be inclusive. Many of the examples link directly to sites that deal with minority themes and issue.

I think, on the whole, this is a very useful book and one that could be put to immediate use in many instances. However, the number of activities and examples that require an Ohio State student ID to access make this less relevant than it could be if the author had striven for more universal examples.

Reviewed by Mairéad Hogan, Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway on 2/1/18

This book covers the subject matter in a comprehensive and detailed way. The way in which the material is presented is very suitable for students who have not previously been involved in academic research as it starts at the very beginning and... read more

This book covers the subject matter in a comprehensive and detailed way. The way in which the material is presented is very suitable for students who have not previously been involved in academic research as it starts at the very beginning and assumes no prior knowledge. It has additional features that help to reinforce the material, such as activities and MCQs. These help to reinforce the learning and test the reader’s understanding. Additionally, the examples used are very useful and helpful in gaining understanding of the subject matter.

It goes into the material in depth and not only tells students how to progress their research but also explains clearly why they should be doing it this way. For example, it explains to students how to differentiate between good and bad sources. However, I have one small concern with this aspect. They do not tell students how to differentiate between different standards of peer-reviewed journals. They do mention looking at citation count but state that is not a useful measure for very recent articles. Some discussion on determining the quality of the journal itself would be helpful. For example, looking at citation counts for the journal, rather than the article would be one example, as would looking at rankings.

Overall, I would see this as an excellent reference book to last students through their academic careers.

The material itself is accurate. However, many of the links to additional material either do not work or are inaccessible to those without OSU credentials.

The material is mainly presented in a way that will last. However, many of the links no longer work so these should be checked and alternatives put in on a regular basis. Additionally, there are links to videos that may not be there in the future, although all I clicked on were available. However, the text description of the videos did not work. Many of the activities (MCQ’s etc) have a dated feel about them in terms of layout and interaction. The design of them could do with some updating.

The writing itself is very clear and easy to understand. Diagrams are used to good effect to clarify concepts (e.g. use of Venn diagrams to explain Boolean concepts). However, some of the terminology is not as clearly defined as it could be. While terms are generally explained clearly in the text, it would be nice to have a glossary of terms. Additionally, the MCQs are not always clear as if the reader gets an answer wrong it is not always apparent which is the correct one.

The book is consistent in writing style and interface.

The book is structured in a modular format whereby the reader can dip in and out of different sections, as they need to. Equally, for a student starting out, it is structured in a way that is likely to follow the steps in the same order as the student, making it a good companion to their research projects.

The book was organised in a very natural and sensible way and flowed smoothly from one topic to another. Links were provided to related sections of the book where relevant so that if the reader forgot what was meant by a particular topic, they could easily hop back and forth. The book started at the very beginning with good coverage of developing a research question and then progressed through tools and sources to help with this. The additional activities were all web based, which works fine if you have easy access. However, I was using a kindle with poor broadband so struggled to access it at times. It also felt a bit disruptive leaving the book to do the activities. It’s also not always clear whether links lead to another part of the book or to an external site. The tips are a useful addition. The stand out when flicking through the book and help to reinforce the important points. It is also useful the ways steps are clearly broken down into sub-steps.

I downloaded it to Kindle, and found a number of issues. It struggled to deal with larger fonts, resulting in some text not being visible.. There were also references to “the bottom of the page” but the bottom of the page varies depending on font size. Not all of the activities worked. Some of the activities required OSU credentials to access them, which was frustrating.

There were some minor grammatical and typographical errors but nothing major.

The book is very US centric in its use of examples. For example, there is an American football example and news sources referred to are US based generally. Additionally, copyright discussion is US centric.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent book that will help students in their research projects. I think it is a book that they will use for a number of years as it is has sufficient depth to help at different levels. The one main change I would make would be to broaden OSU references and activities so they are referring to databases in general, for example, rather than simply talking about the OSU one. Much of the material is relevant regardless of institution but a reader unfamiliar with databases would not be aware of this and might skip over some very useful information.

Reviewed by Anthony Patterson, Assistant Professor, North Carolina Central University on 2/1/18

Choosing and Using Sources is an extremely thorough text taking readers through the research process from formulating research questions to fair use and copy right issues. I particularly liked the online examples and resources including quizzes... read more

Choosing and Using Sources is an extremely thorough text taking readers through the research process from formulating research questions to fair use and copy right issues. I particularly liked the online examples and resources including quizzes and videos. The table of contents is thorough but there is not a glossary. While this is a strong text some discussion of theory and how theoretical frameworks are used in academic writing.

While the text could have addressed additional areas, the authors were accurate and detailed. Chapter 8 - How to Cite Sources is well done and accurately takes novel researchers through when they should and should not provide citations.

The authors present how to develop, approach, and conduct sound research in a well thought out format. This text is up-to-date addressing issues like Wikipedia and Google Scholar. While issues around these information sources will change, the way this text is set up, it can easily be updated in the future.

The book is well written, clear, and easy to follow. Jargon such as primary, secondary, and tertiary sources were explained clearly with appropriate examples. This text will be accessible for my students and most others pursuing advanced degrees.

The authors are consistent throughout the text when discussing topics like presenting arguments and the relationship this has with concepts like research questions and the sources researcher select. While consistency is expected is difficult to do especially when writing as a team. More impressively is the consistency of supplemental materials throughout the text.

The book has long chapters and occasionally I had some difficulty knowing where one section ended and another began but overall it is readily divisible. Another important aspect of the text are the supplemental materials like online quizzes and videos which are also clearly align with the sections in the text.

I was skeptical at first when I began reading but the overall organization of this text is good. Even though the text is about writing and sources, a section of theory and incorporating theoretical frameworks would have strengthen the book. However the topics selected flowed well and led potential researchers through a logical process.

A few problems linking to sum supplemental materials but overall I was impressed by the quality of the graphics as well as the links to quizzes and videos that were provided.

I did not come across any grammatical or typographical issues.

I did not see any cultural insensitive examples or information provided. However I also did not see a lot of racial or ethnic diversity in examples throughout this text. Overall, I feel the authors approached the subject matter appropriately.

Reviewed by Rachelle Savitz, Assistant Professor, Clemson University on 2/1/18

The text is quite comprehensive regarding finding, using, and understanding sources. It provides the process of sourcing from start to finish with examples and activities provided throughout to support the reader. Various ways to find sources... read more

The text is quite comprehensive regarding finding, using, and understanding sources. It provides the process of sourcing from start to finish with examples and activities provided throughout to support the reader. Various ways to find sources are described. There is a focus throughout on software and databases for the students at the authors institution and that can be confusing to readers from other institutions. The information provided regarding citing, ethics and copyright, and fair use was informative and would be beneficial to the reader. There were sections throughout that could have been more in depth and more specific. For instance, when going over the various ways to cite sources, additional examples could be provided and the version/edition should be listed. For instance, was the APA citation in APA 6th edition format? Also, make sure to address citing from secondary sources as students do this often and tend to cite what they read even if they read it from another text. The TOC was helpful and allowed ease of understanding what was to be covered in each section. One main complain that I have was regarding the additional information provided to help the reader in writing a paper. This information would be helpful for basic college writing but not for academic writing, thesis or dissertation writing. The sections required for some of these papers are not discussed and the text eludes that the sections provided regarding writing an argumentative piece would be appropriate for all. Also, synthesizing information could be explained a bit more and with more depth. Synthesizing includes more than critiquing and summarizing. All in all, the sourcing information is spectacular and the additional information could be expanded upon.

Accuracy of sourcing was spot on. Some of the additional categories discussed, as mentioned in the first section of this review, could be expanded upon to fully explain that category, if it is to be included in the book. The examples and activities provided were quite good and would be very beneficial for students to apply what they are learning in real-life contexts. Links were provided for extending information. I did not attempt to open every link but making sure they are up-to-date will be important as time goes forward. I also feel that the section on popular texts can be misleading. Stating that the Washington Post is "popular" eludes that it is not reliable or valid. This is not necessarily true as many experts in various fields write sections in "popular" newspapers.

As previously stated, a lot of links go to OSU resources. This could be problematic for any reader that is not at OSU. More information should be provided to support any student in the world as that part would be confusing to many students.

The text is easy to read and follow. All new information is explained and then examples and activities are provided. This is student friendly and allows any reader to quickly follow along and understand what is being stated, especially regarding the sourcing elements. As stated above, there are some sections that could/should be expanded upon for clarity and this might be best for beginning university students but the text was easy to understand in regards to sourcing, citing, and fair use. More information on how to use the sources and sections of papers would be beneficial to all students.

Each chapter seemed to follow a similar structure that followed the TOC.

Modularity rating: 3

Reading the book online provides ability to chunk the text based on assignments and can be read chapter by chapter, entirety or starting at different places. Due to the extensive amount of outside links and examples, this would be quite different if read in paper format. This book truly has to be read online to ensure benefit from all of the additional activities, links, examples, sources, etc. In addition, the many links specific to OSU would not be helpful for other students.

The organization is consistent from chapter to chapter. Information is explained and then examples and activities are provided to further knowledge. This works well for readers that needs examples.

Using a laptop provided no issues. However, when using a smartphone, the pages changed in size and various display features did not load properly or at all.

Very few grammatical errors were noticed.

No cultural issues noticed other than the many OSU references and sources. This could be offensive to other institutions as they will not be able to access many of the links.

Reviewed by Scott Rice, Associate Professor, Appalachian State University on 2/1/18

The book is very comprehensive which sometimes detracted from its usefulness. There were a few units that may be superfluous, but I did appreciate that the author seemed to err on the side of inclusivity, leaving it to other adoptees how much... read more

The book is very comprehensive which sometimes detracted from its usefulness. There were a few units that may be superfluous, but I did appreciate that the author seemed to err on the side of inclusivity, leaving it to other adoptees how much content they might use and repurpose.

The book is error-free and appears to be free of bias.

The book is pitched to an Ohio State University audience, so some of the resources pointed to would not be the same as a potential adopter's institution might select. In addition, the book needs some updating regarding the impact of social media on the information cycle. Social media formats are mentioned, but a fuller treatment of how they fit into the information climate would be a good addition.

The text was clear and easy to read, and provided numerous examples for its points. It also did not rely on jargon in its explanations, which makes it much more accessible.

The text was consistent in its use of terms. I found its tone consistent, as well as the level of explanation for the wide variety of concepts explored.

The organization of the text into units makes it very easy to break the content apart into smaller units and use it for a variety of purposes. I could see using the content for different parts of several courses, as well as incorporating it into e-learning content.

The topics are presented in a logical fashion, following the path that a typical research assignment might take. This will also make it easier to fit within the flow of a course that uses the textbook to teach about the process of academic research.

The interface of the text itself works appropriately, but some of the ancillary quizzes and extra material did not work so well. Many of the graphics did not work as well within the pdf format as they do in the web format.

The textbook was free of grammatical errors and was easy to read.

The text did not appear to be culturally insensitive.

I am exploring the creation of a for-credit information literacy class at my institution and this book is a possible candidate for adoption for the course.

Reviewed by Bryan Gattozzi, Lecturer, General Studies Writing, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

I was impressed how the text began helping students understand the benefits of leading a research project by writing research question(s), following with assessment of research methods, and thinking about research writing as an avenue to test a... read more

I was impressed how the text began helping students understand the benefits of leading a research project by writing research question(s), following with assessment of research methods, and thinking about research writing as an avenue to test a hypothesis instead of one simply confirming a previous, and perhaps uninformed, belief.

The book didn't seem to dismiss any possible research method. Instead it provided suggestions of how and when any individual research method may be relevant.

The book was published last academic year and the content included is still relevant, mostly because best-practices in research (and research writing) haven't changed much.

The volume of research methods students can use given the internet's power is ever increasing, yet the book does well to isolate a handful of long standing tenets that academic writers have used for decades while allowing for discussion of web-based writing and multi-modal presentation methods instructors may increasingly require students to use.

Each section is concise, clear, and easy to follow . . . for me.

I assume students will be capable of reading the text, performing quizzes provided, and plotting out a research path to complete their assignment(s).

Then again, as an academic I obsess over these issues. I can see a student yawning while reading this text.

The content isn't especially fun to read yet the information provided in relevant and time-saving if students are willing to relax, read actively, and apply the material to the assignment their instructor has given.

I don't imagine many students would seek the book out and read about research methods, yet an instructor can pair excerpts from the book with specific assignments along a student's research path to help the student retain and apply the helpful suggestions in the book.

The text does well to allow students to name the process they're going through when composing a research question then deciding on what research path fits their question. Students are guided to consider what blend of qualitative / quantitative, primary / secondary / tertiary, or public / professional / scholarly research will fit their research and writing goals.

The book refers back to the same terms throughout and provides students with active learning worksheets to plot a research AND writing plan to complete their work, one they could conceivably follow throughout their academic and professional career.

Each subheading contains, on average, not more than a page of content allowing instructors the ability to easily limit reading assignments from the book to concise, focused sections.

The book is very process-based, and follows the workflow necessary to write a successful academic researched assignment.

The limit of this strategy might be students being overwhelmed with so much discussion of process they'd be paralyzed to inaction.

An instructor, then, would have to be direct in assigning reading materials relevant to a student's immediate research goal.

I like how the text follows the path a student would follow: from narrowing a research question, selecting and reviewing research materials, then choosing how to implement them ethically in writing.

It also details how to process research considerations students may not consider including how to archive research results, to respect copyright law when publishing blog posts or submitting student work to an online repository.

The text contains many online activities, sample research artifacts, and instructional handouts. Some require on Ohio State student authentication. The text is still useful without access to these materials, though an instructor would have to alert students to this issue.

Text was proofread well.

Didn't see any culturally insensitive content.

Reviewed by Jonathan Grunert, Assistant Professor of Library Services: Information Literacy Coordinator, Colorado State University - Pueblo on 2/1/18

This textbook covers the concepts found in the ACRL frameworks in a way that is meaningful and accessible to academic researchers at all levels. It adequately provides a discussion of the complete research process, with clear signposts as to which... read more

This textbook covers the concepts found in the ACRL frameworks in a way that is meaningful and accessible to academic researchers at all levels. It adequately provides a discussion of the complete research process, with clear signposts as to which steps writers might need to revisit to improve their work.

The content appears to be accurate to 2016, with some acknowledgement that finding sources is an activity that has seen many changes in the past few decades, and will likely seem more, and rapidly.

Information discovery and retrieval is a rapidly changing process in a changing field. But much of the content in this textbook—as far as general advice and instruction for finding resources and the ways to use them—remains relevant. As information processes change and as information uses change, I have no doubt that librarians will be at the forefront of maintaining the relevance of a textbook like this one through various edition changes.

This textbook is clear, and accessible to researchers at all levels. Jargon, where present, is well-explained, and the contexts for the various components of the textbook are provided.

The text and frameworks in this book are consistent with ACRL frameworks as well as with the ways librarians tend to talk about finding and using sources. Furthermore, the book consistently uses the same terminologies to clearly explain sometimes difficult practices.

I would be very comfortable using any chapter of this book to teach a component of the academic research process. The chapters are discrete, with well-defined boundaries. The modularity of this textbook helps reinforce the overarching idea in this book: the iterative research process. Students might read the chapters in virtually any order, and come away with a valuable understanding of the research process.

This textbook presents the research process in the way that many students and faculty think about the process—from the perspective of the end goal, and through the organizational structure of an academic paper. But, it also indicates throughout the process places when the researcher needs to revisit an earlier step, to modify the project, or to make the end product more meaningful.

No issues in the interface; nothing distracting from the content.

Some minor punctuation errors, but no grammatical errors that distract from the content.

This textbook comes from an American perspective for ways of searching for, retrieving, and using information, as well as the traditionally American ways of constructing arguments. Though there is not discussion of other cultural ways of arguing academically, this textbook does not dismiss or otherwise denigrate other cultures; nor is it insensitive in any way.

Many examples are university-specific to the libraries at Ohio State University, as should be expected from a textbook such as this. As such, this book will be most helpful to students using the book at OSU. However, instructors using this book need to be aware of this focus, and must prepare to supplement with materials accessible by researchers outside OSU.

Reviewed by Susan Nunamaker, Lecturer, Clemson University on 2/1/18

This textbook is comprehensive. It goes in-depth covering the topics of research questions (specifically how to narrow down topics), types of sources, sources and information needs, precision searching, search tools, evaluating sources, ethical... read more

This textbook is comprehensive. It goes in-depth covering the topics of research questions (specifically how to narrow down topics), types of sources, sources and information needs, precision searching, search tools, evaluating sources, ethical use of sources, how to cite sources, making an argument, writing tips, copyright basics, fair use, and roles of resource sources. The textbook hits all of the topics that I plan to cover in my upcoming classroom-based research course with the exception of techniques for completing and writing a literature review. The textbook touches on the topic through a section on "background reading", but does not go in-depth. Otherwise, the textbook covers every aspect of academic research.

I found no errors or bias issues in my initial first read of the textbook.

The information and techniques provided within this textbook are up-to-date and relevant for academic research. I reviewed several textbooks before choosing this one for my upcoming masters-level classroom-based research course. I chose this book because of its relevance in regard to the practical skills needed in order to complete research assignments within the course, as well as, writing a capstone research paper.

This textbook is clear and exceptionally readable. It is organized by research skills in an order that makes sense to the reader. For example, the book begins with a chapter on choosing one's research question. Verbiage is clear and concise for all levels of academia to be able to effectively utilize this text.

This textbook is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Each chapter of the textbook builds on the last. The reader is not necessarily expected to have prior knowledge of research before reading chapter one, but should easily be able to have a good frame of reference for academic research by the end of the textbook due to its high-quality framework for scaffolding knowledge with each chapter.

This textbook does a great job of sectioning academic research into small bites for the reader. It was easy for me to create modules from the textbook's chapters, spreading the information within the text over an 8-week course. The modularity of this textbook was a selling point for utilizing the textbook with students.

This is a well-organized textbook. Each chapter builds on prior chapters. Chapters are organized in a logical manner. The first chapter begins with the purpose of research questions and builds content to assist the reader in narrowing down options for research questions. The textbook progresses to assist the reader in building skills as an academic researcher throughout the textbook.

No interface issues were discovered during my initial exposure to the online format. I printed the PDF (because I still love paper) and all display features printed properly. The online navigation is easy to use and pleasing to the eye, as well.

No grammar issues were detected during my initial review of the textbook.

This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in my opinion.

This is an excellent textbook if you are looking to utilize it to introduce students to the academic research and writing process. Its layout and design and conducive to module-based instruction, and the content is well thought out and beneficial.

Reviewed by Diane Kauppi, Library Faculty, Technical Services & Systems, Ruth A Myers Library at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College on 2/1/18

The text did a great job of covering the subject and the table of contents were laid out well. The content was well thought out. read more

The text did a great job of covering the subject and the table of contents were laid out well. The content was well thought out.

I found the accuracy to be good. The content is a good representation of what a student needs to know in order better understanding library research.

The content itself is good & should stand the test of time for the near future. The only exception is that even though it's only one year from the publishing date (2016) many of the links are broken. And I would have preferred a OER text that was geared more generally for application to any institution vs. the inclusion of OSU specific references, links, resources.

For a text written to a 4-year university/college audience the text was good. For a 2-year community college audience some of the terminology would need to be defined.

I found the consistency to be good. It followed through each section with including tips, activities, etc.

I think the modularity was good. And the text could easily be broken down into smaller sections to be used as units by themselves or refresher units. The only issue would be where there are links within a module that link to other modules. Add to this that these links didn't work-- I rec'd errors each time I tried a module link.

The overall organization and flow as great. As stated on p 6 ("... as though you are conducting a research project while reading them [the sections]...") this made my logical side happy.

I like the links to activities for students to practice the skills being taught. The problem though was that many of the links no longer work. Additionally, many of the links are to areas not available to users who are not affiliated with OSU. And as mentioned in another review section, module links to other modules didn't work either.

I found the grammar to be quite good with only a few exceptions or where it was clunky at times.

I thought the text was neutral in this area. Nothing that blatantly jumped out at me.

I appreciated the link to application of research to other areas of our lives outside of academic research. I try to get this point across to students, especially when they are hesitant and resistant to library research. I found the "tips" & "summaries" to be a nice added 'pop' & easy for referring back to later. I liked the bold letters/words for emphasis. And the suggestion to "brush up" on p 31 was a nice touch vs outwardly assuming they don't know. The downloadable templates are a great resource for students. Overall, I found the text to be a good resource.

Reviewed by Kristine Roshau, Instructional Technology Specialist and PT Faculty Librarian, Central Oregon Community College on 8/15/17

This text is extensive! Like the title suggests, it truly is a full guide to academic research, from developing a topic, finding sources, and using them appropriately. It also follows the logical order of the search process, from identifying an... read more

This text is extensive! Like the title suggests, it truly is a full guide to academic research, from developing a topic, finding sources, and using them appropriately. It also follows the logical order of the search process, from identifying an information need, evaluating source quality (and purpose), and how to perform complex searches. It also highlights several common areas where academic research can be performed, from the college library catalog to specialized databases and how to find academic sources on the free web.

The book also covers what to do once sources have been found, including the importance of properly citing sources, ethical use of source material, and how to cite unusual or non-standard source material. It then moves into addressing the writing process: developing an argument and idea, writing tips, and a large section on copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain.

The table of contents is very granular, which is helpful. The sections vary in length, but given the overall size of the book (190 pages) having a very specific TOC is useful when returning to the text as a reference source.

I did not find any objectionable or questionable content. The authors have done a good job of selecting examples for each section (often with associated online activities or examples linked out to the web) that are varied and unbiased, but also represent realistic examples of what students might be encountering during their research process. I was really pleased when looking through the section on citing sources - styles can change, but the book is written in such a way as to be comprehensive about the purpose of citing sources, and links out to many helpful web sources, citation tools, etc so the information will remain accurate in the textbook even if the style guides themselves are updated in the future.

The section on copyright is similarly done.

See previous note - it is clear the authors have taken care to include examples that will remain relevant, not evaporate into popular culture, and provide flexibility where the content may be updated or changes (such as copyright law and citation style guides). They do provide a LOT of external links and activities, not all produced by Ohio State. So it's possible that some of their links may break in the future. It does appear that they have made an effort to either link to open sources they control, or which are unlike to change significantly (ie: government websites).

If I were using this text, I would probably modify some of the resource sections (eg: databases) to reflect those that the students at my institution have access to, though the writers do make a point of identifying OSU access-only resources where applicable. I would also update the copyright/plagiarism section to include our college's student handbook blurbs, etc.

The tone is extremely approachable in all of the areas I checked. This is extremely important in academic research where there are a lot of areas of possible legal entanglement, and the authors have done a credible job of breaking down complex concepts into approachable prose and examples.

The textbook is consistent in both writing and structure; however, I do with the table of contents was split into sections in the same way the content is. Page numbers are given though, so that's not really a big deal. There were one or two places where I saw formatting errors, but nothing overly distracting - it did not adversely effect the content.

It is visually appealing and for the most part, easy to navigate. No huge blocks of text, and it also intersperses activities, tips, and examples. The text is also organized in such a way that it can be used as a reference, without needing to be read from start to finish in order to make sense, which is helpful for the researcher who may need to pop in for just pieces of the work.

However, there is a strong presence of external sources (often OSU library webpages) and activities that are linked out of the text. The writing itself is certainly standalone, but the book would lose a lot of its character if it were printed and not viewed digitally. I would have liked a References or bibliographic section that listed some of these resources, but there wasn't one, meaning the user would not be able to search for the resource if the linked text didn't work.

I can see the potential for too many asides for activities to be distracting, but they are generally held to the end of their relevant sections, so it wasn't too overwhelming. The organization follows a logical research process, walking the reader through from beginning to end.

As mentioned before, there are a few places where it looks like images have distorted the intended formatting, pushing items to empty pages, etc. But these instances are rare. A few of the images could be higher resolution, but they were certainly legible (and I was viewing this text at 125% zoom on a larger screen, so my experience is probably not representative of every reader).

It is long though, and I would have loved to be able to jump to sections through anchor bookmarks in the content page - that would be a nice touch.

I also found a few broken links, which is not totally surprising, given the volume of them in this book.

None noticed in this review.

No objectionable content found - the authors have chosen inclusive examples wherever possible, while remaining realistic about subjects students might be researching.

Not all of the links to activities are self-describing (there are no plain URLs, but many of the activity links contain the same 'Open Activity in Web Browser' text, which would be confusing if a user was navigating with a screen reader.

Reviewed by Deborah Finkelstein, Adjunct Professor, George Mason University on 6/20/17

The book is very comprehensive. The authors consistently explain concepts well and provide easy-to-understand examples that are approachable for the undergraduate audience. For example, the authors don’t just say, “narrow down your source,” they... read more

The book is very comprehensive. The authors consistently explain concepts well and provide easy-to-understand examples that are approachable for the undergraduate audience. For example, the authors don’t just say, “narrow down your source,” they go through steps to narrow it down, walking students through the process. (p 9) Very thorough. They also spend a page and a half giving examples of “Regular Question” vs. “Research Question.” (p 13-14) This ensures that students will understand the difference. They also do well with explaining fact vs. option, objective vs. subjective, primary vs. secondary vs. tertiary sources, popular vs. professional vs. scholarly magazines, when to quote vs. paraphrase vs. summarize, and other concepts that are critical to performing research.

The book does not have an index. The table of contents is quite thorough and very useful in understanding the breakdown of the book or locating certain topics.

The book is error-free.

There are many digital examples in the text. As long as authors make updates as technology inevitably changes in the future, the book should remain relevant.

The book has a conversational tone that is connective, trustworthy, and approachable for the undergraduate audience. This makes it easy to read and easy to understand.

The book is very consistent with tone, and terminology.

In the introduction, the book encourages students to “jump around a bit in this guide to meet your needs.” (p 5). The book stays true to this idea. Students could read the book straight through, but it is well-designed for “jumping around.” The sections stand alone, and instructors could easily assign sections in the book out of order. This book could be used as the only textbook in a classroom, or an instructor could use these modules to supplement an existing textbook. Topics are easily found in the book thanks to an excellent table of contents, a clear organizational structure, and a great use of headers.

The book is well-organized and follows a logical structure. Individual topics are also well-organized. The authors break processes into step-by-step, making is easy for students to learn.

Great use of visual aids. For example, there is a chart on how to narrow down research topic (p 9), and a chart on the roles of resources in research (p 179). These items are great for visual learners, and they make the text come alive while emphasizing important concepts.

The book shares links to outside sources. This provides students that would like more information that is beyond the book with resources. It additionally provides students links to activities, such as one that asks them if a source is primary, secondary, or tertiary (p 34). On occasion, it links to outside companies, such as citation management software, news outlets, and social media, making the book a resource. In this way, the book utilizes the medium of a digital book.

The book is free of grammatical errors.

The book is culturally sensitive. The book is designed for Ohio University students. Examples given occasionally apply to Ohio, such as when the authors are providing examples of newspapers, they list two out of six that are from Ohio, including the campus newspaper (p 43) There is also a link to the OSU Libraries’ newspaper database (p 44), and when talking about citation management software, they mention the three that are available at OSU. It’s not a large enough issue that one should not use the book; it’s still easy to understand, but it is a limitation and worth mentioning to students.

I teach a 300-level English class on performing research and writing research papers. I plan to utilize this book next semester due to the excellent organization of modules, the approachable tone, and the great explanations and examples.

Reviewed by Constance Chemay, Head of Public Services, Library Services; Asst. Professor, User Instruction, River Parishes Community College, Gonzales, LA on 6/20/17

The book does an excellent job covering the subject, and even goes beyond what its title suggests, with chapters on writing and formulating an argument. The chapters on copyright and fair use are exceptional. However, it lacks both a glossary and... read more

The book does an excellent job covering the subject, and even goes beyond what its title suggests, with chapters on writing and formulating an argument. The chapters on copyright and fair use are exceptional. However, it lacks both a glossary and an index. Some terms are defined in their appropriate chapters, but not all. Some students, particularly first-year or those who may be enrolled in developmental courses, would benefit greatly from a glossary. The activities, while appropriate for their contexts, are mixed in their effectiveness; some provide good feedback with clarification, but most offer little more than a smiley face for a correct answer or an “x” for a wrong answer with no other feedback.

For the most part, this book is accurate and unbiased, but one area where I noticed discrepancies is the chapter on citing sources. MLA released its 8th edition in April 2016, yet the examples provided are 7th edition. I also noticed errors in the example for APA; only the first word, proper nouns, and those following major punctuation marks are to be capitalized in article titles following APA formating guidelines. Regarding bias, the book is unbiased; however, I disagree with the discussion of news sources regarding mainstream versus non-mainstream (or mainline as used in the text); main-stream media includes "traditional" sources, e.g., television, newspapers, and radio, as opposed to online sources, especially social media. The authors’ inclusion of Fox News, a right-leaning national television news network, a contemporary of CBS, NBC, and ABC, as non-mainline rather than mainline shows bias, in my opinion. It’s difficult to find news from any news source, mainstream or not, right, left or center, that doesn’t have some bias or opinions in its reporting.

This textbook itself is written so that it will be relevant for a long time. However, there are some exceptions. The discussion of citation styles uses examples for MLA that reflect the 7th edition rather than the 8th, which was released in April 2016. The book covers this discrepancy somewhat with its tip regarding choosing a citation style, with its remarks that styles do change and its recommendation to check with one’s instructors. Another issue is the potential for link rot regarding external websites; in fact there are a few dead links in the text and activities already. A couple of online resources mentioned and linked to, IPL2 and the Statistical Abstracts of the US, have been retired for at least a couple of years, which makes me wonder about when the book was actually last reviewed edited.

The book is well-written, easy to read, conversational. Most technical language is defined and used appropriately.

This book is consistent in terms of its terminology and framework.

This book is extremely modular in its organization at the chapter level and within the chapters. It can be easily reordered to meet specific course or instructor needs. It does refer to other sections of the text, but these references are appropriate, emphasizing more in-depth information elsewhere in the book. Sections that are unique to OSU can be replaced/revised to make the text relevant to other institutions as needed.

It is well organized and reflects the processes and stages of research. While the research process is not linear, the topics are presented in a logical manner that guides students through the process. I did note that a couple of sections in chapter 7, on ethical use of sources don’t really seem to fit there, however. The paragraphs on page 118 discussing a lack of understanding of the materials and lack of time might fit better in other chapters.

While the online version works well, the PDF format has issues. Some of the in-text navigation links work (the TOC links) while others found throughout the text don’t, often giving an “error: unknown export format” message. There are also a few dead links in both the online and PDF formats, as well as in some of the online activities. Some links direct users to OSU Libraries’ resources, either their catalog or their licensed databases, but not all such links are clearly identified as such.

Grammatical Errors rating: 3

For the most part, this text is well-written, grammatically; however, it does have a few grammatical/typographical errors, possibly more than one might expect from a text of this length, and assuming that the author is most likely a committee rather than an individual, more eyes reviewing the text should catch such errors. There are also instances of tense inconsistencies, shifting from present to past in the same sentence. Two paragraphs on page 47, under “Finding Data in Articles . . .,” repeat the same four sentences verbatim in different order. This occurs again on page 88. While these are not grammatical errors, they are certainly editorial errors. Most of the online activities have typos, as well, more so than the textbook.

This textbook is not culturally insensitive or offensive.

I do like this book. I think it puts the topic in terms that students can readily use and understand. I'd even recommend the chapters on copyright and fair use to faculty! I do think that it could benefit from the inclusion of a glossary and an index, as well as regular and frequent review, especially in regards to the linked resources. The PDF version definitely needs revisions since it seems that most of the in-text referral links throughout the text don’t work. Since it is tailored to OSU’s library resources, any instruction librarian using the book can substitute content relevant to his/her institution; non-library faculty using the text can consult their own librarians for help with this.

Reviewed by Dawn Kennedy, Ed.S, Health Education, Anoka-Ramsey Community College on 4/11/17

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research serves as an excellent guide for teaching the research process. It takes the learner through the process of academic research and writing in an easy to understand manner. As an educator... read more

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research serves as an excellent guide for teaching the research process. It takes the learner through the process of academic research and writing in an easy to understand manner. As an educator in a community college setting, I am working with students who are new to the research process. This text will be useful when working with students to start developing the appropriate process of research writing. The text has neither a back-of-the-book index nor a glossary. It is beneficial that key terms are defined throughout the chapters.

The information presented in the text is accurate at this point in time and unbiased. One concern is that some of The information presented in the text is accurate at this point in time and unbiased. One concern is that some of the links do not work.

Content is up-to-date at this point in time. Most examples and exercises are arranged separately from the main text and can be updated as needed. Some of the content links to the Ohio State University Libraries databases which may not be assessable to students outside that institution.

This text is clearly written, well-illustrated, and user-friendly for the undergraduate audience. It avoids technical jargon and provides definitions where appropriate.

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Regarding the book’s modularity, users of this text can be selective in chapter choice. In this sense the text is useful to instructors and students who wish to focus on a single component and /or use the text as a reference. For a better understanding of the research process in its entirety, reading the text in the order written may prove to be more beneficial.

The text's organization mirrors the research process in a logical, clear manner. Chapters 1-8 lead the reader through the basics of research literacy and research skills; chapters nine and ten explain the process for making an argument and writing tips; Subsequent chapters zero in on copyright and Fair Use information. Key concepts and points are supported with highlights, examples and colorful illustrations.

The text displays generous use of visuals which are clear and free of distortion. The activities provided support the concepts and skills being addressed and are easy to navigate. One concern is the activities which are linked to Ohio State University may not provide access to all, resulting in limited access of information and frustration for the reader.

• The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.

This is a text does an excellent job of explaining the research process in a logical manner. The text uses examples, illustrations, and skill practice to support the learning process. I recommend this text for use in it's entirely for teaching and learning the research process and as a resource for the rest of us.

Reviewed by Scott Miller, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Rogue Community College on 4/11/17

The book is very comprehensive and even goes beyond what might be expected in this kind of textbook. Along with choosing and using sources, the authors include a section on making an argument. Topics are dealt with appropriately and the text... read more

The book is very comprehensive and even goes beyond what might be expected in this kind of textbook. Along with choosing and using sources, the authors include a section on making an argument. Topics are dealt with appropriately and the text employs tests and activities along the way. I found some of the activities were not particularly well designed and sometimes answers to questions were based on assumptions by the authors as to context that in real life may or may not be appropriate. For instance, they claim that the periodical/journal title "Coral Reefs" is a scholarly journal, but judging by the title alone in a real life exercise there is no way to know whether it is scholarly or popular in nature.

There could have been more discussion about context and how it defines whether a sources is primary, secondary or tertiary. '

What the this textbook does not have is any kind of index or glossary, which I found disappointing.

I did not find any instances of inaccuracies in the text. I did find, however, some assumptions in the text that were not always warranted. I took issue with the assumption that mainline news sources are objective (p. 42). It is very clear that news articles are often biased. I think telling students that mainline news sources are objective effectively disarms instead of promotes critical thinking by students doing research.

On page 126 there is a discussion about using quotations where the authors say that all quotes are to be put within quotation marks. This is not true of block quotes in MLA or APA style and they omit any mention of it.

This textbook should retain its relevancy for several years, but it will lose its effectiveness very soon, since many of the dozens and dozens of links in the text will surely break before long. In the short term the links are a great feature, but they do severely limit the longevity of the book. I also found them annoyingly pervasive.

It should also be noted that the MLA citation example on page 122 uses the outdated MLA 7th edition guidelines.

Overall, I thought the book was very clearly written and easy to follow. The one section I struggled reading was the section on sources and information need. It seemed to want much more editing and was often wordy and almost obscure.

I did not notice any lack of consistency in terminology or framework.

This is one the book's strengths. It was clearly organized into topics and subtopics which sometimes could be addressed in an order chosen by an instructor. There were, however, occasional self-references to earlier sections or previously used external sources.

Moving from the simpler aspects of choosing and evaluating sources to the more complex uses of them and how arguments are constructed made good sense.

Interface rating: 2

I found the interface to have significant problems. At least a dozen links would not work from the PDF text when opened in Firefox. I often got the message, "error: unknown export format." The links seemed to work when viewing the text online, however.

The textbook's usefulness outside of Ohio State is severely limited by the frequent use of sources only available through OSU student logins. The textbook was written for OSU students, but it really fails as a textbook for any other institution unless it is significantly modified.

I found a few missing punctuation marks, and only two missing or wrong words in sentences. For a textbook this long, that's very good.

The textbook used interesting and non-offensive examples.

While it's a good textbook for choosing and using information sources it suffers from being too specifically written for OSU students, as well as including an overabundance of links that will reduce its longevity. Not including any kind of index or glossary is also a drawback.

Reviewed by Vanessa Ruccolo, Advanced Instructor of English, Virginia Tech on 2/8/17

Ch. 1 has a great overview of regular versus research questions and the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Ch. 2 covers primary, secondary, and tertiary sources as well as popular, professional, and scholarly. Ch. 3... read more

Ch. 1 has a great overview of regular versus research questions and the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Ch. 2 covers primary, secondary, and tertiary sources as well as popular, professional, and scholarly. Ch. 3 includes a source plan (i.e. what do you need the sources for and what is your plan). Ch. 4 gives tips and hints for searching on a library database. Ch. 5 gives different search options, like the library or Google Scholar. Ch. 6 is all about evaluating the sources you find, including clues about sussing out bias and thoroughness, as well as discussing currency of topic. Ch. 7 discusses why you should cite sources. Ch. 8 discusses ways to cite sources. Ch. 9 is looking at argument as dialog and what is necessary in that exchange and a recommended order of components. Ch. 10 covers quoting, paraphrasing,and summarizing and signal phrases. Ch. 11, 12 are copyright and fair use. Ch. 13 covers the roles or research.

I will use Ch. 1 and 2 in my classes, as I think the breakdown of research is useful and clear. Ch. 3 also has useful imbedded tools that will help students plan; Ch. 4 and 5 might be used as references post-library visit. I will also use Ch. 6 and Ch. 10.

I think the information provided for distinguishing scholarly, popular, and professional is helpful and I hope the resources help students understand good, reliable sources a bit better. The same is true for searching for sources, and I think the sections on search engines and evaluation of sources are going to be quite useful.

While the information on copyright, fair use, and why and ways to cite sources is fine, I won't be using these for my English classes as I find them not as helpful or relevant.

I think the book is quite accurate in terms of information provided. They use sources that both I and my students use, so clearly the book is addressing real needs in the classroom. It also makes suggestions that reinforce the concepts our librarians share with the students and instructors, so I find this to be extremely helpful.

The book suggests Purdue OWL, a source I also use; however, I realized this year that OWL was behind in updating some of the MLA citation changes. So that's something maybe for the book authors to note or address when recommending websites.

With that said, I think the book covers key specifics like university library websites, Google Scholar, and search engines, in broad enough terms to keep it relevant. Also, the graphics are simple and not dated, and there is one drawing of the "outernet" that shows what social media, Youtube, etc. would look like in the "real, outer" world. This drawing is the only thing I saw that might be dated soon, but its point is still solid.

Very easy to read, clear terminology and explanation of terms, and lists are also provided to help break up each page's prose, which means the information is presented in a visually clear form as well.

I think the consistency of terminology as well as the scaffolding makes sense on the whole. I didn't seem places where the language changed or seemed to have several writers or definitions.

Perhaps one of the best parts of this book is how each chapter is contained, succinct, includes an activity, but still builds on and with the other chapters. Each chapter is stand-alone and clear and easy to read online, or if you chose to print it. The creators clearly had the online reader in mind, however, and the chapter lengths and fonts are comfortable.

Overall, I like the organization, specifically for chapters 10-6. I would change the order of the final chapters so that Ch. 9 and 10 come before Ch. 7, 8, 11, 12. I would also move Ch. 13 "The Roles of Research" to earlier in the book, perhaps around Ch. 3 or Ch. 6. If I use these materials, I will reorder some of the chapters for my class so that the scaffolding and explanations work a bit more side by side.

Again, comfortable, easy-to-read pages, simple graphics and the charts used are helpful and appropriate. I especially appreciated that the authors didn't use images that showed people or figures that could both date the book and also make students feel talked down to - I hate images like this and refuse to use textbooks that incorporate them, so kudos!

Additional resources are easy to access.

I wish the email option (for sending yourself a page) pulled up a screen in which I could type the email I wanted it sent to. Instead, it pulls up Messenger, which I don't use.

The Table of Contents didn't let me jump to the chapter when I pulled down the menu. Was that just my computer/browser?

Now, I didn't read through as though I was grading (it is winter break, after all!) but nothing jumped off the page. If something had, if there had been a mistake, I would still use the text; if there had been several, I would have considered abandoning it for class. However, the information is still so good I i might have told my students to find the grammar mistakes as part of an assignment just so that I could use the research parts still; however, I didn't not see any.

No, nothing. Perhaps if the authors include more examples for citations they could pull from culturally different sources then, but the material here was so broad in terms of textual sources it was in no way exclusive.

I will be using parts of this book in my English classes. Well done to the authors - a helpful, free supplement.

Reviewed by Dale Jenkins, Advanced Instructor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) on 2/8/17

Having taught freshmen how to write college research papers for the past 18 years, I gave the text high marks on addressing all of the key elements college students need to engage in academic research. read more

Having taught freshmen how to write college research papers for the past 18 years, I gave the text high marks on addressing all of the key elements college students need to engage in academic research.

The text implements content from a host of sources which is extremely useful, but the grammar needs a few tweaks.

This represents a strong aspect of the text. The writers did a good job of winnowing out unnecessary components of the research process, although my freshmen would not delve into the Fair Use and Copyright chapters.

The book gets outstanding marks on clarity. Students will find this to be a definite strength of the text.

The authors did a good job with consistency. I kept my students in mind as I evaluated this aspect of the text.

Students would find this book extremely accessible in terms of modularity. I don't see them being overwhelmed by the text or high-brow jargon.

I noted a logical progression to all thirteen of the chapters. Students in upper-level classes would find the chapters on Fair Use and Copyright more significant in their academic studies.

The hyperlinks and the interactive elements of the book will be extremely appealing to students as well as being substantive.

The book still needs some work in this regard. Pronouns don't always agree with the antecedents, and I noted several shifts in voice in the text.

The text doesn't have any instances of cultural insensitivity, and I pay close attention to this aspect of textbooks when I peruse them for potential use in my courses.

The hyperlinks, using different types of media, and the chapters on "Why Precision Searching?" and the discussion of plagiarism proved to be well-crafted and accessible for students. I also commend the authors for the lack of jargon that would leave students in its wake.

Reviewed by Jarrod Dunham, Instructor - English Composition, Portland Community College on 2/8/17

A very comprehensive guide to the writing of the research paper. I've taught research writing for several years, and this book covers all the material I'd typically cover in a class. Previously I've not used a textbook in that class, but I'm... read more

A very comprehensive guide to the writing of the research paper. I've taught research writing for several years, and this book covers all the material I'd typically cover in a class. Previously I've not used a textbook in that class, but I'm teaching an online section this term and find that the book offers a very effective substitute for the lectured and activities I'd otherwise be presenting in class.

This text is accurate and up-to-date with the most recent developments and issues in the field.

This text is very much up-to-date. It shows an awareness of changing conventions in academic writing, and emphasizes the latest technological tools for researching and managing citations. It frequently links to outside resources, which could be problematic in the event those resources were removed or relocated, but in practice I never encountered such an issue.

Clarity is one of the book's strengths. It is written in clear, simple, and concise prose, resisting the kind of "academese" that is frequently employed in textbooks and gives students a false impression of what academic writing should look like. I found all of the content very easy to understand, and, although it's intended for slightly more advanced classes, accessible for Freshman writing students.

The text is highly consistent, both in terms of the terminology it employs, its organizational structure, and its systematic incorporation of tips, learning activities, and quizzes.

The book is divided into 13 chapters, each of which addresses particular aspects of research writing and can be employed on its own, or in conjunction with other related chapters. I found that assigning chapters in order was generally perfectly appropriate, although there was no issue with assigning the odd chapter out of order - links to previous or later content are provided where appropriate, so students can easily navigate to other relevant sections of the text.

This text is very nicely organized. It moves from the beginning stages of the pre-writing process - choosing a topic and identifying appropriate guiding questions - through the research to the writing of the paper itself. I found that the organizational structure of the text very closely mirrored the structure I use myself in teaching research writing. As such, adopting this text for the course (and adapting the course to the text) was a delightfully straightforward exercise.

The interface of the text is excellent. It is very easy to navigate, very attractive, and all tools work as intended. Some features are only available to those with Ohio State University log-ins, which yields a handful of frustrating moments, but in general I didn't find this to be a significant issue.

The text is error free and written in a simple, accessible, and engaging style. It's not merely an easy read, but one that effectively models clear and concise academic prose for writing students.

To the extent such issues come into play, the text is inclusive and culturally sensitive. The content of the text is mostly neutral on such issues - they simply tend not to come into play - but I was pleased to find a comprehensive chapter on the ethical use of sources, which introduces an ethical dimension to the research and writing process that many students may not anticipate or otherwise be prepared to navigate.

Overall I was quite pleased with this text. In my online section of Research Paper Writing, I have assigned nine of the thirteen chapters, and am very pleased with the breadth of content covered thereby. With one exception, I've been able to assign those chapters in the order they appear in the book, which simplified the planning process for myself, and offers a structure to the course that will be more readily apparent to my students as well. Late chapters on Copyrights Basics and Fair Use struck me as unnecessary and a little off topic, but it is of course easy to simply not assign those chapters, and since this is not a print book they have no bearing on materials costs.

For an online class like the one I am currently teaching, this is an excellent primary text. Even in a face-to-face class it could prove to be a very useful supplemental text. Normally I resist the use of supplemental texts in face-to-face classes, but since this one is free it is ideal for that purpose: instructors and students can simply rely on it to whatever extent feels useful.

Reviewed by Jennifer Lantrip, Reference Librarian, Umpqua Community College on 2/8/17

This book is an excellent source for guiding undergraduate students through the research process, from understanding the purposes for doing research and writing a research question, to composing a thesis and contributing to a scholarly... read more

This book is an excellent source for guiding undergraduate students through the research process, from understanding the purposes for doing research and writing a research question, to composing a thesis and contributing to a scholarly conversation. Students learn where and how to find relevant sources and how to evaluate and use them ethically. The main text is supplemented with links to useful resources, videos, worksheets, examples, and exercises. These are all high quality sources, making this a comprehensive resource for teaching information literacy and the research process. While no index or glossary is provided, terms are well defined within the text. Links are provided to other sections within the text where terms are further discussed.

The content is error-free, unbiased, and accurate. Ideas and concepts are in accordance with the Association of College and Research Libraries’ “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education,” with the exception of several small sections that could easily be clarified or adapted.

The opening section of Chapter 3 states that researchers should find sources in order to meet their information needs. However, it states that one information need is “to convince your audience that your answer is correct or, at least, the most reasonable answer.” This should be clarified for students so that they understand that they should start their research with an open mind as opposed to looking for sources which support their predetermined thesis.

The section “The Sources to Meet Needs” in Chapter 3 states that convincing one’s audience is an information need and that students should find sources based upon what their audience would be convinced by. Researchers should not choose their sources based upon what would convince their audience, but rather upon what sources best answer their research question. The most relevant and highest quality sources should not be omitted from the research process because the researcher does not think that his/her audience would be convinced by them. It is part of the researcher’s job to educate and convince his/her audience why the chosen sources and the research are relevant and of high quality.

Chapter 13 mentions briefly, “Putting your sources to work for you in these roles can help you write in a more powerful, persuasive way—to, in fact, win your argument.” It is very important for researchers to make convincing arguments through using quality sources, doing quality research, and presenting the information in an understandable way. Students should understand that the goal of scholarly conversation is not to “win” arguments, but rather to contribute to the world’s shared knowledge. While one argument may hold for a time, it will most likely be refined in some way by future researchers.

The main content of each chapter is current and does not contain terms that will soon be outdated. Specific examples and exercises are arranged separately from the main chapter text and can be updated independently. Some of the content discusses and links to Ohio State University Libraries databases which are unavailable to students at other institutions. While some of this knowledge is transferable, the specific information about these databases is unique to OSU Libraries. It would be useful if this information could be generalized in the main flow of the text so that it would be applicable for students at other institutions.

This text is very readable and easy to understand. Concepts are explained clearly. Exercises and examples are provided to help students grasp each new concept. It is written in a casual tone that appears to make an effort to put its readers at ease while giving solid information about how to complete research and writing assignments successfully.

The terminology used in this book and its framework are consistent. Each chapter, chapter sections, examples, and exercises are organized in a consistent manner throughout the book, making it easy to follow. Students can refer to specific sections of the book or read it straight through. Because links are provided to sections of the book where important terms are defined or discussed further, students can easily jump to relevant sections of the book.

The book is divided into chapters and subsections which lead the reader seamlessly and logically through the research process. The book could easily be assigned to be read linearly, but it would also work well for instructors to assign specific chapters as applicable to the course content.

This book takes students through the research process in logical steps, from choosing and refining research questions, to producing and sharing what they have learned. For students who are unfamiliar with the research process, it would be most useful to read the book linearly as each chapter prepares students for future chapters.

This text is easy to navigate in both the PDF and online versions. Images are clear. There are currently no broken links. The contents in the PDF version could be made clearer by making a greater distinction between the main chapter and chapter section titles.

The text has negligible grammatical errors.

This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.

I highly recommend this book for teaching information literacy and the research process to undergraduates.

Reviewed by Patricia Akhimie, Asst. Prof of English, Rutgers University-Newark on 2/8/17

This textbook does not include an index or glossary but is full-text searchable, returning a an easy to read and access menu of clickable search results to take readers directly to the desired information. In addition, an expandable Table of... read more

This textbook does not include an index or glossary but is full-text searchable, returning a an easy to read and access menu of clickable search results to take readers directly to the desired information. In addition, an expandable Table of Contents for the book is available as a tab so that readers can view an overview of topics and jump to other sections at any time. This textbook offers a review of research methods that is certainly comprehensive. Instructors will likely find that individual sections, rather than the whole work, are most useful in planning lessons and constructing student assignments in research based and writing intensive courses at the undergraduate level.

This textbook is accurate in its representation of research methods and of the reasoning behind these approaches. In addition, details about citation styles, and search tools, seem error-free. Treatments of the more complex aspects of research, such as constructing an argument, are unbiased and thorough.

The textbook should be useful to students and instructors for some time. It should be noted, however, that research software and citation styles are updated, though infrequently. Thus, the video walkthroughs of particular databases, for example, may be obsolete or misleading after some time.

This textbook is remarkably lucid and approachable for undergraduate readers. Discussions of complex ideas are illustrated with useful graphics that readers and instructors will find particularly helpful. The video walkthroughs are perhaps the most attractive illustrations for instructors. These guides will be appealing and easy to use for students intimidated by large databases and their idiosyncrasies.

The textbook is immanently usable. It is consistent in its tone as well as in its use of terms.

It is clear that this textbook has been designed with modularity in mind. Individual sections will be more useful than others, depending on the type and level of the class. In addition, sections can easily be assigned at different points over the course of a semester. For example, sections might be assigned at intervals that reflect the stages of the development of undergraduate student’s independent research paper. The section on formulating research questions might appear early in the semester, the section on citation styles toward the end.

The organization of the book reflects the stages of research. This means that navigating the textbook will be intuitive.

Navigating this textbook will be intuitive, the Table of Contents tab makes moving between sections very easy.

Readers will find the textbook free of simple typos and errors.

Readers will find the textbook inclusive. Some readers may find that the attempt made in the textbook to speak to research in the humanities, social sciences and sciences has meant that discussions can be vague at times but this is to be expected in a textbook on this topic aimed at a broad range of readers and researchers.

Reviewed by Heather Jerónimo, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa on 2/8/17

This text is a comprehensive review of the various types of sources one might need to complete a research project or paper. The book begins with a clear explanation of how to formulate a research question, while the majority of the chapters focus... read more

This text is a comprehensive review of the various types of sources one might need to complete a research project or paper. The book begins with a clear explanation of how to formulate a research question, while the majority of the chapters focus on finding and evaluating sources. The topics in this text are well-chosen and reflect several aspects of academic writing in which beginning researchers might struggle, such as how to do a precision search, understanding biased versus unbiased sources, and how to decide between quoting or paraphrasing. This book is written at a level that undergraduates should easily be able to comprehend, while the content of the chapters gets increasingly detailed and complex throughout the book. There is no index or glossary at the back of the book, but there is a very complete table of contents at the beginning of the text. Readers might find it useful if the chapter titles in the table of contents were in bold, as the detailed breakdown of sections—while helpful—can be overwhelming when one is looking for the main categories of the book.

The text provides helpful and unbiased examples for how to do research in many different areas. The practice activities relate quite well to the content of the chapters, although some links do not work. One of the strengths of the text is its applicability in a general sense to many different types of research.

In most chapters the information is kept very general, allowing the text to enjoy relative longevity, as the process of how to conduct academic research, cite quotes, etc., likely will not change drastically in the near future. For example, in the section on databases, different types of databases are explained, but the author does not reference many specific databases to which students may or may not have access. With an understanding of the concept, students then are equipped to find the databases that pertain to their field and that are offered by their institutions. There are several references to Ohio State throughout the text that will not be helpful to all readers, but they do not impede the reader’s comprehension of the text.

It is a very readable text, written at a level that makes it easily accessible to undergraduate students. The author has avoided jargon that would be confusing to the readers.

Even though the book gives examples of various types of research and sources, it maintains a high level of consistency throughout.

The chapters are clearly divided in a way that allows the reader the option to skip between chapters or to read the chapters in succession. This text could be put to a variety of uses within the classroom. As an instructor, one could use it as a primary text for a Research Methods or Composition class. One could also suggest that students read only certain sections in a class that was not primarily focused on the writing of research papers but that had a research component. This text is a valuable how-to manual that students can reference throughout their academic journey.

The text has a logical organization and flow. The book transitions from more basic information at the beginning to more specialized knowledge in later chapters, allowing students to gradually become more immersed in the topic. The structure permits students to read the text from cover to cover, or to read only the information and chapters about which they are curious. The activities serve as good checkpoints to assess students’ knowledge and break up longer readings.

The interface of the text is easy to manage and does not distract from the content. The placement and accessibility of the activities provide quick and easy checks to assess whether students have understood the concepts of the chapters. The images support the text and are linked closely to the message.

There are few grammatical errors in this text.

The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. Like many textbooks, it could be more intentional in its inclusion of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, perhaps in the examples or practice activities.

Reviewed by Dr. William Vann, Information Studies Faculty, Minneapolis Community and Technical College on 12/5/16

While there is neither a back-of-the-book index nor a compiled glossary in this outstanding textbook (key terms are defined, however, throughout the chapters), one cannot deny its comprehensiveness. In fact, this text covers so much ground it is... read more

While there is neither a back-of-the-book index nor a compiled glossary in this outstanding textbook (key terms are defined, however, throughout the chapters), one cannot deny its comprehensiveness. In fact, this text covers so much ground it is unlikely to be used in its entirety for any single college course. Information literacy and research skills courses will find the first eight chapters to be a robust introduction to their subject matter, replete with interactive activities and auto-graded assessments. Composition courses engaged in research-based writing will likely work through the first eight chapters selectively, but then dwell on chapters nine and ten on argument formation and writing. Such courses may also benefit from the excellent chapter thirteen on Joseph Bizup's BEAM method of deploying research sources in scholarly communication. Chapters eleven and twelve on copyright and fair use, respectively, are likely to be used only by advanced undergraduates, faculty, and professional librarians, but they do serve as a handy reference nonetheless.

All of the chapters of this textbook contain authoritative and accurate information, in line with national information literacy standards and sound pedagogical methods for composition and critical thinking. The only section of the text I took issue with was the "Fact or Opinion" part of the second chapter, where the authors try to distinguish between fact, opinion, subjective information, and objective information. The authors' attempt results in claims like "the death penalty is wrong" being rendered as opinions, while claims like "women should stock up on calcium to ensure strong bones" are judged to be subjective information. Facts and objective information are superior, on this way of thinking, because they are the result of research studies, particularly empirical, quantitative ones.

I suspect that this way of drawing the distinction would do little to challenge the naive relativism most undergraduates bring to the classroom. (How many of us, when analyzing a text with beginning undergraduates, have had to entertain the question "Isn't that just the author's opinion though?") A better approach would be to talk about claims that are empirically justified (facts), claims that are justified, but not empirically (value judgments - "x is wrong", prescriptive claims - "women should do x"), and claims that are not adequately justified by any means (opinions). In this way, answering a research question like "Is the death penalty unjust?" is not merely an exercise in subjective opinion-making, but rather an exploration of reasoned argumentation, only some of which may be empirical or based on research studies.

The text is current and will likely be so for some time. Examples, activities, and tips are marked off from the main chapter prose, so will be easy to refresh when necessary.

There is no lack of technical terms in the world of information studies, but this textbook does a fine job of providing definitions where appropriate in each chapter. Concepts and methods are explained in context, and illustrative, easy-to-follow examples adorn each chapter.

The only area of the text that falls a little short on clarity is the interactive activities. These are usually multiple choice or matching questions, but some of the word choice in questions left this reader confused, and in some cases the instructions could have been more explicit.

Being authored by committee, we might expect this textbook to suffer in the consistency category. Yet it does not, thanks again to the fine editing job by Cheryl Lowry. Perhaps the book's provenance as a series of online tutorials put together by librarians and faculty at OSU is partly responsible for this.

As the authors suggest on the first page, the research process isn't always linear. So reading a text modeled on the research process oughtn't to be a straightforward chapter-by-chapter march either. Consequently, faculty and students can comfortably read this text selectively and skip chapters as needed. For the most holistic understanding of the research process, however, it would be sensible to work through at least chapters one through eight in their entirety.

I appreciate how the text's organization mirrors the research process itself. The first chapter takes on research questions, exactly where student researchers need to begin their projects. Subsequent chapters explore types of information sources, how to find and evaluate them, and finally how to deploy them in a well-argued scholarly product. The writing in each chapter is clear and crisp, with important concepts amplified by colorful visualizations.

As mentioned above, the chapters on copyright and fair use which occur near the end of the book feel like a logical interruption to the book's flow, and they might well fit more comfortably as appendices for occasional reference by advanced undergraduates, faculty, and librarians.

The "look and feel" of this textbook is clean and very intuitive to navigate through. The design strikes a pleasing balance between prose, graphics, and special formatting features like the explanatory, grey-background "TIPS" found in each chapter. Subheadings, bulleted and ordered lists, and judicious font choices make the text easy to read in all its online file formats.

One weakness of the interface is that several of the linked activities point to OSU Libraries' resources, thus requiring OSU authentication to be accessed. While it is understandable that the authors wanted to include their libraries' proprietary information sources in the activities - these are the sources their students and faculty will be using in actual practice, after all - this obviously makes this text less of an "open" textbook. Those outside of the OSU community who would like to adopt this textbook will therefore have to come up with their own replacement activities in such cases, or do without.

A few of the links in the text did lead me to a curious OSU server error message: "Error: Unknown export format", but I expect these links will be repaired as they are reported to the authors.

This textbook has clearly been edited with careful eyes by Cheryl Lowry, as grammatical errors are few to none. The grammatical hygiene of the text can probably also be attributed to its collective authorship - over a dozen librarians and faculty of the Ohio State University Libraries developed the content, which was born out of a series of online tutorials.

This textbook is culturally relevant in its use of examples and depictions of college students.

This text is a substantial contribution to the open textbook movement, and its quality easily meets or exceeds anything comparable in the commercial publishing arena. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Kelly McKenna, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University on 12/5/16

The book provides a thorough introduction and how to regarding sources in academic writing. With the exception of the first chapter on writing research questions, the rest of the book is focused on sources, which is relevant for any type of... read more

The book provides a thorough introduction and how to regarding sources in academic writing. With the exception of the first chapter on writing research questions, the rest of the book is focused on sources, which is relevant for any type of academic writing not just research papers. The information is relevant across disciplines and readable to a wide audience. It is clearly written for and geared towards undergraduate students, particularly from Ohio State University. The index is detailed making it easy to locate specific information and includes hyperlinks for clear navigation. A slightly altered index format would make the chapter topics more readily available and accessed. All subjects and chapters are aligned rather than clearly indicating each of the chapters found within the text.

Content throughout the book is accurate and clearly written. There does not appear to bias in reading the material. The book includes numerous resources linked throughout the text, however some are no longer active resulting in error messages.

Due to the significant number of links throughout the book, it is likely updates will be necessary on a consistent basis. These links are extremely beneficial, so ensuring they are accurate and up to date is essential to the content of this book. Much of the book reads as a "how to" regarding sources, so although practices for scholarly writing will likely not become obsolete the sources and technology used to locate the sources will evolve.

The informal tone of the text is engaging and applicable for the intended audience. The writers are aware of their audience, avoiding technical jargon. Also, throughout the book they provide numerous examples, resources, activities, and tips to provide insight and relevancy to students.

The structure of the book is clear and well organized with each chapter providing scaffolding for the next. Although the text is internally consistent regarding terminology there are formatting differences between and within some chapters. Blue boxes throughout the text contain tips, examples, answers, etc. Organization, readability, and consistency could be improved if these were constant throughout the text similar to the presentation of activities in the text.

Sections of the book could be easily assigned and read in isolation. Subsections of material are clearly marked and chapters are presented in organized fashion with clear delineation between segments. The inclusion of numerous activities, examples, resources, and tips improve modularity.

The book is created as a tool for students completing academic writing and follows this course. Topics contained in the book are presented in a clear and logical structure. As mentioned above, with exception of the first chapter, the material is relevant to all undergraduate academic writing, not just research.

The layout and display work well as a PDF or electronic book. Numerous visuals are included throughout and are free of distortion or other distracting or confusing issues. As mentioned above, the index could be improved by clearly articulating the subheadings as within a chapter.

The book contains minimal to no grammatical errors.

The book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.

Some sections of the book are specific to Ohio State University potentially limiting its relevancy and audience in specific chapters or sections.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Research Questions
  • 2. Types of Sources
  • 3. Sources and Information Needs
  • 4. Precision Searching
  • 5. Search Tools
  • 6. Evaluating Sources
  • 7. Ethical Use of Sources
  • 8. How to Cite Sources
  • 9. Making an Argument
  • 10. Writing Tips
  • 11. Copyright Basics
  • 12. Fair Use
  • 13. Roles of Research Sources

Ancillary Material

About the book.

Choosing & Using Sources presents a process for academic research and writing, from formulating your research question to selecting good information and using it effectively in your research assignments. Additional chapters cover understanding types of sources, searching for information, and avoiding plagiarism. Each chapter includes self-quizzes and activities to reinforce core concepts and help you apply them. There are also appendices for quick reference on search tools, copyright basics, and fair use.

What experts are saying about Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research :

“…a really fantastic contribution that offers a much needed broadened perspective on the process of research, and is packed to the brim with all kinds of resources and advice on how to effectively use them. The chapter on plagiarism is really excellent, and the chapter on searching for sources is utterly brilliant.”

– Chris Manion, PhD Coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum at Ohio State University

“… an excellent resource for students, with engaging content, graphics, and examples—very compelling. The coverage of copyright is outstanding.”

– J. Craig Gibson Co-chair of ACRL's Task Force on Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

About the Contributors

Cheryl Lowry , training and education specialist, Ohio State University Libraries.

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Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

The Ultimate Student Guide To Finding Credible Sources

online sources for research papers

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: January 1, 2020

The-Ultimate-Student-Guide-to-Finding-Credible-Sources

When it comes to writing a research paper, it’s crucial that you use credible sources to make sure that the information you are stating is actually true. Knowing the difference between credible sources and unreliable sources doesn’t always come so easily with endless information flooding the internet. Thankfully, there are some simple tips that you can use to ensure that you are always using credible sources for research.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that uses original research on a specific topic. There are many different types of research papers, ranging from a high school term paper to a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Books and a pair of glasses that belong to a student

Photo by  Wallace Chuck  from  Pexels

How to start a search for sources, 1. start simple.

If you’re wondering how to find sources for a research paper, the easiest and best way to start is simple! Just try browsing through some common search engines to see what you find.

2. Cross Wikipedia off

Wikipedia, although it’s a massive pool of information, should always be avoided when writing a research paper since it allows the public to edit information. Sites such as these often run the risk of lacking accuracy, and is not one of the most credible sources for research.

3. Yes to scholarly databases

Scholarly databases are your best friend when it comes to finding credible sources for research. Online scholarly databases that can be trusted and are known to provide useful information for students include LexisNexis and EBSCO.

4. Newspapers and magazines

Although sometimes biased, newspapers and magazines can also be a great place to find information about current events.

5. The library

While the library seems to be the most obvious place to find information, somehow it’s often forgotten when it comes to research in the modern age. Don’t forget how useful it can truly be!

Types of Credible Sources for Research

1. what are some credible websites.

Many online sources do not necessarily contain information that is correct or has been checked. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to make sure that you’re using the right websites for your research, with government and educational websites generally being the most reliable.

Credible sources for research include: science.gov, The World Factbook, US Census Bureau, UK Statistics, and Encyclopedia Britannica.

2. What are some credible journal articles?

When it comes to journal articles, determining how credible they are comes much easier than other sources. This is generally due to the fact that many of these websites will include valuable information such as how many times the article has been cited, and if its been peer reviewed.

Some great examples of reliable websites for journal articles include Google Scholar, Oxford Academic, Microsoft Academic, Cornell University Library, and SAGE Publishing.

If you are ever not sure how to find credible sources, then there’s the CRAAP test, which takes into account the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose of the article. Take all of these factors into consideration before using a source and determining whether or not it’s credible enough. Even if it takes more time, you’ll be saving yourself tons of time in the long run by not using unreliable sources.

A group of college students working together to find credible sources for their research

Photo by  Canva Studio  from  Pexels

3. what are some credible news sources.

When it comes to news articles, more caution must be taken since it’s hard to know which sources are truly reliable and unbiased. The CRAAP test is also useful in this type of article for research.

A few examples of credible news sources include The New York Times, Bloomberg, and The Washington Post.

The Credibility of a Source

As you search for your research information, you will surely come across the question of how to find credible sources for a research paper. Here are some criteria to focus on to ensure that you only use the most credible of sources.

1. What’s the depth of it?

Always look at the depth of an article, not just the written content. See how long the article is, and if it contains the necessary information such as an abstract, a reference list, and documented data.

2. Who is reading it?

When judging the credibility of an article, it’s important to always ask yourself who the target audience of the article is. Sometimes, sources have a specific goal in mind and it can create certain biases.

3. What’s the goal?

Just as you should do with the audience, also ask yourself what the article is trying to achieve. What is their ultimate goal and how are they persuading you of that?

4. Who wrote it?

Always ask yourself who wrote the article and how reputable they are in the specific field. Look at what other published works they have as well.

5. Can it be trusted?

Overall, it’s key to ask yourself how reputable the source is. What kind of website is it published on? Look at the big picture.

6. Is it relevant to now?

Look at the date of the article, or about the specific things they are mentioning in the article. If it’s from a few years ago, it’s probably not too relevant to your current research.

7. Can it be proven?

While an article may sound incredibly convincing, many people have a way with words and persuasion. Stop and ask yourself whether or not what they are claiming can actually be proven.

A master’s student questioning the credibility of the sources she’s found

Photo by  bruce mars  from  Pexels

How to evaluate source credibility.

By using unreliable sources in your research, it can discredit your status, which is why it’s incredibly important to make sure that any information you are using is up-to-date and accurate.

Here’s how to find credible sources.

1. What is a credible source?

Generally, materials that have been published within the past 10 years are considered to be credible sources for research. Another important factor to consider is the author — if they are well known and respected in their specific fields, that’s also generally a sign that the article is credible. Educational and government-run websites (.gov, .edu) tend to also be a safe source to use, as well as academic databases. Google Scholar is also a no-fail source for reliable information.

2. What is a potentially unreliable source?

Anything that is out of date, meaning it’s been published more than 10 years ago should be avoided. Materials published on social media platforms such as Facebook or personal blogs don’t tend to be the most credible. Always make sure that an article contains proper citations and that the website you are using ends in .com or .org.

Free Resources For Learning

There are many free resources for research available known as open educational resources . They are licensed for free use, with the intention of teaching. They can be determined as credible sources for research if they have a Creative Common license, and if the author has proven to be an expert in their field. Always make sure that the content you are using contains no biases.

Sites For Scholarly Research

When performing scholarly research, it’s extra important to make sure that your sources are credible. Government-run research is considered credible, but beware of any political sites. University and educational websites also tend to be reliable, but still take everything you read with a grain of salt. Company websites also tend to be reliable, although their ultimate goal is usually to promote a product. Organizations which are .org websites can be professional and reliable, however, sometimes they also have their own interests.

Which Sites Can Be Relied On

The internet has no shortage of information out there. That’s why you’ll need these handy tips to determine which to use, and how to distinguish through the vast choices without feeling overwhelmed.

List of Credible Research Sources to Consider

1. government entities.

These websites tend to be reliable since they are highly regulated. Examples include the CIA World Factbook and the United States Justice Statistics.

2. Research Think Tanks

Examples of reliable research think tanks include Rand Corporation, Pew Research Center and The Milken Institute.

3. Academic Libraries and Databases

ProQuest, Scopus, and Jstor are great examples of academic libraries and databases that can be trusted.

4. Professional Standards Organizations

The American Bar Association and The American Psychological Association (APA) are highly credible sources when it comes to professional standards.

How to Write a Research Paper: Step-by-Step

Now that you’re an expert on finding credible sources for research, you’re ready to go! But how do you even start to write a research paper? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

For starters, it’s important to get clear instructions from your professor on what they want. The next step is to start brainstorming ideas for a topic of research. Once you’ve decided and feel confident about it, you’re ready to create your outline and plan out the goal of your research paper.

Befriend your librarian and start to search for quality and credible sources through a variety of means. Make sure you understand your topic from top to bottom before you start writing.  As you write, be sure to always keep things factual, and that you finalize your thesis statement throughout your paper — not just at the end. That’s what’s going to guide your writing. Be sure to always keep format in mind, never forget to cite your sources, and to never skip those edits and final checks.

Now you are ready to write a high-quality, fact-driven research paper that’s sure to impress your professors.

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Expert Commentary

Research strategy guide for finding quality, credible sources

Strategies for finding academic studies and other information you need to give your stories authority and depth

Republish this article

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License .

by Keely Wilczek, The Journalist's Resource May 20, 2011

This <a target="_blank" href="https://journalistsresource.org/home/research-strategy-guide/">article</a> first appeared on <a target="_blank" href="https://journalistsresource.org">The Journalist's Resource</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.<img src="https://journalistsresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cropped-jr-favicon-150x150.png" style="width:1em;height:1em;margin-left:10px;">

Knowing how to conduct deeper research efficiently and effectively is a critical skill for journalists — especially in the information age. It is, like other facets of the profession such as interviewing, a matter of practice and establishing good habits. And once you find a successful routine for information-gathering, it will pay dividends time and again.

Journalists need to be able to do many kinds of research. This article focuses on creating a research strategy that will help you find academic studies and related scholarly information. These sources can, among other things, give your stories extra authority and depth — and thereby distinguish your work. You can see examples of such studies — and find many relevant ones for your stories — by searching the Journalist’s Resource database . But that is just a representative sample of what exists in the research world.

The first step is to create a plan for seeking the information you need. This requires you to take time initially and to proceed with care, but it will ultimately pay off in better results. The research strategy covered in this article involves the following steps:

Get organized

Articulate your topic, locate background information.

  • Identify your information needs

List keywords and concepts for search engines and databases

Consider the scope of your topic, conduct your searches, evaluate the information sources you found, analyze and adjust your research strategy.

Being organized is an essential part of effective research strategy. You should create a record of your strategy and your searches. This will prevent you from repeating searches in the same resources and from continuing to use ineffective terms. It will also help you assess the success or failure of your research strategy as you go through the process. You also may want to consider tracking and organizing citations and links in bibliographic software such as Zotero . (See this helpful resource guide about using Zotero.)

Next, write out your topic in a clear and concise manner. Good research starts with a specific focus.

For example, let’s say you are writing a story about the long-range health effects of the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant based on a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives titled, “The Chernobyl Accident 20 Years On: An Assessment of the Health Consequences and the International Response.” (The study is summarized in Journalist’s Resource here .)

A statement of your topic might be, “Twenty years after the Chernobyl disaster, scientists are still learning the affects of the accident on the health of those who lived in the surrounding area and their descendants.”

If you have a good understanding of the Chernobyl disaster, proceed to the next step, “Identify the information you need.” If not, it’s time to gather background information. This will supply you with the whos and the whens of the topic. It will also provide you with a broader context as well as the important terminology.

Excellent sources of background information are subject-specific encyclopedias and dictionaries, books, and scholarly articles, and organizations’ websites. You should always consult more than one source so you can compare for accuracy and bias.

For your story about Chernobyl, you might want to consult some of the following sources:

  • Frequently Asked Chernobyl Questions , International Atomic Agency
  • Chernobyl Accident 1986 , World Nuclear Association
  • Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment , New York Academy of Sciences, 2009.
  • “Chernobyl Disaster,” Encyclopedia Britannica, last updated 2013.

Identify the information you need

What information do you need to write your story? One way to determine this is to turn your overall topic into a list of questions to be answered. This will help you identify the type and level of information you need. Some possible questions on consequences of the Chernobyl accident are:

  • What are the proven health effects?
  • What are some theorized health effects?
  • Is there controversy about any of these studies?
  • What geographic area is being studied?
  • What are the demographic characteristics of the population being studied?
  • Was there anything that could have been done at the time to mitigate these effects?

Looking at these questions, it appears that scientific studies and scholarly articles about those studies, demographic data, disaster response analysis, and government documents and publications from the Soviet Union and Ukraine would be needed.

Now you need to determine what words you will use to enter in the search boxes within resources. One way to begin is to extract the most important words and phrases from the questions produced in the previous step. Next, think about alternative words and phrases that you might use. Always keep in mind that different people may write or talk about the same topic in different ways. Important concepts can referred to differently or be spelled differently depending on country of origin or field of study.

For the Chernobyl health story, some search keyword options are: “Chernobyl,” “Chornobyl”; “disaster,” “catastrophe,” “explosion”; “health,” “disease,” “illness,” “medical conditions”; “genetic mutation,” “gene mutation,” “germ-line mutation,” “hereditary disease.” Used in different combinations, these can unearth a wide variety of resources.

Next you should identify the scope of your topic and any limitations it puts on your searches. Some examples of limitations are language, publication date, and publication type. Every database and search engine will have its own rules so you may need to click on an advanced search option in order to input these limitations.

It is finally time to start looking for information but identifying which resources to use is not always easy to do. First, if you are part of an organization, find out what, if any, resources you have access to through a subscription. Examples of subscription resources are LexisNexis and JSTOR. If your organization does not provide subscription resources, find out if you can get access to these sources through your local library. Should you not have access to any subscription resources appropriate for your topic, look at some of the many useful free resources on the internet.

Here are some examples of sources for free information:

  • PLoS , Public Library of Science
  • Google Scholar
  • SSRN , Social Science Research Network
  • FDsys , U.S. Government documents and publications
  • World Development Indicators , World Bank
  • Pubmed , service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

More quality sites, and search tips, are here among the other research articles at Journalist’s Resource.

As you only want information from the most reliable and suitable sources, you should always evaluate your results. In doing this, you can apply journalism’s Five W’s (and One H):

  • Who : Who is the author and what are his/her credentials in this topic?
  • What: Is the material primary or secondary in nature?
  • Where: Is the publisher or organization behind the source considered reputable? Does the website appear legitimate?
  • When: Is the source current or does it cover the right time period for your topic?
  • Why: Is the opinion or bias of the author apparent and can it be taken into account?
  • How: Is the source written at the right level for your needs? Is the research well-documented?

Were you able to locate the information you needed? If not, now it is time to analyze why that happened. Perhaps there are better resources or different keywords and concepts you could have tried. Additional background information might supply you with other terminology to use. It is also possible that the information you need is just not available in the way you need it and it may be necessary to consult others for assistance like an expert in the topic or a professional librarian.

Keely Wilczek is a research librarian at the Harvard Kennedy School. Tags: training

About The Author

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Sodhi M , Rezaeianzadeh R , Kezouh A , Etminan M. Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss. JAMA. 2023;330(18):1795–1797. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.19574

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Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss

  • 1 Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2 StatExpert Ltd, Laval, Quebec, Canada
  • 3 Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Medical News & Perspectives As Ozempic’s Popularity Soars, Here’s What to Know About Semaglutide and Weight Loss Melissa Suran, PhD, MSJ JAMA
  • Special Communication Patents and Regulatory Exclusivities on GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Rasha Alhiary, PharmD; Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH; Sarah Gabriele, LLM, MBE; Reed F. Beall, PhD; S. Sean Tu, JD, PhD; William B. Feldman, MD, DPhil, MPH JAMA
  • Medical News & Perspectives What to Know About Wegovy’s Rare but Serious Adverse Effects Kate Ruder, MSJ JAMA
  • Comment & Response GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and Gastrointestinal Adverse Events—Reply Ramin Rezaeianzadeh, BSc; Mohit Sodhi, MSc; Mahyar Etminan, PharmD, MSc JAMA
  • Comment & Response GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Karine Suissa, PhD; Sara J. Cromer, MD; Elisabetta Patorno, MD, DrPH JAMA
  • Research Letter GLP-1 Receptor Agonist Use and Risk of Postoperative Complications Anjali A. Dixit, MD, MPH; Brian T. Bateman, MD, MS; Mary T. Hawn, MD, MPH; Michelle C. Odden, PhD; Eric C. Sun, MD, PhD JAMA
  • Original Investigation Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist Use and Risk of Gallbladder and Biliary Diseases Liyun He, MM; Jialu Wang, MM; Fan Ping, MD; Na Yang, MM; Jingyue Huang, MM; Yuxiu Li, MD; Lingling Xu, MD; Wei Li, MD; Huabing Zhang, MD JAMA Internal Medicine
  • Research Letter Cholecystitis Associated With the Use of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists Daniel Woronow, MD; Christine Chamberlain, PharmD; Ali Niak, MD; Mark Avigan, MDCM; Monika Houstoun, PharmD, MPH; Cindy Kortepeter, PharmD JAMA Internal Medicine

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists are medications approved for treatment of diabetes that recently have also been used off label for weight loss. 1 Studies have found increased risks of gastrointestinal adverse events (biliary disease, 2 pancreatitis, 3 bowel obstruction, 4 and gastroparesis 5 ) in patients with diabetes. 2 - 5 Because such patients have higher baseline risk for gastrointestinal adverse events, risk in patients taking these drugs for other indications may differ. Randomized trials examining efficacy of GLP-1 agonists for weight loss were not designed to capture these events 2 due to small sample sizes and short follow-up. We examined gastrointestinal adverse events associated with GLP-1 agonists used for weight loss in a clinical setting.

We used a random sample of 16 million patients (2006-2020) from the PharMetrics Plus for Academics database (IQVIA), a large health claims database that captures 93% of all outpatient prescriptions and physician diagnoses in the US through the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) or ICD-10. In our cohort study, we included new users of semaglutide or liraglutide, 2 main GLP-1 agonists, and the active comparator bupropion-naltrexone, a weight loss agent unrelated to GLP-1 agonists. Because semaglutide was marketed for weight loss after the study period (2021), we ensured all GLP-1 agonist and bupropion-naltrexone users had an obesity code in the 90 days prior or up to 30 days after cohort entry, excluding those with a diabetes or antidiabetic drug code.

Patients were observed from first prescription of a study drug to first mutually exclusive incidence (defined as first ICD-9 or ICD-10 code) of biliary disease (including cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, and choledocholithiasis), pancreatitis (including gallstone pancreatitis), bowel obstruction, or gastroparesis (defined as use of a code or a promotility agent). They were followed up to the end of the study period (June 2020) or censored during a switch. Hazard ratios (HRs) from a Cox model were adjusted for age, sex, alcohol use, smoking, hyperlipidemia, abdominal surgery in the previous 30 days, and geographic location, which were identified as common cause variables or risk factors. 6 Two sensitivity analyses were undertaken, one excluding hyperlipidemia (because more semaglutide users had hyperlipidemia) and another including patients without diabetes regardless of having an obesity code. Due to absence of data on body mass index (BMI), the E-value was used to examine how strong unmeasured confounding would need to be to negate observed results, with E-value HRs of at least 2 indicating BMI is unlikely to change study results. Statistical significance was defined as 2-sided 95% CI that did not cross 1. Analyses were performed using SAS version 9.4. Ethics approval was obtained by the University of British Columbia’s clinical research ethics board with a waiver of informed consent.

Our cohort included 4144 liraglutide, 613 semaglutide, and 654 bupropion-naltrexone users. Incidence rates for the 4 outcomes were elevated among GLP-1 agonists compared with bupropion-naltrexone users ( Table 1 ). For example, incidence of biliary disease (per 1000 person-years) was 11.7 for semaglutide, 18.6 for liraglutide, and 12.6 for bupropion-naltrexone and 4.6, 7.9, and 1.0, respectively, for pancreatitis.

Use of GLP-1 agonists compared with bupropion-naltrexone was associated with increased risk of pancreatitis (adjusted HR, 9.09 [95% CI, 1.25-66.00]), bowel obstruction (HR, 4.22 [95% CI, 1.02-17.40]), and gastroparesis (HR, 3.67 [95% CI, 1.15-11.90) but not biliary disease (HR, 1.50 [95% CI, 0.89-2.53]). Exclusion of hyperlipidemia from the analysis did not change the results ( Table 2 ). Inclusion of GLP-1 agonists regardless of history of obesity reduced HRs and narrowed CIs but did not change the significance of the results ( Table 2 ). E-value HRs did not suggest potential confounding by BMI.

This study found that use of GLP-1 agonists for weight loss compared with use of bupropion-naltrexone was associated with increased risk of pancreatitis, gastroparesis, and bowel obstruction but not biliary disease.

Given the wide use of these drugs, these adverse events, although rare, must be considered by patients who are contemplating using the drugs for weight loss because the risk-benefit calculus for this group might differ from that of those who use them for diabetes. Limitations include that although all GLP-1 agonist users had a record for obesity without diabetes, whether GLP-1 agonists were all used for weight loss is uncertain.

Accepted for Publication: September 11, 2023.

Published Online: October 5, 2023. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.19574

Correction: This article was corrected on December 21, 2023, to update the full name of the database used.

Corresponding Author: Mahyar Etminan, PharmD, MSc, Faculty of Medicine, Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Medicine, The Eye Care Center, University of British Columbia, 2550 Willow St, Room 323, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3N9, Canada ( [email protected] ).

Author Contributions: Dr Etminan had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Sodhi, Rezaeianzadeh, Etminan.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Sodhi, Rezaeianzadeh, Etminan.

Critical review of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Kezouh.

Obtained funding: Etminan.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Sodhi.

Supervision: Etminan.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was funded by internal research funds from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Data Sharing Statement: See Supplement .

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  • Introduction
  • Finding sources

Evaluating sources

  • Integrating sources

Citing sources

Tools and resources, a quick guide to working with sources.

Working with sources is an important skill that you’ll need throughout your academic career.

It includes knowing how to find relevant sources, assessing their authority and credibility, and understanding how to integrate sources into your work with proper referencing.

This quick guide will help you get started!

Finding relevant sources

Sources commonly used in academic writing include academic journals, scholarly books, websites, newspapers, and encyclopedias. There are three main places to look for such sources:

  • Research databases: Databases can be general or subject-specific. To get started, check out this list of databases by academic discipline . Another good starting point is Google Scholar .
  • Your institution’s library: Use your library’s database to narrow down your search using keywords to find relevant articles, books, and newspapers matching your topic.
  • Other online resources: Consult popular online sources like websites, blogs, or Wikipedia to find background information. Be sure to carefully evaluate the credibility of those online sources.

When using academic databases or search engines, you can use Boolean operators to refine your results.

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In academic writing, your sources should be credible, up to date, and relevant to your research topic. Useful approaches to evaluating sources include the CRAAP test and lateral reading.

CRAAP is an abbreviation that reminds you of a set of questions to ask yourself when evaluating information.

  • Currency: Does the source reflect recent research?
  • Relevance: Is the source related to your research topic?
  • Authority: Is it a respected publication? Is the author an expert in their field?
  • Accuracy: Does the source support its arguments and conclusions with evidence?
  • Purpose: What is the author’s intention?

Lateral reading

Lateral reading means comparing your source to other sources. This allows you to:

  • Verify evidence
  • Contextualize information
  • Find potential weaknesses

If a source is using methods or drawing conclusions that are incompatible with other research in its field, it may not be reliable.

Integrating sources into your work

Once you have found information that you want to include in your paper, signal phrases can help you to introduce it. Here are a few examples:

FunctionExample sentenceSignal words and phrases
You present the author’s position neutrally, without any special emphasis. recent research, food services are responsible for one-third of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.According to, analyzes, asks, describes, discusses, explains, in the words of, notes, observes, points out, reports, writes
A position is taken in agreement with what came before.Recent research Einstein’s theory of general relativity by observing light from behind a black hole.Agrees, confirms, endorses, reinforces, promotes, supports
A position is taken for or against something, with the implication that the debate is ongoing.Allen Ginsberg artistic revision …Argues, contends, denies, insists, maintains

Following the signal phrase, you can choose to quote, paraphrase or summarize the source.

  • Quoting : This means including the exact words of another source in your paper. The quoted text must be enclosed in quotation marks or (for longer quotes) presented as a block quote . Quote a source when the meaning is difficult to convey in different words or when you want to analyze the language itself.
  • Paraphrasing : This means putting another person’s ideas into your own words. It allows you to integrate sources more smoothly into your text, maintaining a consistent voice. It also shows that you have understood the meaning of the source.
  • Summarizing : This means giving an overview of the essential points of a source. Summaries should be much shorter than the original text. You should describe the key points in your own words and not quote from the original text.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source, you must include a citation crediting the original author.

Citing your sources is important because it:

  • Allows you to avoid plagiarism
  • Establishes the credentials of your sources
  • Backs up your arguments with evidence
  • Allows your reader to verify the legitimacy of your conclusions

The most common citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago style. Each citation style has specific rules for formatting citations.

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Watch CBS News

What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for a second Trump administration

By Melissa Quinn , Jacob Rosen

Updated on: July 11, 2024 / 9:40 AM EDT / CBS News

Washington — Voters in recent weeks have begun to hear the name "Project 2025" invoked more and more by President Biden and Democrats, as they seek to sound the alarm about what could be in store if former President Donald Trump wins a second term in the White House.

Overseen by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the multi-pronged initiative includes a detailed blueprint for the next Republican president to usher in a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch.

Trump and his campaign have worked to distance themselves from Project 2025, with the former president going so far as to call some of the proposals "abysmal." But Democrats have continued to tie the transition project to Trump, especially as they find themselves mired in their own controversy over whether Mr. Biden should withdraw from the 2024 presidential contest following his startling debate performance last month.

Here is what to know about Project 2025:

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transition project that is composed of four pillars: a policy guide for the next presidential administration; a LinkedIn-style database of personnel who could serve in the next administration; training for that pool of candidates dubbed the "Presidential Administration Academy;" and a playbook of actions to be taken within the first 180 days in office.

It is led by two former Trump administration officials: Paul Dans, who was chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management and serves as director of the project, and Spencer Chretien, former special assistant to Trump and now the project's associate director.

Project 2025 is spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation, but includes an advisory board consisting of more than 100 conservative groups.

Much of the focus on — and criticism of — Project 2025 involves its first pillar, the nearly 900-page policy book that lays out an overhaul of the federal government. Called "Mandate for Leadership 2025: The Conservative Promise," the book builds on a "Mandate for Leadership" first published in January 1981, which sought to serve as a roadmap for Ronald Reagan's incoming administration.

The recommendations outlined in the sprawling plan reach every corner of the executive branch, from the Executive Office of the President to the Department of Homeland Security to the little-known Export-Import Bank. 

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with advisers in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D,C., on June 25, 2019.

The Heritage Foundation also created a "Mandate for Leadership" in 2015 ahead of Trump's first term. Two years into his presidency, it touted that Trump had instituted 64% of its policy recommendations, ranging from leaving the Paris Climate Accords, increasing military spending, and increasing off-shore drilling and developing federal lands. In July 2020, the Heritage Foundation gave its updated version of the book to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. 

The authors of many chapters are familiar names from the Trump administration, such as Russ Vought, who led the Office of Management and Budget; former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller; and Roger Severino, who was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vought is the policy director for the 2024 Republican National Committee's platform committee, which released its proposed platform on Monday. 

John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Trump, is a senior advisor to the Heritage Foundation, and said that the group will "integrate a lot of our work" with the Trump campaign when the official transition efforts are announced in the next few months.

Candidates interested in applying for the Heritage Foundation's "Presidential Personnel Database" are vetted on a number of political stances, such as whether they agree or disagree with statements like "life has a right to legal protection from conception to natural death," and "the President should be able to advance his/her agenda through the bureaucracy without hindrance from unelected federal officials."

The contributions from ex-Trump administration officials have led its critics to tie Project 2025 to his reelection campaign, though the former president has attempted to distance himself from the initiative.

What are the Project 2025 plans?

Some of the policies in the Project 2025 agenda have been discussed by Republicans for years or pushed by Trump himself: less federal intervention in education and more support for school choice; work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on food stamps; and a secure border with increased enforcement of immigration laws, mass deportations and construction of a border wall. 

But others have come under scrutiny in part because of the current political landscape. 

Abortion and social issues

In recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agenda calls for the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its 24-year-old approval of the widely used abortion pill mifepristone. Other proposed actions targeting medication abortion include reinstating more stringent rules for mifepristone's use, which would permit it to be taken up to seven weeks into a pregnancy, instead of the current 10 weeks, and requiring it to be dispensed in-person instead of through the mail.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that is on the Project 2025 advisory board, was involved in a legal challenge to mifepristone's 2000 approval and more recent actions from the FDA that made it easier to obtain. But the Supreme Court rejected the case brought by a group of anti-abortion rights doctors and medical associations on procedural grounds.

The policy book also recommends the Justice Department enforce the Comstock Act against providers and distributors of abortion pills. That 1873 law prohibits drugs, medicines or instruments used in abortions from being sent through the mail.

US-NEWS-SCOTUS-ABORTION-PILL-NEWSOM-TB

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade , the volume states that the Justice Department "in the next conservative administration should therefore announce its intent to enforce federal law against providers and distributors of such pills."

The guide recommends the next secretary of Health and Human Services get rid of the Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force established by the Biden administration before Roe's reversal and create a "pro-life task force to ensure that all of the department's divisions seek to use their authority to promote the life and health of women and their unborn children."

In a section titled "The Family Agenda," the proposal recommends the Health and Human Services chief "proudly state that men and women are biological realities," and that "married men and women are the ideal, natural family structure because all children have a right to be raised by the men and women who conceived them."

Further, a program within the Health and Human Services Department should "maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family."

During his first four years in office, Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military. Mr. Biden reversed that policy , but the Project 2025 policy book calls for the ban to be reinstated.

Targeting federal agencies, employees and policies

The agenda takes aim at longstanding federal agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The agency is a component of the Commerce Department and the policy guide calls for it to be downsized. 

NOAA's six offices, including the National Weather Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, "form a colossal operation that has become one of the main drivers of the climate change alarm industry and, as such, is harmful to future U.S. prosperity," the guide states. 

The Department of Homeland Security, established in 2002, should be dismantled and its agencies either combined with others, or moved under the purview of other departments altogether, the policy book states. For example, immigration-related entities from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Health and Human Services should form a standalone, Cabinet-level border and immigration agency staffed by more than 100,000 employees, according to the agenda.

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington on March 7, 2017.

If the policy recommendations are implemented, another federal agency that could come under the knife by the next administration, with action from Congress, is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agenda seeks to bring a push by conservatives to target diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives in higher education to the executive branch by wiping away a slew of DEI-related positions, policies and programs and calling for the elimination of funding for partners that promote DEI practices.

It states that U.S. Agency for International Development staff and grantees that "engage in ideological agitation on behalf of the DEI agenda" should be terminated. At the Treasury Department, the guide says the next administration should "treat the participation in any critical race theory or DEI initiative without objecting on constitutional or moral grounds, as per se grounds for termination of employment."

The Project 2025 policy book also takes aim at more innocuous functions of government. It calls for the next presidential administration to eliminate or reform the dietary guidelines that have been published by the Department of Agriculture for more than 40 years, which the authors claim have been "infiltrated" by issues like climate change and sustainability.

Immigration

Trump made immigration a cornerstone of his last two presidential runs and has continued to hammer the issue during his 2024 campaign. Project 2025's agenda not only recommends finishing the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but urges the next administration to "take a creative and aggressive approach" to responding to drug cartels at the border. This approach includes using active-duty military personnel and the National Guard to help with arrest operations along the southern border.

A memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that prohibits enforcement actions from taking place at "sensitive" places like schools, playgrounds and churches should be rolled back, the policy guide states. 

When the Homeland Security secretary determines there is an "actual or anticipated mass migration of aliens" that presents "urgent circumstances" warranting a federal response, the agenda says the secretary can make rules and regulations, including through their expulsion, for as long as necessary. These rules, the guide states, aren't subject to the Administration Procedure Act, which governs the agency rule-making process.

What do Trump and his advisers say about Project 2025?

In a post to his social media platform on July 5, Trump wrote , "I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they're saying and some of the things they're saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them."

Trump's pushback to the initiative came after Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said in a podcast interview that the nation is "in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be."

The former president continued to disavow the initiative this week, writing in another social media post  that he knows nothing about Project 2025.

"I have not seen it, have no idea who is in charge of it, and, unlike our very well received Republican Platform, had nothing to do with it," Trump wrote. "The Radical Left Democrats are having a field day, however, trying to hook me into whatever policies are stated or said. It is pure disinformation on their part. By now, after all of these years, everyone knows where I stand on EVERYTHING!"

While the former president said he doesn't know who is in charge of the initiative, the project's director, Dans, and associate director, Chretien, were high-ranking officials in his administration. Additionally, Ben Carson, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Trump; John Ratcliffe, former director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration; and Peter Navarro, who served as a top trade adviser to Trump in the White House, are listed as either authors or contributors to the policy agenda.

Still, even before Roberts' comments during "The War Room" podcast — typically hosted by conservative commentator Steve Bannon, who reported to federal prison to begin serving a four-month sentence last week — Trump's top campaign advisers have stressed that Project 2025 has no official ties to his reelection bid.

Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, senior advisers to the Trump campaign, said in a November statement that 2024 policy announcements will be made by Trump or his campaign team.

"Any personnel lists, policy agendas, or government plans published anywhere are merely suggestions," they said.

While the efforts by outside organizations are "appreciated," Wiles and LaCivita said, "none of these groups or individuals speak for President Trump or his campaign."

In response to Trump's post last week, Project 2025 reiterated that it was separate from the Trump campaign.

"As we've been saying for more than two years now, Project 2025 does not speak for any candidate or campaign. We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy & personnel recommendations for the next conservative president. But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement," a statement on the project's X account said.

The initiative has also pushed back on Democrats' claims about its policy proposals and accused them of lying about what the agenda contains.

What do Democrats say?

Despite their attempts to keep some distance from Project 2025, Democrats continue to connect Trump with the transition effort. The Biden-Harris campaign frequently posts about the project on X, tying it to a second Trump term.

Mr. Biden himself accused his Republican opponent of lying about his connections to the Project 2025 agenda, saying in a statement that the agenda was written for Trump and "should scare every single American." He claimed on his campaign social media account  Wednesday that Project 2025 "will destroy America."

Congressional Democrats have also begun pivoting to Project 2025 when asked in interviews about Mr. Biden's fitness for a second term following his lackluster showing at the June 27 debate, the first in which he went head-to-head with Trump.

"Trump is all about Project 2025," Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told CNN on Monday. "I mean, that's what we really should be voting on right now. It's like, do we want the kind of president that is all about Project '25?"

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, one of Mr. Biden's closest allies on Capitol Hill, told reporters Monday that the agenda for the next Republican president was the sole topic he would talk about.

"Project 2025, that's my only concern," he said. "I don't want you or my granddaughter to live under that government."

In a statement reiterating her support for Mr. Biden, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida called Project 2025 "MAGA Republicans' draconian 920-page plan to end U.S. democracy, give handouts to the wealthy and strip Americans of their freedoms."

What are Republicans saying about Project 2025?

Two GOP senators under consideration to serve as Trump's running mate sought to put space between the White House hopeful and Project 2025, casting it as merely the product of a think tank that puts forth ideas.

"It's the work of a think tank, of a center-right think tank, and that's what think tanks do," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

He said Trump's message to voters focuses on "restoring common sense, working-class values, and making our decisions on the basis of that."

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance raised a similar sentiment in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," saying organizations will have good ideas and bad ideas.

"It's a 900-page document," he said Sunday. "I guarantee there are things that Trump likes and dislikes about that 900-page document. But he is the person who will determine the agenda of the next administration."

Jaala Brown contributed to this report.

Melissa Quinn is a politics reporter for CBSNews.com. She has written for outlets including the Washington Examiner, Daily Signal and Alexandria Times. Melissa covers U.S. politics, with a focus on the Supreme Court and federal courts.

More from CBS News

Project 2025 would overhaul U.S. taxes. Here's the impact for you.

Progressives look to Supreme Court to motivate voters in 2024 race

Biden makes statement after Trump rally shooting: "It's sick"

GOP effort to hold Garland in inherent contempt of Congress fails

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  3. 05_Searching Scientific Literature

  4. List of Concepts

  5. How to Read and Download Research Papers (Step-by-Step Guide) || Vartika Agarwal

  6. Select The Right Research Paper

COMMENTS

  1. Google Scholar

    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions.

  2. JSTOR Home

    Enrich your research with primary sources Enrich your research with primary sources. Explore millions of high-quality primary sources and images from around the world, including artworks, maps, photographs, and more. ... Part of UN Secretary-General Papers: Ban Ki-moon (2007-2016) Part of Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 12, No. 4 (August 2018)

  3. 10 Best Online Websites and Resources for Academic Research

    Still, Google Books is a great first step to find sources that you can later look for at your campus library. 6. Science.gov. If you're looking for scientific research, Science.gov is a great option. The site provides full-text documents, scientific data, and other resources from federally funded research.

  4. The best academic search engines [Update 2024]

    Academic search engines have become the number one resource to turn to in order to find research papers and other scholarly sources. While classic academic databases like Web of Science and Scopus are locked behind paywalls, Google Scholar and others can be accessed free of charge. In order to help you get your research done fast, we have compiled the top list of free academic search engines.

  5. How to Find Sources

    Research databases. You can search for scholarly sources online using databases and search engines like Google Scholar. These provide a range of search functions that can help you to find the most relevant sources. If you are searching for a specific article or book, include the title or the author's name. Alternatively, if you're just ...

  6. ResearchGate

    Access 160+ million publications and connect with 25+ million researchers. Join for free and gain visibility by uploading your research.

  7. The best academic research databases [Update 2024]

    Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile. 1. Scopus. Scopus is one of the two big commercial, bibliographic databases that cover scholarly literature from almost any discipline. Besides searching for research articles, Scopus also provides academic journal rankings, author profiles, and an h-index calculator. 2.

  8. Wiley Online Library

    One of the largest and most authoritative collections of online journals, books, and research resources, covering life, health, social, and physical sciences.

  9. Search

    Find the research you need | With 160+ million publications, 1+ million questions, and 25+ million researchers, this is where everyone can access science

  10. ScienceDirect.com

    ScienceDirect is the world's leading source for scientific, technical, and medical research. Explore journals, books and articles. ... online abuse and other key issues. Explore stories. Elsevier journals offer the latest peer-reviewed research papers on climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy and other topics addressing our planet's ...

  11. Directory of Open Access Journals

    About the directory. DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world, driven by a growing community, and is committed to ensuring quality content is freely available online for everyone. DOAJ is committed to keeping its services free of charge, including being indexed, and its data freely available.

  12. Academia.edu

    Work faster and smarter with advanced research discovery tools. Search the full text and citations of our millions of papers. Download groups of related papers to jumpstart your research. Save time with detailed summaries and search alerts. Advanced Search. PDF Packages of 37 papers.

  13. | Jstor

    JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. ... organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. ©2000‍-2024 ITHAKA. All ...

  14. 21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2024

    It is a highly interdisciplinary platform used to search for scholarly articles related to 67 social science topics. SSRN has a variety of research networks for the various topics available through the free scholarly database. The site offers more than 700,000 abstracts and more than 600,000 full-text papers.

  15. How to Find Research Papers Effectively: 25 Best Academic Websites

    How to Find Research Papers Through Academic Sources: 25 Best Research Paper Databases. 1. Google Scholar - The Ultimate Academic Search Engine. Google Scholar is a free-to-use search engine that indexes scholarly articles and other academic materials across disciplines.

  16. Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research

    Choosing & Using Sources presents a process for academic research and writing, from formulating your research question to selecting good information and using it effectively in your research assignments. Additional chapters cover understanding types of sources, searching for information, and avoiding plagiarism. Each chapter includes self-quizzes and activities to reinforce core concepts ...

  17. Tips to Find Credible Sources for Research: A Guide for Students

    2. Cross Wikipedia off. Wikipedia, although it's a massive pool of information, should always be avoided when writing a research paper since it allows the public to edit information. Sites such as these often run the risk of lacking accuracy, and is not one of the most credible sources for research. 3.

  18. Open Research Library

    The Open Research Library (ORL) is planned to include all Open Access book content worldwide on one platform for user-friendly discovery, offering a seamless experience navigating more than 20,000 Open Access books.

  19. How to Cite Sources

    At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays, research papers, and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises). Add a citation whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

  20. Find a journal

    Find the right journal for your research. Looking for the best journal match for your paper? Search the world's leading source of academic journals using your abstract or your keywords and other details. More on how it works. Match my abstract Search by keywords, aims & scope, ...

  21. What Are Credible Sources & How to Spot Them

    Revised on May 9, 2024. A credible source is free from bias and backed up with evidence. It is written by a trustworthy author or organization. There are a lot of sources out there, and it can be hard to tell what's credible and what isn't at first glance. Evaluating source credibility is an important information literacy skill.

  22. Research strategy guide for finding quality, credible sources

    The research strategy covered in this article involves the following steps: Get organized. Articulate your topic. Locate background information. Identify your information needs. List keywords and concepts for search engines and databases. Consider the scope of your topic.

  23. GLP-1 Agonists and Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

    Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists are medications approved for treatment of diabetes that recently have also been used off label for weight loss. 1 Studies have found increased risks of gastrointestinal adverse events (biliary disease, 2 pancreatitis, 3 bowel obstruction, 4 and gastroparesis 5) in patients with diabetes. 2-5 Because such patients have higher baseline risk for ...

  24. Free Citation Generator

    Citation Generator: Automatically generate accurate references and in-text citations using Scribbr's APA Citation Generator, MLA Citation Generator, Harvard Referencing Generator, and Chicago Citation Generator. Plagiarism Checker: Detect plagiarism in your paper using the most accurate Turnitin-powered plagiarism software available to students.

  25. What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for

    Here is what to know about Project 2025: What is Project 2025? Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transition project that is composed of four pillars: a policy guide for the next presidential ...