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Go Research! Tutorial: Selecting Resources

URL: https://libguides.cmich.edu/goresearch

Databases vs. the Internet

Library Databases   Internet
Licensed content purchased by libraries to benefit students & faculty Accessible to anyone with Internet access
Content evaluated by publishers for
authority and accuracy
Content published by anyone at any time
Information is stable    Websites unstable and changing
Database collections are organized and maintained by librarians No official body oversees organization and evaluation of sources
Can be searched by subject headings and specific fields like author and title    Matches based on characters and keywords entered by user
Allows limiting and sorting search results Can be difficult to narrow results

Selecting Information Resources

Selecting the best information resources to answer your research question depends on the depth of the information you need and the time frame you wish to explore. Ask yourself what kind of information you need:

  • General or specific information?
  • Narrative analysis or statistical data?
  • Current or historical information?

Use the table below to help select the type of source that will best serve your purpose.  Remember that you will probably want to use more than one type to locate the wide variety of information that fully covers your research topic.

Types of Resources


    Choosing a Database

    What do I need?

    Should I use a database?

    What will I find?

    Article Citations

    Citations & Abstracts

    Full Text Articles

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