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Geography: Using This Guide

Research Resources for Geography

Locating Sources

Different research sources are best accessed through various types of databases. For example, books are best located through the Five College Libraries Catalog and academic articles are best located in scholarly databases

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Searching in JSTOR, which is an interdisciplinary database, will only bring up articles in JSTOR, so you might miss a helpful article in ProjectMuse (another database). These sources are not cross-searchable. Also, you can't search everything with one search box (even Google has limits---check out the deep web page to learn more) so utilizing various research tools will help you with locating the most suitable research materials.

LITS Tip: Remember: where you search matters. Also, don't stop at the search results on the first page. Explore several pages to find the best possible resources. 

Using Library Guides To Conduct Interdisciplinary Research

As mentioned, geography is an interdisciplinary field so it is beneficial to utilize course and/or subject guides to make those cross-discipline connections. For example, if you are interested in how pride parades function as potential safe and celebratory spaces for the LGBTQIA community, the gender studies guide would be a useful resource. Click on the links below to find the interdisciplinary connections through other subject guides. The additional guides will connect you to links for locating maps, accessing news articles, and finding images. 

Subject guides: 

Environmental Studies 

Gender Studies 

Africana Studies 

Latino/Latina/Latinx Studies 

Asian Studies 

International Relations 


Additional guides: 

Map Guide

News Sources Guide 


Check Your Knowledge: What Are Primary and Secondary Sources?

Primary Sources provide first-hand testimony, direct evidence, or knowledge concerning a research topic. Some examples: 

  • Original documents such as diaries, speeches, letters
  • Interviews, focus groups, transcripts, survey data
  • Creative works such as poetry, music, art 
  • Relics or artifacts such as pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings
  • Newspapers and popular press articles
  • Government documents 

Secondary Sources interpret or conduct analysis on primary sources

  • Peer-reviewed scholarly articles
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly books
  • Creative non-fiction, novels, other literary works 
  • References Books, including atlases, encyclopedias, dictionaries 
  • Periodicals (magazines or newspapers) that contain articles (that interpret/provided analysis i.e. literary and cultural criticism) 
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