The Research Process
Finding Other Resources
This section of the guide will cover the sixth step in the research process:
6. Consider Other Resources
Why Do I Need Other Sources?
Why do I need other sources? Aren’t the library’s databases and resources enough?
It depends on your project; for some topics scholarly journals may give you all the information you need.
However, for other topics you may want to expand where you look for information. While the library has many great resources, we cannot possibly own all of the information in the world on your topic! No library can.
While there is a lot of poor quality information on the web, there is good information available as well. You just need to think critically about the sources you are accessing.
Do you need statistics? Legal information or regulations? Governmental information? This type of information be available from alternative sources beyond article databases and books. Do you need primary sources? A museum or government archive might be the best source.
For more information on how to evaluate the sources you are finding on the web, see our Evaluating Resources tab in this guide.
So Where Can I Find These Other Sources?
First, consider checking our subject guides to see if we have a guide on your topic. Where possible, we have included links to open source information on various topics. We are adding to our list of subject guides all the time!
In particular, depending on your topic you may find government resources helpful. Governments collect and disseminate all kinds of information, from laws and court cases to statistics to consumer information. And we have a guide for that!
You may also want to consider using Google Scholar. Unlike “regular” Google, Google Scholar searches for scholarly materials related to your topic. If you are on campus, Google Scholar will automatically tell you which items Clarkson Libraries have access to. If you are off campus, you can set Clarkson as one of your libraries via the settings. While some of the information we don’t own may be behind a paywall, some of it may also be freely available.
We also offer InterLibrary Loan services to the Clarkson community. If you find a resource we don’t already own or have access to, we may be able to get it for you through InterLibrary Loan! Most requests are free to faculty, staff and students.
We also have a guide for Open Educational Resources, which will help you find freely available sources on the world wide web.
When in doubt, contact a librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org.