Information Sources for Research

What Types of Information Sources Do I Need?

Not all information sources are the same in terms of purpose or use. Explore the main source types that will help you develop and support your thesis statements and claims.

Reference BooksCirculating Books | Academic Journals

Trade, Industry, and Professional Publications | Magazines & Newspapers

Statistical Data | Primary Sources

Reference Books

Specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other reference materials are useful when you need discipline-specific definitions and backgrounds information on a topic or issue.

Circulating and Electronic Books

Search for books in hard copy and ebook format for broad and in-depth examinations of a topic. Circulating books generally check out for two weeks with a current student ID card.

From FC Library:

Library Catalog |EBSCOhost eBook Collection | Springer eBook Collection

Request an Interlibrary Loan at the reference desk for books at other libraries:

Other CalWest Libraries|

Free online books: The Online Books Page | Open Library | Project Gutenberg Hathi Trust | Bartleby

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Academic or Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journal Articles

Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles for expert analysis and original research reports.

EBSCOhost databases (?)  |  JSTOR  |  Science Journal Online (on-campus only)

FC Library eJournals | | Google Scholar


Trade, Industry, and Professional Publications

For industry news, trends, and forecasts, search EBSCOhost databases (?)

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

For general interest and news articles.

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Statistical Data

    • American FactFinder | Access community facts on population, education, income, poverty, race, and more (based on data from censuses and community surveys from US Census Bureau)
    • Data and Statistics | Directory of US agency programs that collect statistical data about the US, including crime, working conditions, transportation safety, food production, education, health, science, energy, and economic indicators.
    • CIA: World Factbook | Country profiles, including people, government, military, and transnational issues.
    • World Bank Open Data | Free and open access to global development data on indicators, such as education, poverty, health, gender, and climate change.
    • UN Data | Includes data about the world, including crime, education, energy, environment, finance, food, gender, health, refugees, and trade.
    • NationMaster | Compiles data from hundreds of sources. Make sure to check citation for original data source.
    • OFFSTATS | Official Statistics on the Web from The University of Auckland Library
    • Pew Research Center |  Nonpartisan fact tank informing the public about the issues, attitudes and trends that share America and the world.
    • FC Library Catalog | Click here to see how to limit your search for statistical data in print.

Primary Sources

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