Research

Academic Databases

Is Google Scholar a database or search engine?

The academic community is not decided on this topic, calling Google Scholar sometimes a database and sometimes a search engine.

ERIC research database: complete tutorial

ERIC stands for the Education Resources Information Center and is a database that provides more than 1.5 million texts related to all aspects of education. It can be freely accessed via https://eric …

How to use Google scholar: the ultimate guide

Google Scholar (GS) is a free academic search engine that can be thought of as the academic version of Google. Rather than searching all of the indexed information on the web, it searches …

Academic research: how to search online databases [8 steps]

Your institution's library provides access to plenty of online research databases. They are among the best sources to turn to when you need to find articles from scholarly journals and periodicals. …

The best academic search engines [2019 update]

Academic search engines have become the number one resource to turn to in order to find research papers and other scholarly sources. While classic academic databases like Web of Science and Scopus …

The best research databases for computer science [Update 2019]

Beside the interdisciplinary research databases Web of Science and Scopus there are also academic databases specifically dedicated to computer science. We have compiled a list of the top 5 research …

The best research databases for healthcare and medicine [Update 2019]

Web of Science and Scopus are interdisciplinary research databases and have a broad scope. For biomedical research, medicine, and healthcare there are a couple of outstanding academic databases that …

Bibliometrics

The ultimate how-to-guide on the h-index

A h-index is a rough summary measure of a researcher’s productivity and impact. Productivity is quantified by the number of papers, and impact by the number of citations the researchers' publications …

Learn how to calculate your h-index on Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine with special focus on academic papers and patents. It's limited in its functionality compared to the major academic databases Scopus and Web of Science, but it is …

Learn how to calculate your h-index using Scopus

Scopus is an abstract and citation database that has stored and analyzed millions of publications including journal articles, as well as conference proceedings and books. Scopus is a …

Learn how to calculate your h-index using Web of Science

Web of Science is a database that has compiled millions of articles and citations. This data can then be used to calculate all sorts of bibliographic metrics including a h-index. Unfortunately, Web …

Scholarly Sources

What is a scholarly source?

Scholarly sources (also called academic, peer-reviewed or refereed sources) are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars. When we speak about scholarly sources here we mostly speak about …

How to identify if a source is scholarly?

Are you unsure if your source is a scholarly source? Asking the following questions can help differentiate scholarly from non-scholarly articles:

What makes a book a scholarly source?

The question if a book is a scholarly source cannot be answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Books are published for different audiences and with different purposes, just as periodicals can be …

Credible Sources

What are credible sources?

Make sure that the sources you use are not too old or out of date. There might be a more recent paper with new and better insights on your topic.

Can a blog be a credible source?

Blogs are written by an author or a group of authors and generally cover a specific topic. Blogs, short for Web logs, started as simple online diaries with a specific structure, with new posts always …

Is Wikipedia a credible source?

Although Wikipedia is a good place to start your research, it is not a credible source that you should use to cite from. Wikipedia allows multiple users to edit, and it is not safe to assume that the …

How can I find credible sources?

A source is credible when it is trustworthy. Sometimes it is hard to determine whether a source is credible or not, as voicing an opinion or presenting false information as fact without any …

Primary and Secondary Sources

Interviews: are they a primary source?

The answer to this is not straightforward, but in general, the answer is: yes. When you conducted the interview yourself and included it as supporting evidence in your research paper, then the …

Is a letter a primary source?

Yes, a letter is a primary source. However, sometimes you may not be given access to the actual letter, for example, if it is damaged, fragile or very old. In these cases, you will be given a …

Newspaper articles: primary or secondary sources?

Yes. However, this is only true when discussing newspaper articles which are used for historical research. This is because newspaper articles, written about a specific event immediately after its …

Primary vs. secondary sources: how to distinguish them

Primary and secondary sources are the two types materials you will use while undertaking your research project. They are both important and needed for your project. The requirements for whether you …

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are original documents or artefacts. They were created at the time period you are studying. Primary sources are contemporary, created by someone who witnessed a historical event, …

What is a secondary source?

Secondary sources are sources which describe an event, but did not originate in the time period they describe. They were created by someone based on firsthand accounts. They are the second time the …

Is a painting a primary source? [with examples]

Yes, if the painting originated at the time it depicts, then it is a primary source. For instance, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is a primary source because it is the most famous art piece during the …

Is a documentary a secondary source? [with examples]

A documentary can either be a secondary or a tertiary source. It is a secondary source if it analyses different types of sources and a tertiary source if it only repackages information and doesn't …

Is an encyclopedia a primary source?

No, an encyclopedia is a tertiary source. Encyclopedias provide extent information about a particular topic, time period or person in the form of entries arranged in alphabetical order. …

Is a map a primary source?

A map can be a primary or secondary source. If a map was produced as immediate evidence of an area, then it is a primary source. If the map is just a symbolic depiction of a space then it is a …

Is census data a primary source?

Yes. Census data is a primary source because it is the official process of methodically collecting information about a certain topic in a specific time period. Meaning, that it is a first-hand …

Is the US Constitution a primary source?

Yes, the US Constitution is a primary source. In fact, the US Constitution is the main source of law in the US, as it contains the fundamental laws by which the United States is regulated. Moreover, …

Is a textbook a secondary source?

It depends. A textbook can either be a secondary or tertiary source and, in seldom cases, a primary source. In most cases, the author of a textbook interprets prescribed theories of a topic and …

Is an autobiography a primary source?

Yes, an autobiography is a primary source. Authors of autobiographies are direct witnesses of the events and time described in the narration. Even though autobiographies are usually written after …