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Archive for the ‘Database Tips’ Category

Primary and Secondary Sources: What’s the Difference, Anyway?

Posted on: | by Guest Blogger |

[The following post was written by Amanda Morrison, a recent graduate of the Department of Library & Information Studies.]

The Libraries can help you find the best materials available for your research and projects.  As you prepare to start a writing or research assignment, it’s helpful to be clear on what you are looking for.  Usually, two kinds of sources are necessary:  primary sources and secondary sources.

What’s the difference?  Primary sources are the materials, documents or texts that you are studying or commenting on. They can be recordings of particular events, photographs or even manuscripts of literary works. Examples include:  the Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution, Civil-War era photographs, or recordings of political events or speeches. A full description can be found at You can find many primary source resources available through the UB Libraries here: (look under the tab called “Primary Sources”).

Secondary sources are materials that analyze, comment on or respond to primary sources and artifacts.  Examples include:  scholarly articles about the Constitution, the introduction to a facsimile edition of Finnegan’s Wake, or the catalog notes to an exhibition.

Other blog posts highlight some of the excellent databases you can use for secondary sources:  JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, and Project Muse.  These are all available from the Libraries database page.  For help understanding what secondary sources are and finding the right ones for your work, ask your librarian.  We are here to help!

What is the Library Skills Workbook?

Posted on: | by Bridget Schumacher |

The Library Skills Workbook is designed to help University at Buffalo students develop their library research skills. It is a General Education requirement for all UB undergraduate students, including transfer students. All undergraduate students are required to complete it during their first year of study at UB.

In addition to the general Library Skills Workbook, we now offer 5 discipline-specific versions. Any UB student may choose to complete one of the discipline-specific versions or the general version; any one of them will fulfill the General Education requirement. Students should complete only one version. The 5 discipline-specific versions are: Architecture, Engineering, Health Sciences, History and Music.

For more information about the Workbook, including how to enroll, please visit:

Start the research process with Research Tips!

Posted on: | by Bridget Schumacher |

The Research Tips site is an online guide designed to help you perform research in the University at Buffalo Libraries. This guide will help you understand basic research skills including:

  • selecting a topic
  • locating books and periodicals
  • locating full-text articles
  • evaluating resources
  • citing sources

This guide is designed to help you with the research process from start to finish, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a librarian. Contact us via email, chat, phone, text, or in-person. We look forward to working with you!

Featured Database: Newspaper Source Plus

Posted on: | by Guest Blogger |

[The following post was written by Mark Harrington, a graduate student within the Department of Library & Information Studies.]

Newspaper Source Plus is a database available from EBSCOhost. It contains over 1,000 full-text national and international contemporary newspapers with access to millions of articles. The database also includes hundreds of thousands of television and radio news transcripts.

Access newspapers such as Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Times (London), Toronto Star, Washington Post, and Washington Times. For a full list of newspapers click “Publications” on the top of the search page to select a specific publication.  Not finding something you saw earlier in a publication? Check the coverage policy ( to find how much a newspaper is covered.  Coverage varies by publication; for example, The Buffalo News is searchable, but limited only to staff articles, no national news articles. The New York Times however is cover-to-cover coverage.  Also check the coverage policy for details on television and radio transcripts from programs including 60 Minutes, 20/20, All Things Considered and others from such sources as ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NPR and more.

Search Newspaper Source Plus in the same way you search any EBSCOhost database.  Begin with a keyword search on a specific topic or use the drop-down options to search for a specific article title, author, etc. Use additional search options to limit by type of document, date of publication, full text, and more.

Not finding what you’re looking for in Newspaper Source Plus?  Check the databases LexisNexis Academic or Factiva. More information on locating newspaper articles, including those from historical newspapers, can be found on the newspaper research guide at: If you need additional assistance searching, be sure to ask a librarian.