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
We recommend you become familiar with the types of sources required for your research project:
Databases listed here are good general-purpose databases for humanities, performing arts, and literature research. See the subject guides for lists of recommended, discipline-specific databases, plus contact information for that subject librarian.
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.
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 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.
Use LexisNexis Academic to find recent news articles on science topics and to find people working in a research 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.
Academic Search Complete indexes citations, abstracts, and full text from journal articles, books, reports, and conference proceedings in all subject disciplines. Full text provided in PDF and HTML. Searchable cited references are provided for nearly 1,000 journals. Searches can be limited to peer reviewed sources. Indexing 1887-present, most content 1980s-present.
Academic Search Complete provides articles from both popular sources like magazines and newspapers 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 humanities topic.
Humanities International Complete indexes citations, abstracts, and full text from journals, books and book reviews, art work and images, performances and reviews, literature and criticisms, poems and short stories, and conference proceedings. Full text is available as HTML and PDF; images are available in a variety of formats. You can limit to peer-reviewed sources. 1909-present.
Humanities International, like Academic Search Complete, provides articles from both popular sources like magazines and newspapers that will give a general overview of a topic, and from scholarly sources that will go into much more depth.
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).
Arts & Humanities Citation Index is a comprehensive humanities database, covering hundreds of scholarly journals. Its features that analyze sets of citations is a vital step in advanced research. Use this database to find criticism or commentary on creative works.