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ACS 102: The College Experience: Types of Information Sources

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RCC Library

1234 Columbus Avenue
Building 3, Room 211
Boston, MA 02120
Phone: 857-701-1380

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Types of Information Resources

The RCC Library houses a lot of information; how will you know what information source is best suited for your research assignment? Information sources can be divided into different types and formats. Before you begin your research assignment, it is important to have an understanding of the different types of information available to you. Each type will serve a different purpose for you based on your informational need, such as your unique topic and thesis. Listed below are the different types or categories of information you will find at the RCC Library.

Reference material: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias

  • Location/access: Credo Reference 
  • Usefulness: Good starting point for preliminary research; resources provide general overview of subjects

Books: Textbooks, "Regular" books

  • Location/access: Reserved textbooks are kept in the circulation desk; regular books are on the circulation stacks. 
  • Usefulness: Books generally provide a more comprehensive analysis of a subject; consult books after conducting preliminary research using reference material
  • Note: Use the library catalog to search for books

Magazines & Newspapers: Newsweek, Boston Globe

  • Location/access:  News & Newspapers ; Popular Magazines
  • Usefulness: Magazine articles are usually written for entertainment, not scholarly purposes. They offer general information, interviews with celebrities, and information about current events. Newspaper articles offer objective, factual accounts of events and are written by journalists
  • Note: Magazine and newspaper articles are good sources to consult for information about current events or popular culture

Journals: Journal of African American History, Journal of Educational Psychology

  • Location/access: Use the library's databases to find electronic journals and journal articles
  • Usefulness: Journals are usually dedicated to a particular academic area or discipline and contain scholarly articles; journal articles contain more specific information on a topic than a book. Consult a journal article after you have narrowed down your research topic and have conducted preliminary research using a reference source and a book
  • Note: Library databases are the easiest way to find relevant journal full-text articles on a topic; the RCC Library subscribes to over 60 databases, which include information from all academic disciplines

Internet Resources: Google, Wikipedia

  • Location/access: Use search engines such as Google to conduct a general search on a topic; consult websites for more in-depth information
  • Usefulness: While not all information can be found on the Internet, the Internet can be a valuable resource of supplemental information, particularly websites created by educational organizations (.edu), governmental organizations (.gov), and non-profit organizational sites (.org).
  • Note: Remember, anyone can create and publish a website and not everything you will find online is accurate or authoratative - make sure to evaluate your resources!


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Totsaporn Intarabumrung
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1234 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA 02120-3400

Library Hours

Library Hours

On Campus Hours

By reservation only!

Monday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm

Tuesday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm

Wednesday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm

Thursday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm

Friday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Virtual Hours

Monday: 8:30 - 8:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 - 8:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 - 8:00 pm
Thursday: 8:30 - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 - 3:00 pm

You can find the services we offer at a distance via Zoom, Teams, and other internet-based methods on our remote services page.


Evening class instruction available by request. To see if the RCC Library is closed on school holidays and semester breaks, please consult the Library Calendar.

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or via text at 857-877-2255

1234 Columbus Avenue
Building 3, Room 211
Boston, MA 02120