Deciding Where to Search
What type(s) of sources might you need?
Does your assignment recommend certain source types (e.g. peer-reviewed articles, newspaper articles, data, books, videos)? What role do sources play in the project?
Depending on the topic, you might look for books, articles, media coverage, or other online sources. If your topic is very new, there may not be many books or scholarly articles because scholarly works can have a long publication process.
Who has written on/discussed your topic?
A topic like "race relations in prisons" might be explored by scholars in sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology, or ethnic studies. Search by discipline or your academic field by using the databases and other library resources recommended in the Subject Guides.
Articles: Academic Search Premier contains scholarly, popular, and professional journal articles from most disciplines. Or search most of our databases simultaneously through @LL Search. These are often good places to start your research.
Primary Sources: See our guide to Finding Primary Sources.
Newspaper Sources: Go to Finding Newspaper Articles.
Looking for data? Currently we do not have access to databases that exclusively have datasets or statistics, but look out for our Open Data Guide coming soon! Useful data on your topic can often be found using Google. Search for "[your topic] statistics" or "[your topic] data" or you use Boston Public Library's digital data resources when you get an e-card. You can do this remotely and are eligible for a card regardless of where you live because of your affiliation with a Massachusetts university.
Can't access what you need? Sometimes Lesley does not have access to certain articles, books, or any other resources you may specifically need for your paper. If that's the case, you can make a request for it via our Interlibrary Loan.
Still not sure where to search? Ask a Librarian!
Sherrill Library | Lesley University, Brattle Campus | 89 Brattle Street - Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-349-8850
John & Carol Moriarty Library | Lesley University, Porter Campus | 1801 Massachusetts Avenue - Cambridge, MA 02140 | 617-349-8070