State University Libraries
the types of sources to use when looking for specific kinds
of information helps researchers find materials. However, they
must also know how to locate the sources. To help researchers,
specific search tools (also called finding tools) have been
designed to locate different types of information sources.
Understanding the characteristics and purposes of different search
tools helps researchers choose appropriate ones for their research
activities and, in turn, makes their research time more productive
and efficient. Therefore, the following pages briefly describe four
types of search tools: library catalogs, periodical indexes &
abstracts, library databases, and Internet search tools.
These descriptions are followed by a page of examples illustrating
how specific information needs determine which search tools to use.
Sources to Info Needs