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FYS Does Chocolate Have a Dark Side?: Start Here

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Where to Find Scholarly Sources

The databases featured in this box are particularly useful for this class. You can learn more about databases on the Research Hub's Databases tab.

Find all our databases at Databases A-Z.

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Subject Guide

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Vicki Winstead
Contact:
Smith Library Center 103D
512-863-1577

Books & eBooks at Smith Library Center

Searching for Information

Think about keywords related to your topic in general, or a specific context, material, or focus, to start your search in the library's catalog, WorldCat@SUWhen you find a good item, try the subject links to lead to more resources on the topic. Also browse the shelf nearby for related titles. Ask your librarian for advanced search tips!


Example of a library record for a book about chocolate

Try some of these subject headings in WorldCat:

Chocolate | Chocolate industry | Cacao | Chocolate history | Cacao Beans | Cacao growers | Coco Trade | Chocolate production| Cocoa

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

When you encounter any kind of source, consider:

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

Scholarly vs Popular:  The table below shows which characteristics are more commonly associated with scholarly or popular sources. Both scholarly and popular sources can be appropriate for your research purposes, depending on your research question, but research assignments will often require you to use scholarly materials. 

  Scholarly Popular
Author Experts such as scientist, professors, and historians Generalists, including bloggers, staff writers, and journalists; not always attributed
Examples Journal of Asian History, New England Journal of Medicine, Chemical Reviews, Educational Psychologist; books from University presses such as Oxford University Press Wikipedia, CNN.com, About.com; People Magazine, USA Today; bestselling books; books from popular publishers like Penguin and Random House
Format Almost always include: abstracts, literature reviews, methodologies, results, and conclusions Varies
Citations Include bibliographies, citations, and footnotes that follow a particular academic style guide No formal citations included; may or may not informally attribute sources in text 
Purpose Communicating research findings and education Entertainment and news