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SCI/IDS 225: Women in Science

SCI/IDS 225: Women in Science, Olga Michels, S-Term 2020

In this Guide

In this guide, you will find tips and information on how librarians and library resources can be helpful in three important stages of your research project:

  • Choosing a Topic (this page) - Information on reference sources and other introductory resources to help you get started.
  • Finding Sources - How to navigate the library's online collection to find books, articles, and news; and tips on finding high-quality information on the web.
  • Evaluating Sources - Once you have collected sources, how do you decide if they are appropriate to use in your project?


Getting Started

Reference Sources

When choosing a topic, start by browsing through reference books and other introductory resources. This helps you get a quick sense of the subject and to identify important related topics.


The best way to start is with a simple search on your subject's name - for example, Marie Curie.

  • Reading some brief entries on Curie may inspire additional searching on terms you encounter - such as polonium and radium, two elements that she named.
  • As you continue in the research process, you will encounter new terms and concepts. Make note of them along the way, and come back to these reference sources for more background.


Here are three online reference collections, each of which contains hundreds or thousands of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and biographical resources. 

Web Resources

You can also include other types of introductory resources in your search process.

WIkipedia is a very good source for finding background information on an individual or topics, especially if it is someone whose work is more recent.

Also, for those who are still active in their fields, you may find introductory information on your subject's professional web page, or that of their institution or research group. These can often be found by a web search on your subject's name.

Next Steps

With some background on your subject and a list of related topics, you are ready to move to the next stage of research: Finding Sources.

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