Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Student Resources

Welcome to the University Libraries! We have many services and resources to help you succeed.

What is Research?

Research can be daunting, but knowing where to go and how to search can save you time and energy. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What kind of information do I need? Facts, opinions, statistics, case studies, literary criticism, assessment instruments, legal cases/decisions, and reviews are just a few to consider. 
  • What types of sources do I need? Newspapers, magazines, journals, scholarly or peer-reviewed articles, government documents, electronic or print resources, microform, primary documents, e-books, traditional books, the Internet?
  • How current do my sources need to be? Primary documents that may be quite old or the most current research?
  • Where do I go for the best information on my topic? ZipSearch, the University Libraries catalog or other libraries (ILL), research databases, the Reference collection, government publications, or websites, etc.?

Research Tools

Can help you keep track of your sources, create bibliographies, and easily create in-text citations

Research Databases

Research Databases by Subject

Library Tutorials

Using the library and finding resources can be confusing and overwhelming at first. This might be especially true if you are an online student! We created two Brightspace tutorials to help you get started with using the library and locating the resources you need to successfully complete your coursework.

 Library 101- Whether you need five sources for your paper that’s due tomorrow, or you have five weeks to do your research, knowing how to navigate the library’s resources is key. In this course, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to improve your research skills for faster and better results. You can do this course in about an hour. 

 Library 201- for more advanced users. This tutorial contains six lessons to improve your ability to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively. Lesson 1: The Nature of Information; Lesson 2: Looking Critically at Information; Lesson 3: Planning Your Research; Lesson 4: Searching Basics and Library Catalogs; Lesson 5: Databases Deep Dive; Lesson 6: Internet Searching. Each lesson is about an hour long. Take your time and dive into this course to level up your research skills.

Academic vs. Scholarly Resources

What's the difference between academic, scholarly, peer-reviewed, and refereed journal articles? While those terms aren't fully interchangeable, they are all very similar. Academic or scholarly journals are published in every academic discipline. Articles in these journals are written by researchers, often experts, in their respective fields of study.

Peer-reviewed or refereed journals also contain articles by researchers and experts but before articles are published, they go through a read/review process. Here's how it works: I send my article to the American Journal of Journals to see if they'll publish it. They contact several people in my field and ask them to review my work and make recommendations to the editors as to whether they should accept or reject my article. Academic or scholarly journals may also be peer-reviewed or refereed journals but they might not so check carefully.

Librarians Can Help

Need help finding and evaluating sources? Having trouble citing in MLA or APA? Schedule a Research Consultation for expert librarian assistance!