Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Sullivan University Libraries @ Lexington: Basic Tools

Use this guide to find information about the library and the Lexington Campus.

Understanding types of information sources

  • Blogs are a type of interactive journal where writers post and readers respond.
  • They vary widely in quality of information and validity of sources. For example, many prestigious journalists and public figures may have blogs, which may be more credible than most.
  • A group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization  (Merriam-Webster)
  • Websites vary widely in quality of information and validity of sources (Purdue OWL).
  • Pay attention to the top-level domain: .edu and .gov tend to be more reliable sites. Use .orgs cautiously; they are not all non-profit groups. 
  • Examples: MedlinePlus.govKidsHealth.orgGo Ask
  • Media and content that uses a combination of different content forms (Wikipedia), like text, photographs, video, audio or interactive elements.
  • May be found in databases or through the open web using a search engine.
  • Examples: Radio and television broadcasts, user-generated video, interactive talks, podcasts.
  • Provides very current information about events, people, or places at the time they are published
  • Useful for information on current events or to track the development of a story as it unfolds
  • Examples: Louisville Courier-JournalThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalCNN
  • Include articles on diverse topics of popular interest and current events
  • Articles typically written by journalists or professional writers
  • Geared toward the general public
  • Examples: TimeNewsweekNational Geographic
  • Include articles written by and for workers in a particular field
  • Articles may have sources cited, but sometimes do not.
  • Geared toward people with knowledge or interest in a certain field.
  • Examples: Nation's Restaurant News, Nursing Times, Publishers WeeklyRealtor, Rock and Gravel Monthly
  • Include articles written by and for specialists/experts in a particular field
  • Most articles must go through a peer review process before they're accepted for publication
  • Articles tend to have a narrower focus and more analysis of the topic than those in other types of publications
  • Include cited references or footnotes at the end of research articles
  • Examples: American Anthropologist, ScienceJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Collections of articles from journals and magazines that can be searched effeciently. Sometimes they include books and other sources, too.
  • Every database follows different rules for searching and storage. Effective use depends on knowing those rules. Some commercial databases provide only summaries of articles and do not include full text.
  • Databases can be very expensive and may not be accessible to the general public. You have access to several as a Sullivan student.
  • Examples: EBSCOhost, ProQuest, Opposing Viewpoints
  • Cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction
  • Useful for the complete background on an issue or an in-depth analysis of a theory or person
  • Can take years to publish, so may not always include the most current information
  • Examples: Inside Scientology, The Art of War, Who Moved my Cheese?
  • Include facts, figures, addresses, statistics, definitions, dates, etc.
  • Useful for finding factual or statistical information or for a brief overview of a particular topic.
  • Can be print or online
  • Examples: dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories

Math Resources

Good Calculators -- provides links to over 200 calculators designed to work on computers, tablets and smartphones.  Examples of calculators available include depreciation, logistics, sports and retirement -- just to name a few.

Wolfram | Alpha -- designed to perform "dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms and methods," provides a starting point for calculations and research.