Here is a good strategy for figuring out where to search for resources on your topic:
Think about what type(s) of sources you need. Look at whether the assignment tells you to use peer reviewed articles, newspaper articles, data, books, and/or videos.
Think about your topic. The topic you are researching will have an impact on the sources you can find. Are there books on this topic? Has it been covered by the press? Has it been researched by scholars? Is there data about this? If your topic is very new, chances are that you will find very few books or scholarly articles due to the long publication process for scholarly works.
Think about who might be writing about your topic. A topic like "race relations in prisons" might be explored by scholars in sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology, or ethnic studies. You can search by discipline or your academic field by using the databases and other library resources recommended in the Research Guides.
Looking for books? Put your search terms in OneSearch then limit to "Books" under Resource Type, which you'll see to the left of your results. In most subjects, the newest titles will be ebooks. To limit to ebooks, add the "Full-text online from SJSU" filter, which is under Availability to the left of your results. For help finding books, visit Finding Books on Your Topic.
Looking for articles? Academic Search Complete, our largest multidisciplinary database, contains scholarly, popular, and professional journal articles. It's often a good place to start your research. However, the library also has dozens of subject-specific databases that will provide you with articles specific to your discipline. Browse the Research Guides to find the one that most closely matches the subject of your topic, then review the databases that are recommended for research. Look at Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles, too.
Looking for primary sources? Check out our guide to Finding Primary Sources.
Looking for newspaper sources? Go to Finding Newspaper Articles.
Looking for data? Go to Statistics.
Looking for government information? Go to our Government Information subject guide.
Still not sure where to search? Ask a Librarian!