Research into any topic can seem overwhelming when you first start out.
Whether you are seeking information for a school project, for your job, or your own personal interests, the Library can help!
Get your research started with these tips and recommended resources.
Reference Librarians are available at all of our locations to help you find the resources you need.
General reference requests can also be submitted by email or through our online contact form.
Specialized research requests are accepted for review and are subject to library service fees. Learn more about specialized research requests.
Searching online can provide a vast, and sometimes confusing, array of research results. It is important to understand how to decide if information is reliable, accurate and up to date.
To evaluate online sources, ask questions about:
- Authorship and publication
- Is the author an authority or a reliable source on your subject
- Is the Web site from a recognized organization or publisher?
- If it's unclear who exactly created or published certain works online, look for About pages on the site for more information.
- Point of view or bias
- Is this Web site neutral and unbiased?
- References and/or knowledge
- Does the website include a bibliography and acknowledge its sources?
- Can the information on the website be confirmed or verified?
- Search for exact quotations from the text in Google (using quotation marks “xyz”) to see if you can find other places where the work has been published.
- Is the information current and up-to-date?
Your LBPL card provides free access to many online databases to find up-to-date information for research projects. Visit our Digital Library to explore reputable resources.
UC Berkeley's Guide to Evaluating Resources
A guide to help you decide if a particular source is a good fit for your research project.
Media Literacy Tips That You Can Do In 5 Minutes
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) provides these tips to help every internet user develop the skills needed to evaluate and interpret online sources.
A non-profit organization that provides a service aiming to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. Search your questions in their database.
It is important to give credit to the sources you use for your research when you are writing a research report or working on a project. Our Digital Library has the perfect resource to take the guess work out of proper citation format. World Book Online has a Citation Builder, which will create citations in MLA, APA, and Harvard format.
Learn more about each of these resources in our Digital Library.