Types of Research Tools – OHIO University Libraries

These pages (see Related Pages in left sidebar) describe different kinds of information sources that you can use for various kinds of research projects.

New to a topic? Start with an encyclopedia, then go on to the “Big Three” types of research tools:

Don’t Google and Wikipedia cover everything? 

Google icon   Wikipedia iconIn a word, NO! Marvelous as they are, these two search tools cover only a very small portion of online information–to say nothing of all the sources that are not online.The section about Web Search Tools will cover Google’s limitations in more detail. The section on Encyclopedias will cover Wikipedia and other encyclopedias. For now, however, this is one of the most important points to be gained from this entire Guide:

Although there is some overlap or duplication in the contents of the “Big 3” search tools, for the most part the contents of one type of tool won’t be found in either of the others. This is why it’s important to learn to use more than Google and Wikipedia!