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Sullivan University Libraries @ Lexington: Basic Tools

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

Types of Resources

Blogs

  • 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

Websites

  • Websites vary widely in quality of information and validity of sources
  • 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.org

Magazines

  • Articles on diverse topics of popular interest and current events
  • Articles typically written by journalists or professional writers
  • Geared toward the general public
  • Examples: Time, Newsweek, National Geographic

Books

  • 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?

Academic Journals (peer-reviewed or scholarly)

  • Publishes articles written by specialists/experts in a particular field and 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
  • Examples: American Anthropologist, Science, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Trade Publications

  • 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 Weekly, Realtor, Rock and Gravel Monthly

Databases

  • Collections of articles from journals and magazines that can be searched efficiently. 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

Multimedia

  • Media and content that uses a combination of different content forms like text, photographs, video, or audio.
  • 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.

Newspapers

  • 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-Journal, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN

Reference Books

  • 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.