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Ask Us After Dark: Starting Your Research

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This page is an overview and includes navigational links to other guides with more information on the selected topics.  

Research Steps

Research is inquiry. Research is a scholarly conversation. Research is exploration. And research is a process. Most often you complete one step before moving onto the next. However, there may be times when you will need to return to a previous step or complete multiple steps simultaneously.  See the Research 101 guide for more information.

Step 1. Develop Your Topic. Developing a good research question can sometimes be the most difficult part of the research process.

Step 2. Search Strategies. How do I search for sources?  What is a search term? Brainstorm for ideas.

Step 3. Find Credible Sources. Learn why library research databases are your best choice for college level research. Learn the difference between Popular and Scholarly Articles.

Step 4. Evaluating Information How can you tell if a source is reliable and appropriate for your assignment?

More Research Resources

We have detailed online information to help you with any aspect of library research. But remember you can Ask Us if you need additional help. 

We also have a self-paced Information Literacy class in Canvas.  Anyone affiliated with UK can sign up and take the brief class on your own.  The whole course takes only 40 minutes to complete, or you can complete short modules on specific topics.  Ask a Librarian if you need help.

Beginning Your Research

UK Libraries has a huge number of resources and it can be hard to know how to get started. Be sure to look at our Research Guides to see if there is a Subject or Course Guide that will help you. These guides can point you to the best resources for your research area or course assignment. For example, check out these guides for WRD 110 and CIS 110.


Were you asked by your instructor to find Scholarly Articles? You can find those in a number of databases and journals, but you might want to start with Academic Search Complete, which is a good general academic database:

Academic Search Complete
Limit Your Results

You can also find scholarly articles as well as books, DVDs and more in InfoKat Discovery, our new discovery system.  Use the search box below or on our website.  Be sure to check out the InfoKat Discovery Guide for help.


Finally, explore the complete Research 101 guide for more help with the research process!