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What is Research: Finding Information

Finding information Using Deductive Research Models

Although research is a thoroughly individualized process, it is helpful to be strategic about the TYPE of information source used at various points of the DEDUCTIVE research process:

  • GENERAL THEORIES: quick reference resources such as encyclopedias, guides, historical surveys, or handbooks are ideal ways to become an “instant expert” in subjects.  Most people naturally gravitate to open access resources such as Wikipedia; however, academic and critical reference works available in print on online through the library collection offer the same research supports, but will ground researchers in accepted scholarly theories, rather than populist opinions on topics.
  • GENERAL CONTEXT: books, exhibition catalogues, or monographs (publications on a specific subject or an aspect of a subject) are ideal for focusing research based on a more specified context.
  • SPECIFIC CASE-STUDIES: as peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly magazine publications focus on specific subject-based, geographic, or historical topics within a general context, these unique essay-like forms of writing are ideal for focusing research even further to specific case-studies. 

Finding information Using Inductive Research Models

Although research is a thoroughly individualized process, it is helpful to be strategic about the TYPE of information source used at various points of the INDUCTIVE research process:

  • SPECIFIC CASE-STUDIES: quick reference resources such as encyclopedias, guides, historical surveys, or handbooks are ideal ways to become an “instant expert” in your case study example. In inductive reasoning, you start with a specific case-study example (e.g. Kensington Market), an artistic medium (e.g. ceramics), or designed object (e.g. a chair) and look to an encyclopedia as the first step in understanding the properties or characteristics of the phenomenon. Most people naturally gravitate to open access resources such as Wikipedia; however, academic and critical reference works available in print on online through the library collection offer the same research supports, but will ground researchers in accepted scholarly theories, rather than populist opinions on topics.
  • GENERAL CONTEXT: similar to deductive reasoning models, books, exhibition catalogues, or monographs (publications on a specific subject or an aspect of a subject) are ideal for focusing research based on a more specified context.
  • GENERAL THEORIES: as peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly magazine publications focus on specific subject-based, geographic, or historical topics within a general context, these unique essay-like forms of writing are ideal for focusing research even further to specific case-studies. In inductive reasoning, journal articles offer the ideal "why" premise for understanding the general theories behind your case-study example in that they allow you to see how your particular example has been research, studied, or experienced in other international contexts.