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i-CONNECT: Step 1. Start Smart: Different Sources

Finding Different Sources

All of the resources below can be found at the CCAC Library:

Periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper) articles can be found in many of our databases.  Books, eBooks, and streaming videos can be located in our online catalog; eBooks can also be found in the EBSCO eBook collection database.  


Magazines publish articles on topics of popular interest and current events. The articles are written by journalists and are for the general public.

Use a Magazine

  • to find information or opinions about popular culture
  • to find up-to-date information about current events
  • to find general articles written for people who are not necessarily specialists in the topic area

Examples of Magazines

  • Time
  • Rolling Stone
  • Business Week


 Books cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction. For research purposes, you will probably be looking for books that synthesize all of the information on one topic. 

Use a Book

  • when looking for a lot of information on a topic
  • to put your topic in context with other important issues
  • to find historical information
  • to find summaries of research to support an argument


  • Murphy, Laura. Survivors of Slavery: Modern-Day Slave Narratives, 2013.
  • Halford, Nigel G. Genetically Modified Crops, 2012.
  • Hedges, Christine. Anatomy of Research for Nurses, 2014.


Journal articles are written by scholars in an academic or professional field. An editorial board reviews the articles to decide whether or not they should be published. Journal articles may cover very specific topics or narrow fields of research.

Use a Journal

  • when doing scholarly research
  • to find out what has been studied on your topic
  • to find bibliographies that point to other relevant research

Examples of Journals

  • Journal of Marriage & Family
  • The Historian
  • Journal of Business Research
  • American Journal of Nursing


Encyclopedias contain factual articles on many subjects.

There are two types of encyclopedias -- general and subject. General encyclopedias provide overviews on a wide variety of topics. Subject encyclopedias contain entries focusing on one field of study.

Use an Encyclopedia

  • when looking for background information on a topic
  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts


  • Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family (subject encyclopedia)
  • Encyclopedia Britannica (general encyclopedia)


Newspapers provide articles each day about current events and are a good source for local information.

Use a Newspaper

  • to find current information about international, national and local events
  • to find editorials, commentaries, expert or popular opinions


  • Wall Street Journal
  • New York Times
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The Web allows you to access information on the Internet through a browser.  One of the main features of the Web is the ability to link quickly to other related information.

Use the Web

  • to find current information
  • to link to information provided by the library over the Internet
  • to find information about companies
  • to find information from all levels of government - federal to local
  • to find both expert and popular opinions
Examples of Web Addresses
  • (The Library of Congress)
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (Community College of Allegheny County)
CCAC Libraries | Community College of Allegheny County | Pittsburgh, PA | © 2018