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CCI101 Research Skills Guide: Step 3: Sources of information

Sources of information

It's important to consider where you might find the types of information you're looking for. Your subject has provided a lot of readings, but you should look for additional sources to use in your assessment.

Different sources offer different types of information, and it's important to understand what you might find where.


Source type*: Use this source to:
  • Get an overview, introduction, and/or background on a topic
  • Get in-depth information about a broad topic
Journal article**    
  • Access the latest research and ideas on your topic
  • Learn about varied perspectives on a topic
  • Examine a topic in very specific detail
  • Get the latest current affairs and business information
  • Investigate public attitudes to topics and issues
  • Locate reports and documents from government, academic, or professional organisations
  • Find background or introductory information
  • Familiarise yourself with the topic

Reference material

(dictionaries, encyclopaedias)

  • Find factual and statistical information on a topic
  • Get an overview of a subject
  • Find definitions
  • Use subject specific resources to decipher the "jargon" of your topic

*Source type includes both hard copy and online versions of the source (for example, books includes both hard copy books and ebooks

**Peer reviewed journal articles (also called scholarly or refereed) are a key source of information for academic study. Articles published in peer-reviewed or refereed journals have been through a formal approval process. An editor and one or more subject specialists review the article before it is accepted for publication. This process is intended to ensure that the article is accurate, well-researched, and contributes to the body of knowledge in the field.

Sources of Information


  • While searching, you can add filters to your search results, so you only get results with the types of information you need. 
  • No matter where you get it from, you'll need to consider whether the source is scholarly or authoritative enough to use in your assessment. Make sure you're only using reputable, credible material. Refer to Step 6: Evaluating your sources.

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