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GPS: Shelter the World (Kurlanska): Research Process

Steps in the Research Process

  1. Identifying your research topic/question, i.e., what is your information need?
    1. What are the main concepts of your research topic, and what are their keywords and their synonyms?
  2. Where do you find this information?
  3. How do you know this is the “right” information i.e., how do you evaluate the information?
  4. How do you properly document and cite that information?

Types of Information

Type of Info Needed
Type of Information Source
Definitions, technical terms, basic facts, timelines, protocols, instructions
Reference - encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks
Theory, methodology, case studies, research, peer-reviewed scholarly information
Academic journal articles, scholarly monographs (aka books)
Survey data, socioeconomic information, community descriptions, regional/national information
Government/NGO/associations websites and reports
Current and/or local information
Newspapers, magazines, websites
Industry and/or consumer information
Trade literature, market reports

Finding Information Sources

Type of Information Source
Where To Search
Reference - encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks
Google, WPI Library Search, Handbook database
Academic journal articles, scholarly monographs (aka books)
Google Scholar, WPI Library Search, Subject-specific databases
Government and non-governmental organization (NGO) reports
Google using  "site:.gov" or "site:.org" or "association" or "organization"
Newspapers, magazines, websites
Google News, WPI Library Search, Newspaper database
Trade literature, market reports
Business databases