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Syracuse University Libraries

CRS 225 and 325: Finding Sources (Fall 2020): Home

This guide will point you to some starting points for getting familiar with an issue or phenomenon and will provide links to databases, journals, and more for locating related sources.

About this guide

The resources on this guide are split into three categories:

  • Finding Background Information
    The resources in this box can point you to reference materials and other contextualizing sources to get you up to speed on your topic: understanding background and timelines, learning who key players and communities are, and understanding multiple sides of the issue.
  • Finding Information on Current Events
    These sources will point you to contemporary news stories about the issues, events, and places you might be studying, providing you with information about how they are currently playing out in the world.
  • Finding Research Resources
    Research sources in this box focus on scholarly work--research appearing in peer-reviewed scholarly journals--which documents the research that has been undertaken on your topic. This might include medical/biological research, qualitative research in affected communities, or experimental research in a variety of disciplines.

Humanities Subject Specialist

Finding Background Information

You can also browse the Reference Section on the 2nd Floor of Bird Library (near the staircase from the first floor) for a wide variety of reference books.

Finding Information On Current Events

  • Wikipedia
    Wikipedia is not a good source for finding scholarly sources, but it can be one of few places for detailed background information on events, technologies, and phenomena that have not yet been covered elsewhere or that have unfolded primarily in online communities. Additionally, it can point you to other external sources where you can learn more.

Finding Research Sources

This is only a small selection of very focused databases that cut across many contemporary issues of study. To locate additional databases, check out the SU Libraries' Databases Menu or consult a librarian.

Remember, the process of conducting research and having it published in a journal moves a lot more slowly than the popular media. If you are searching on a topic that is unfolding in the news media *right now* you should consider the underlying issues and related topics that might have had time to appear in the scholarly publications. Then you can make connections between that work and your current event.