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Introduction to academic research

Research process

Academic research is is a multi-step process that doesn't always go in a straight line; you may find yourself returning to previous stages as you refine your topic. Steps include

Information sources

We recommend you become familiar with the types of sources required for your research project:

At any stage during the research process, you can get help from a librarian by using the Ask a Librarian chat and email service, emailing or phoning a librarian or in person at one of the reference desks.

General interest databases cover a wide range of topics from many kinds of sources. They are a great starting point for many research assignments since you are likely to get at least a few search results on your topic. Major general interest databases are listed below; many more are available on the general interest databases listings.


Need help?

Email the Distance Education support group or use the chat service below.

Newman Library spring hours

Sun: Open 9:00am*
Mon-Thu: Open 24 hours*
Fri: Close 8:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 8:00pm

* During 24 hour operation, a valid Hokie Passport is required to access or remain in the library between 12 midnight and 7:30am.

Current semester hours

Art + Architecture Library spring hours

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Mon-Thu: 8:00am - 10:00pm
Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sat: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Current semester hours

NVC Resource Center spring hours

Sun: Closed
Mon-Thu: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Fri: 11:00am - 7:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Current semester hours

Veterinary Medicine Library spring hours

Sun: 11:00am - 11:00pm
Mon-Thu: 7:30am - 11:00pm
Fri: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Current semester hours