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Searching and finding: Types of information sources

Part of the Information Literacy Portal


Scholarly journals (print and online)

Written by a researcher or scholar for a specific field, reviewed by peer scholars before publication. Although some scholarly journals are still published in printed form, the emphasis is shifting towards online publication, i.e. e-journals / e-journal databases.


Journals for trades and professions (print and online)

Journals in a specific field, aimed at professional practitioners and professionals



Written by a journalist for a mass-market audience.



Newspapers offer information about current events and developments in the world.

 Zuyd Library has subscriptions to the main Dutch and foreign newspapers. In the Nexis Uni database you can search for newspaper articles by keyword.




Encyclopedias (print and online) are used to find information quickly. If you use Wikipedia, remember that the quality of the information varies and the information may not be 100% reliable. 


You use dictionaries (both in print and online) to look up terminology, concepts that relate to your subject.

Monographs (Books | E-books)

Monographs are published in printed form, but more and more monographs are being published in digital format as e-books.


            (Book)                                      (E-book)


A handbook is a synthesis of the current knowledge in research, in a particular research area or in a research sub-discipline.


Sheet music

Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of music notation. You will find sheet music books mainly in print in the library but also online in IMSLP for example.


Other sources

Library Databases

A (full text) library database is a searchable collection of research literature. These databases may be multidisciplinary (covering a range of subjects) or subject-specific (covering one subject only).

Multidisciplinary examples: Subject-specific examples:


You use statistics when you need figures to back up your report or research. Examples of statistics databases:

Dissertations | Theses

Research results of students and lecturers



Publications by government organizations, think-tanks and companies are useful sources of information in many fields of research.


Images, movies and videos.



Human sources. Lecturers and professionals.

Information found on the internet + Social Media

You can find many different types of information sources on the internet including social media, blogs and vlogs. You need to assess whether this information is suitable for your assignment. | Disclaimer | Over Zuyd Bibliotheek