Online Guide to Writing and Research
Chapter 4: The Research Process
Where Are Research Resources Found?
University and college libraries tend to have more recent and detailed materials, most of which are print resources, than community or other lending libraries. Libraries provide services that enable you to browse their holdings and those of other libraries, as well as to order, locate, and hold books or journal articles. These libraries are also more likely to carry the academic and scholarly books and journals needed in academic research.
In particular, the reference sections of university libraries help you narrow your topic and locate the appropriate sources for review while you plan your research project. In most libraries, a reference librarian will help you find bibliographies, subject indexes, abstracts, and other research tools.
Much of the work you do in the reference section is preliminary to actually reading relevant articles and books or conducting field research. This work nevertheless helps you focus your topic and direction.