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Research Guides@TCC Libraries

Research Step by Step

Instructional Content

Library Website (3:06)

Brief overview of how to navigate the library website.

Videos created by TCC Librarians in February 2023 and is licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Terms to Know

After reviewing the "Terms to Know" chart, you should be able to define key terms which are necessary for effective library research.Terms and Definitions

Types of Sources‚Äč

Click on each information source type below to learn more about the types of resources that can be used for research.


Who? Scholars, researchers, and professionals write articles published in journals.

What? Journal articles serve as in-depth examinations of specific topics, research results, or case studies and cite the sources used in research.

Why? Journal articles are written to inform other scholars and researchers.

When? It can take over a year for a peer-reviewed article to move from research to writing to getting reviewed to publication. Journals can come out anywhere from monthly to annually.

Where? Search library databases to access full-text articles as well as citations. Many will let you limit your search to peer-reviewed publications.

Examples: Journal of the American Medical Association, Geosciences, Journal of Popular Film and Television

Who? Professional writers contribute to magazine articles.

What? Current events are given more context and perspective. Some magazines may cover topic areas ranging from interior design to psychology.

Why? Magazines exist to entertain or inform the general public.

When? Weekly or monthly

Where? Use library databases such as Masterfile Premier.

Examples: Newsweek, People, National Geographic

Who? Authors write books.

What? Books include detailed overviews of topics and cite sources.

Why? Non-fiction books are written to inform the reader.

When? Most books take years to write and cannot be updated once published.

Where? Use the library catalog to search for books.

Examples: Anxiety: A Short History, Mythologizing the Vietnam War, Museums and the Public Sphere 

Who? Anyone from government agencies to corporations to individuals can publish a website.

What? A website is a collection of webpages viewable on the computer.

Why? Websites can serve any purpose, including entertainment, information, and commercial.

When? Websites cover every period of time, including up-to-the-minute news.

Where? Find websites using search engines on the Internet.



Who? Reporters write newspaper articles.

What? News is published in newspapers as well as television news broadcasts.

Why? The purpose of news is to inform the general public about current events.

When? Articles usually report on things that happened the day before, but broadcasts can be on things that happened that day.

Where? Find news using the library's newspaper databases.

Examples: Virginian-Pilot, New York Times

What? Trade publications cover information relevant to working in a specific career field.

Why? These articles are written to inform other in the field.

When? Weekly or monthly

Where? Use library databases such as Associates Programs Source.

Examples: Adweek, OT Practice, HotelBusiness

Who? Content is created by directors, producers, actors, podcasters, and more.

What? Information is presented in audio or video form and can cover anything from a broad overview to a deep dive.

Why? Multimedia To inform or entertain a general audience.

When? It can be immediate or retrospective.

Where? Multimedia can be found using databases such as Films on Demand.

Examples: Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts [documentary film], Youth Mental Health [instructional video], All Things Considered [podcast]

Who? Anyone can post on social media.

What? Posts are usually short and often informal in tone. They can consist of words, images, or video.

Why? Content creators post to entertain or inform a general audience.

When? Posts can be very current, up to the minute as something is happening.

Where? Search for social media on the Internet using search engines like Google, Firefox, Bing, etc.

Examples:X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc.

Ask a Librarian (3:18)

This video provides an overview of using the service Ask a Librarian.

Videos created by TCC Librarians in January 2023 and is licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Content created by TCC Libraries is licensed as CC BY 4.0