Elements of Library Research

Learn the basics of researching at the library.

Need Help? Ask Us!

If the chat is not available, please feel free to email us at library@wpi.edu or you can make an appointment with a librarian at http://wpi.libcal.com/appointments/ 

Google Scholar and Beyond

Google Scholar can be a good start when researching since it filters Google results to display only journal articles, reports, conference papers and the like.

Google Scholar also leads researchers to Google Books. Limited previews of books can help you decide whether or not you want to read further. From Google Books, use Find in a Library to get to Worldcat.org in order to see if WPI has the book or if you can borrow it from another regional library via ILLiad.

Information found on the Web does not always substitute for library resources.

Many articles you may come across on the web may be from paid library subscriptions!

Most general web sites are rarely refereed or reviewed, and are frequently outdated, inaccurate and incomplete.


According to a study at Stanford, nearly half of all web site evaluators (46.1%) used visual cues, to assess a site's credibility. Move beyond what a site looks like...

  • Authority
  • Scope
  • Currency
  • Accuracy

Google Scholar

Set your Scholar Preferences to display a link to the FullTextFinder.

Google Scholar

Google Books