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Introduction to Research: Humanities and Social Sciences

Finding Resources

The number of information sources available to students and researchers is vast. Before starting your research, think about what type of information you need for this research.

Information can come from anywhere: books, journals, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, web pages, government documents to name a few.

You need to be aware of the type and source of information you gather and who the intended audience is since not all information you find will be correct, accurate or appropriate for your paper.

The following sources are the ones that most students will use:

Books will provide you with a good general overview of a topic, but are generally not as up to date as the other sources.

Journal articles from scholarly journals and magazines tend to deal with more specific topics than books, and are usually more up to date.

Web pages contain all kinds of information, including text, video, audio, statistics, and maps. The currency and quality of the information varies greatly.

There are different tools available to locate information in these sources, depending on which type of source you wish to use.

  • to locate books on a topic, search Omni
  • to locate journal articles, use a database /index, as well as Omni
  • to locate web pages, use a search engine (Google) 

Consult Evaluating Sources to decide whether the information found is appropriate for your needs. 


Bibliographies are invaluable resources for researchers as they list the literature of a subject.

You can find bibliographies in textbooks, books, journal articles, to name a few. Found at the end of the publication, bibliographies can save you hours of research as they can lead you to relevant resources for your research.

Finding Bibliographies Using Omni

Search your subject heading followed by the sub-heading, bibliography. For example:

great britain history bibliography
world war II, 1939-1945 bibliography

You can also add the word bibliography or "reference guide"  to a keyword search.

Also check the bibliographies section of your subject guide by going to Research by Subject