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Library Research Guides

Earth 142: From Stars to Stones

Covers: differences between refereed, scientific literature and other information sources; the process of searching for scientific, scholarly literature; the value of academic integrity and tools to avoid unintended plagiarism.

Information sources

Depending on your research question, you will want to consult books, scholarly articles, and other media (such as conference proceedings, artifacts, film, etc).

Ask yourself: 

Do you need background information?

Are you aware of authors for your topic?

Should you limit your results to time periods?

Should you limit your results to geographical locations?

Do you want to limit your sources?

What databases should you use?

MLibrary Homepage

Developing a Literature Search

First think about your topic. Questions to consider:

  • What is your topic?
  • What interests you about the topic?
  • What are some keywords related to your topic?
  • What are some synonyms for your keywords?
  • If I find too much literature on my topic, how will I narrow my search?
  • If I find too little literature on my topic, how will I broaden my search?


The Research Cycle

A question is asked

A topic is investigated

Information is discovered

Information is published

Published information is indexed

Information is searched, found, and read

transmission of information raises new questions

fueling new investigations