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Graduate Students' Guide to the Library: Getting Started

Graduate students have specialized research needs. This guide will provide tips and tricks especially for graduate students, but we also recommend that you get to know your subject librarian for specialized help.

Information Resources for Graduate Studies

This Research Guide is designed to get you started with exploring library and information resources that may help you in your learning process as a graduate student. UW Libraries provides access to a wide array of content for the scholarly community. 

Navigate using the tabs above or the links below to find information about:

Handouts about Literature Search & Review

Exploring Resources

Graduate studies demand greater exploration of available scholarly works than is typical for undergraduate studies, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of topics and areas of research. Understanding the purpose of your information search and the types of information sources that may be suitable are important for focusing your search strategy. Publication formats can provide clues to the intended purposes of content, although they may differ by discipline. For example, books (including eBooks) and monographs are core sources of scholarly debate in the humanities and some social sciences, whereas they typically serve as reference materials and syntheses of topical subjects in the sciences. Journal articles constitute the core communication for original research in the sciences and some social sciences. Research in the humanities and some social sciences often relies upon locating first hand accounts in sources such as newspaper articles, interview recordings, or historical records. Distinctions between format types has become more blurred as more publications have been created digitally; however, the distinctions remain important. Communication formats continue to evolve, with multimedia content and interdisciplinary works becoming prevalent in recent years. With the proliferation of Internet sources, it especially important to critically examine information sources for credibility, accuracy, currency, and appropriateness.  

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