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Different Types of Sources

This guide discusses some of the different types of sources you are likely to find in our databases.

Examples from the Sciences

Major/Subject Area





A scholarly article whose authors studied orangutan communication.

A blog post describing a study about how orangutans communicate.


Russon, Anne and Kristin Andrews. “Orangutan Pantomine: Elaborating the Message.” Biology Letters 7 (2011): 627-630.

“Orangutan Gestures Have Specific Intentional Meanings.”, June 18, 2010.  


A research article (by a Southern chemistry professor!).

An article from a website discussing the cutting edge developments in the world of chemistry in 2012.


Andrew G. Karatjas and Edwin Vedejs. “Formation of Pinacol Boronate Esters via Pyridine Iodoborane Hydroboration.” The Journal of Organic Chemistry 73, no. 23 (2008): 9508-9510.

"Cutting Edge Chemistry in 2012." Royal Society of Chemistry, December 20, 2012.

Computer Science

A computer program or code.

An article mentioning the program and how it is being used in a developing nation.


Thomas, Jonathan. Openshot. (Computer Software) 2011.

Alam, Mohammed Jahangir. “Open source software, Benefits in the Economy of Bangladesh.” International Journal of Computer Applications 42 (2012): 21-24.

Earth Science

A scholarly article about meteors.

A Fox59 blog post about a meteor shower.


Jopek, T. J. “Meteoroid Streams and Their Parent Bodies.” Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society 82 (2011): 310-320.

“Quadrantid Meteor Shower to Light Up Night Sky This Weekend.”, January 2, 2020.

Environmental Studies

Research study of the impact of microbes on oil during the BP oil leak.

Blog post about the gulf oil spill and recovery.


Edwards, Bethanie R., et al.  Rapid microbial respiration of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in offshore surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico.” Environmental Research Letters 6 (2011): 1-9.

Woollacott, Emma. “Microbes Ate Gulf oil—Really Fast.” TGDaily, August 2, 2011.


A scholarly research study that looked at the effectiveness of digital technologies for teaching math to second-language learners.

A newspaper article about bilingual children learning math through computer games.


Freeman, Barbara. “Using digital technologies to redress inequities for English language learners in the English speaking mathematics classroom.” Computers & Education 59, no. 1 (2012: 50–62.

Zarnow, Teryl. A penguin can teach math. Orange County Register, Jan. 23, 2013.


Research article on nanotechnology relating to delivery of drugs to tumors.

A news item about the research on a science blog.


Mitra, Rajenda N., et al. “An activatable multimodal/multifunctional nanoprobe for direct imaging of intracellular drug delivery.” Biomaterials 33 (2012): 1500-1508.

“Nanotechnology May Speed Up Drug Testing.” Science Daily, January 6, 2012.