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Online vs. Print Publications


We live in an age overflowing with sources of information. With so many information sources at our fingertips, knowing where to start, sorting through it all and finding what we want can be overwhelming! This handout provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

An important distinction when doing research is the difference between traditional publications and online resources. The Internet may be the most convenient place to begin your research, but it is not always the best.

Online Sources: Anything published exclusively online in a variety of digital formats. Material includes: websites, PDF documents, ebooks, multimedia.

Traditional Publications: This includes anything that has been published in print form and is widely available at libraries and bookstores. Material includes: books, textbooks, newspapers, popular and scholarly journals, and magazines.

With the advent of new technologies, many traditional resources are now available online (including newspaper articles, magazines, book chapters, and journal articles). Pay careful attention to whether the source you have found is an online-only source or if it has a print component as well.