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Getting started with academic research in architecture, art, and design

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.

 


Databases listed here are good general-purpose databases for architecture, art, and design research. See the subject guides for lists of recommended, discipline-specific databases, plus contact information for that subject librarian.

World Book Advanced Encyclopedia

    World Book
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Contents of this resource available through Summon

World Book Advanced Encyclopedia

The World Book Advanced Encyclopedia provides HTML full-text reference articles, ebooks, literary criticism, U.S. Supreme Court cases, U.S. presidential papers, special reports, research guides, timelines, maps, images, and multimedia in all academic disciplines.  

Full record

Use this encyclopedia for background research on a topic, to refine or narrow a research topic, and confirm terminology (that you'll also use in subject-specific databases).

LexisNexis Academic

    LexisNexis
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Screencast tutorials available for this resource Contents of this resource available through Summon

LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic is a collection of hundreds of databases covering topics such as news, business, legal research, people, and company information. The default start search form uses the Easy Search method in the General search tab. Select Power Search for more advanced search options. Use the Sources link to choose from individual databases. All content is full text in HTML. News sources 1977-present; legal source 1789-present.   

Full record

Use LexisNexis Academic to find recent news articles on architectural or art topics and to find people working in a design or professional area. Newspaper articles will be written for a popular audience, which will provide a general understanding of a research topic before you move on to scholarly articles.

Art & Architecture Complete from EBSCOhost

    EBSCOhost interface
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only This resource provides a mobile interface; see description for link Screencast tutorials available for this resource database provides Get VText links

Art & Architecture Complete from EBSCOhost

Art & Architecture Complete indexes citations, abstracts, and some full text from journals, magazines, trade publications, and books covering all aspects of art and architecture. It also includes a large image collection. 1901-present.   

Full record

Art & Architecture Complete provides articles from both popular sources like magazines and trade journals that will give a general overview of a topic, and from scholarly sources that will go into much more depth. Use this database for general research into any architecture or art topic.

Art Full Text and Art Retrospective from EBSCOhost

    EBSCOhost interface
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only mobile interface available database provides Get VText links

Art Full Text and Art Retrospective from EBSCOhost

Art Full Text indexes citations, abstracts, and full text from journals and other publications in art, architecture, design, and cinema. It also indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals. Some full text available as HTML and PDF. Allows limiting to peer reviewed sources. Citations 1929-1984, abstracts from 1994, full text from 1997.   

Full record

Art Full Text is the comprehensive database to use for any architecture or art research. Use this database to find criticism or commentary on creative works, or to follow the works of an individual or movement.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index from Thomson Reuters

    ISI Web of Science
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Screencast tutorials available for this resource Contents of this resource available through Summon database provides Get VText links

Arts & Humanities Citation Index from Thomson Web of Science

Arts & Humanities Citation Citation Index indexes citations and abstracts of journal literature, books, and conference papers in the arts and humanities. It also includes citations that refer to or review books, works of art, music scores, and performances. You can search cited references. 1975-present (older data available in print).  

Full record

Arts and Humanties Citation Index is a comprehensive arts database, covering hundreds of scholarly journals. Its features that analyze sets of citations is a vital step in advanced research.



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2013-2014 Student Research Guide (PDF | 8MB)

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restricted resource Resource is restricted to current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff. Use Off Campus Sign In if not on the campus network.
licensed for Virginia Tech alumni access Resource is licensed for Virginia Tech alumni access. Use Alumni Library Portal Sign In to access.
freely accessible database Freely accessible database, available to anyone without restriction
mobile interface Mobile interface available, see description for link.
Screencast tutorial available Screencast tutorial available, icon linked to list.
Contents in summon Contents of this database are in Summon.
get VText Resource provides Get VText links to access full text.
gold open access - publishing Resource provides open access publishing opportunities and open access publications.
get VText Resource provides self archiving opportunities and open access documents.