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Library Research Guides

Deaf Culture & ASL: Finding Sources

An introduction to finding resources in the library and online to assist with Deaf Culture & ASL Studies research.

Finding Sources

Research is a process of locating, evaluating, and synthesizing multiple pieces of information. There are many types of resources, including books, articles, websites, videos, and more, that contain useful information for academic research. Resources can be located through multiple methods, including: 

  • OneSearch - a search engine that searches many resources accessible through the library, including books, articles, videos, etc.
  • Databases - collections of resources with their own search engine; some cover many subjects while others are more specialized. 
  • Web - contains many resources that may or may not be useful for your assignment. If your assignment allows for or requires web resources, it is extremely important to be critical of what you find since anyone can publish anything online. 

Because each of these sources has access to different resources and uses a different search algorithm, they will produce different results. Therefore, it is important to determine which method(s) you should use before you begin searching. 

Finding a Good Research Question

If you have not been able to come up with a research question for your assignment or need help refining it, check out this video from American River College librarian David McCusker. 

Tutorial: Creating an Effective Search Strategy

In order to find the best resources, it is important to search strategically. This tutorial from the University of Minnesota Libraries covers the basics of conducting an effective search. 

Comparing Library Databases and Web Information

OneSearch & Library Databases  
  Web Search Engines
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Types of Information Retrieved
  • Journal articles
  • Magazine & newspaper articles
  • Books and eBooks
  • Videos, music, art
  • Reference materials
  • Everything published on the open and indexed web
  • Commercial (.com, .net), educational (.edu), government, (.gov), and organization (.org) sites
  • Increasing amount of scholarly resources (especially through Google Scholar)
 When to Use
  • For general academic research
  • To easily find credible information
  • To get a broad overview of a topic
  • To find information not available through the library
Authorship
  • Scholars / Researches / Professionals
  • Anyone
Credibility
  • Content is peer-reviewed for accuracy and credibility by subject experts, researchers, and publishers and reviewed and recommended by faculty and librarians
  • Must evaluate each source individually
Accessibility
  • Free for (currently enrolled) ARC students
  • Many are free, but some can only be accessed by purchasing individually or with a subscription
Usability
  • Advanced searching with many methods and limiters
  • Citation tool
  • Poor searchability; however, there are some advanced search methods (try a Google Advanced Search)
  • No citation tool

Adapted from the  Illinois Institute of Technology, Paul V. Galvin Library.