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Frontiers of Science

1. Find Background Information

Why do background research? Reading references sources (such as dictionaries, encyclopedia entries, and handbooks) can:

  • give you a quick overview of a topic
  • spark ideas for your research
  • help you learn and understand difficult concepts
  • show you which experts are also researching your topic

The following are some resources for background research: 

2. Explore Broadly

Summon is a discovery tool that searches across the majority of UNC Libraries resources, including journal and newspaper articles, eBooks, books and other items physically held in Michener and Skinner Libraries, and much more.

Enter your keywords into the single search box to begin finding resources. Use the options on the left to filter your search. And you can email yourself sources you find so you don't lose them!

3. Search Science Databases

If Summon gets you the sources you need, great! But if Summon is giving you too many irrelevant results, you may need to switch to a database that is specific to your subject area. For a full list of databases that you can sort by subject area, see the A-Z Databases list.

Here are some science databases you could try out:

4. Cite Your Sources

Summon lets you create a citation for any source in several citations styles, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. See the "Explore Broadly" box on this guide for a link to Summon.

Other citation management tools exist that might be more accessible.  Examples include:

5. Get Help with Your Research

Ask a Librarian

Stop by the information desks at Michener or Skinner Libraries to get help finding and evaluating the sources you need. We can help answer your questions about citation, too!

Learn more about library research