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This guide contains multidisciplinary sci/tech information resources at the UWM Libraries. Please check on the subject specific guides in my profile box. For further assistance contact Svetlana Korolev or schedule a Research Consultation.

For general questions contact Ask-A-Librarian Desk at (414) 229-4659 during Desk hours. For help 24/7, use chat.


Types of Information Sources

Journal articles, patents, conference proceedings – present original results of investigations reported by researchers (primary sources).
Review articles, books, handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, indexes – analyze, compile and facilitate access to information from primary sources (secondary sources).

If you are beginning research in a new area, you may want to start by looking for background information in books, encyclopedias and review articles. In general, to find journal articles search databases (e.g., Applied Science and Technology, Web of Science) and to find books search library catalogs, (e.g., Search@UW, WorldCat)

Characteristics of Scholarly Journals

In-depth content: reports and analyses of original research conducted in the lab

Written by experts: professors, scientists with in-depth knowledge of the discipline

Formatted for journal's guidelines: title, author list, abstract, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, references, suppporting information, graphics, tables

Peer-reviewed: manuscript is reviewed by a panel of experts in the field of research

Information Searching Strategies

  • Locate background information using reviews and articles from encyclopedias
  • Identify key researchers in the area
  • Complete a list of publications for the author
  • Be familiar with specific search techniques of the database
  • Know the value and use of citations searching backward and forward in time
  • Subscribe to the alert services provided by journals and databases

Evaluation of Information Resources

  • Content (Subjects, is it related to your topic? In what aspects?)
  • Authority (Author and source, are credentials known?  Scholarly?)
  • Date published (is current information is very important?)
  • Availability (Abstract, bibliography, full text, library holding?)