IQP Research Guide

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Types of Sources

When conducting research for your IQP, it is important to consult a wide variety of resources, including peer-reviewed articles, books, newspapers, government reports, NGO reports, and association websites.

Use the links below to find tips on finding the following types of sources: 

Find Past IQPs and MQPs

Looking at past IQPs can help you find inspiration for your project. You can also use the Reference Lists in past IQPs to find helpful sources for your research.The library collects projects from 1999-present. Find them by searching the Projects tab on the Library Homepage

Screenshot of the WPI Library Search box with an arrow pointing to the Student Projects link

Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

A peer-reviewed journal is a highly respected scholarly publication. Before an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it is sent by the editors of the journal to other scholars in the field ("peers") to get feedback on the quality of the scholarship. Reviewers comment on the quality of the research methods, as well as relevance or importance to the field. The article may be accepted, often with revisions suggested, or rejected for publication. Many researchers submit articles to peer-reviewed journals, and many of these journals have low acceptance rates. 

When searching for peer-reviewed articles, a good rule of thumb is to search in at least three different databases. Results, display, and search features differ from database to database so you may miss critical articles if you use just one.

Some great places to start your research are WPI Library Search and Google Scholar, which are interdisciplinary resources. For discipline-specific research, browse our Subject Guides to find databases and other online resources that relate to your topic. If you know the name of a database you wish to search, such as JSTOR or ScienceDirect, go to our A-Z List of Databases

To find peer reviewed articles in WPI Library Search, type your keywords into the Summon search box, and then choose the Peer-Reviewed Journals filter on the left.

Find Books

Books and e-books can provide helpful background information on your topic and your geographic region. To find books, type your keywords into WPI Library Search, click on Resource Type on the left, and then select the Books filter:

Screenshot of WPI Library Search with arrows pointing to "Resource Type" and "Books."

Find Newspapers

Newspapers provide information about current events, and local newspapers provide an important perspective on your topic.

Newspaper Resources:

To find newspaper articles in WPI Library Search, type your keywords into the search box, click on Resource Type on the left, and then select the Newspaper Articles filter:

Screenshot of WPI Library Search with arrows pointing to "Resource Type" and "Newspaper Articles."

For more newspaper resources, check out the Newspapers Guide

Find Useful Websites

Useful Websites

Some websites that may help get started with your IQP research include:

 

Google Search Tips:

  • Limit your search by domain type (e.g. .edu, .gov, .org).
    • Example:
      • To find government websites about affordable housing, search for:
        • low-income housing site:.gov 
  • Add country domain names to your search terms:
    • Example:
      • To find Namibian websites about renewable energy, search for:
        • renewable energy site:.na 
    • Find the website domain name for your country: Database of Top-Level Domains for Countries (World Intellectual Property Organization)
  • Look for associations and NGOs by adding the word “Association” to your searches
  • Go to the second page of results – most people don’t!
 
Google Search Tools: