One-stop platform to search for almost all library resources (library catalogue + library subscribed databases)
Most resources obtained in OneSearch are scholarly works
Resources from specific online databases (such as newspapers, images) cannot be retrieved from OneSearch. You need to go to those individual databases
When you conduct a search, you will eventually be directed to the library catalogue (for print materials) or a specific database (for e-resources)
The specificity of keywords you choose will affect the accuracy of the results returned. The more specific your keywords are in a field, the lesser number of results returned. Our advise is to play around with a few keywords and evaluate the relevancy of the results returned first.
Subject-specific databases are specialized in materials on a particular subject, which saves your time from filtering out the contents that are not relevant to your subject (chick here to see list of databases by subject)
Information in these subject-specific databases has been curated by subject professionals
Scholarly materials are published works written by experts in a particular field. They are referred as academic and usually peer-reviewed works. Reference works, books, theses/dissertations and scholarly journal articles, are common types of scholarly materials. Reference books provide more general information (definitions, facts, concepts) while scholarly journal articles focus on latest development in a specific subject area. Note that magazines (or popular journals) and newspaper articles are not scholarly materials - they are popular sources targeting the general public. You are likely to use popular sources to help you build understanding of a topic before using scholarly sources to further develop an academic argument for your research.
Library databases contain information from published works (mostly scholarly works) and provide access to the abstracts and/or full-text of these works. Currently, the Library has subscribed to more than 500 databases. Most databases contain books and/or journals, while a few contain theses, standards, etc. Some databases are subject-specific, e.g., PubMed, IEEE, and some are multi-disciplinary, e.g., Web of Science, Scopus. To find out relevant databases in your field, access via "Databases by Subject" below or refer to your subject guide.
The selection of type of materials depends on the type of information you need. The table below lists some most commonly used scholarly sources and popular sources for serving different purposes. You may always refer to your subject guide for more recommended sources in your subject field.
Type of materials
► Scholarly sources
- Reference sources
To get an “definition” of a subject, like Wikipedia, but in scholarly format;
To answer specific questions;
To determine a fact
To understand the development of a specific topic;
To find out what has been written on a topic (Literature Review chapter);
To explore other sources through citations;
Need a reference or model to start a new thesis or dissertation
To understand the current development of a very specific topic;
To find out what has been written on that specific topic (Literature Review section);
To explore other relevant research through citations
Reviews - Summarize the current state of the research
Articles - Report new findings from original research (experiments, methods, etc.)
Citation databases (where citation information are available)