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Research Process at UCBA

Starting point and step-by-step guide to the research process.

Types of Information

Information sources vary widely with differences ranging from the coverage of the topic to the intended audience to the purpose of the information and why it was created.

Before starting your search, always check the assignment for any source requirements (ex: scholarly journal article, website). Then, consider what type of source will provide the kind of information you need.  

  • Do you need the latest info on a current event?  
  • Maybe current research on the issue?  
  • An opposing perspective for your argument?  
  • Or, an overview on the topic? 

Given the variety of sources you may run across, think about when information was published on that topic.  The Information Life Cycle video provides a quick review of the types of information sources and when they are created.

Scholarly, Popular, & Trade Articles

Here are some differences between scholarly, popular, and trade articles.  

Still not sure what type of article you have?  Search Ulrichsweb using the title of the publication -- check out Content Type for Academic/Scholarly, Consumer (i.e., popular), or Trade.

Chart showing characteristics for scholarly, popular, and trade articles

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