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 Basic Research Tools


Reference Books

Look in an encyclopedia to get ideas or background information on a particular topic. Articles in subject encyclopedias, such as the Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family are written by experts in that subject and usually include a bibliography of recommended readings. To locate a subject encyclopedia article, use CREDO Reference using your topic as your keyword. Ask a librarian if you need help locating an encyclopedia article appropriate to your subject area.

Library Catalog: Books and Audiovisuals

Access the Library Catalog. You can use the keyword search box or the "Heading" tab to locate books on your topic. If an item is located at the campus you attend, use the call number to find the book on the shelf. Items located in libraries at other Blinn College campuses may be ordered by clicking on the "Request" button below the item you want. Items are generally delivered to your home campus library within 24 hours or less.

Periodical Databases: Articles from Magazines, Journals, & Newspapers

The best way to find articles on your topic is to use a periodical database. Periodical databases (sometimes also referred to as periodical indexes) can be searched by keyword or subject. In some databases, the article citations in your results list might have a link to the article itself. If so, you can read it and print it out. You might also have the option to save it to your computer, or e-mail it to yourself. If the full text of the article is not available in the database you are searching, Finding Periodical Articles can help you find a copy of the article from another database, from an e-journal, or in printed form in the library.

For links to periodical indexes, go to: General Databases / Databases by Subject / Newspaper Databases

Government Publications

Selected full-text government publications can be accessed through SIRS Government Reporter, a full-text online database. The Internet is also a good source of government information. USA.gov and FDsys: Federal Digital System are excellent websites to begin your search for government publications.

For additional links, go to: Federal, State, and Local Government Links


Thousands of high-caliber web pages and well-regarded databases are available on the Internet. However, many more are unreliable, inaccurate, or even deceptive. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether the Internet resource is worth using in a research project.

For help in assessing web sites, go to: Evaluating Websites

Librarians: Ask for Help

The resources mentioned above are a selection of many available to you. Librarians are available to help you in the library, by telephone, live chat, and by email.

Page Last Updated: January 12, 2018
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