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Get Started with Research Methodology

This guide is intended for graduate level researchers in most fields.

Types of Information

In addition to articles for your literature review, you may need other types of information for your thesis or dissertation. The library has databases that cover a wide variety of information, inlcuding, but not limited to:

Newspapers and Current Events
Tests, Measurements and Surveys

Some Definitions

Open Access
Open access research is "research publicly available to everyone—free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions." (Full Article)
Open Society Foundations. (2012). Scientists, foundations, libraries, universities, and advocates unite and issue new recommendations to make research freely available to all online [Press release]. Retrieved from

Peer Reviewed/Refereed

"Peer review refers generally to the evaluation of professional performance or products by other professionals and, more specifically, to a set of procedures for evaluating grant proposals and manuscripts submitted for publication." (Full Article)

To determine if an article has been peer reviewed/refereed, use the Ulrichsweb Database to see if the journal uses peer review. Enter the name of the journal and look for the referee jersey icon.

Mark, M., & Chua, P. (2005). Peer review. In S. Mathison (Ed.), Encyclopedia of evaluation. (p. 301). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. doi:

Primary Sources
A primary source is "an original source of data; one that puts as few intermediaries as possible between the production and the study of data." (Full Article)

Primary source. (2005). In W. Paul Vogt (Ed.), Dictionary of statistics & methodology. (3rd ed., p. 246). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:

Secondary Sources
A secondary source is "a source that provides non-original (“secondhand”) data or information." (Full Article)

Secondary source. (2005). In W. Paul Vogt (Ed.), Dictionary of statistics & methodology. (3rd ed., p. 291). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: