How current does the information have to be? Do you need up-to-date information, or do you need an historical account of an event or issue?
Here are some suggestions of sources to use based on currency of information:
If you need the most up-to-date information, you might want to start with:
- newspapers - published daily or weekly
- periodicals - published weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually
- web - publication is continuous; organizations often update their web sites more frequently then they can a publication (be sure to check date for latest revisions).
If you need a general overview of a certain topic, and the publication date of the information is not a factor try:
- encyclopedias - can be general in nature, or domain-specific; updates or new editions are not a guarantee or on a regular schedule. Many encyclopedias and other reference sources are available online. See the General Reference Collection Guide. (*Check with your instructor to see if you are permitted to cite encyclopedias in your research.)
If you need information from an historic time period to provide a backdrop or global perspective for a topic, you can search:
- SUMMON or the Classic Catalog for books, periodical titles, government documents, microforms, audio and videotapes, rare books, maps, and manuscripts. Search by publication date, or a specific time period as a subject heading.
- The Libraries also provide access to many databases that have historical materials. See the listing of History databases or the History Subject Guide.