To develop and refine your search, it often helps to consult a specialized dictionary, encyclopedia, handbook, textbook, guide, or bibliography. These tools are designed to offer an overview of your topic or research problem written by an expert. They may provide an historical perspective, a chronology of events, definitions of terms or concepts, or bibliographic references leading to the literature in a particular field of study. Many useful reference works are now available online. Several of our major e-reference collections are available below:
Business databases are particularly important for industry and company research. Information about companies that deal with certain products of interest to engineering students especially when working on design projects.
Use Library Search to find books, periodicals (scholarly journals, popular magazines, newspapers, and other serials), or other library materials such as music CDs, electronic resources, and videos. Books, printed periodicals, and other library materials are shelved in call number order.
A-N = 3rd Floor | P-Z = 4th Floor | Reference = 1st Floor
Looking for something not in Library Search? Try Worldcat linked below.
When you do not find enough information via the library catalog, try using the WorldCat catalog. WorldCat is a worldwide library catalog containing records from most academic and larger public libraries worldwide. You can use the "Request Item through Document Delivery" button to order materials that are not available at the Purdue Fort Wayne library.
University instructors often ask students to use articles from scholarly journals rather than from popular magazines for their research assignments. The following Is Your Journal Scholarly? (PDF) summarizes major differences between scholarly journals and popular magazines. Which type of source have you located?
Because the World Wide Web is a massive, tangled directory of knowledge producers, research, facts, and entertaining tidbits of information, you must be critical about the material you find there. Quality and validity are not assured when anyone can publish anything, anytime, without the benefit of scholarly peer review. To help determine if a website you have located is a reliable source of information, try taking the CRAAP test, available here: Is Your Web Site Credible?