Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Bios 262 Research Proposal: Background Information

Reference resources

It is very valuable to front-end your research by reading background information sources like the ones to the right. This will help you create a "mental map" of a subject that will prove very helpful prior to doing focused searching of the scholarly literature. 

Also, in your research as you encounter scientific terms and need to look up their meaning, or need some encyclopedic or other coverage of a scientific concept or term, you can consult background information resources (again, like the ones to the right.) Webpages on the internet can be useful for this as well, though make sure to evaluate them.

Note that review articles are also a good source of background information. See the "Find Scholarly Articles" tab.

Background information resources

Reference resources can provide encyclopedia or other general background about concepts or methods, as well as definitions of concepts.  Some are listed below. 

PRECISION SEARCHING OF THE OPEN WEB

To do a "precision" search in Google, search on google advanced search. This brings up the Google Advanced Search.

EVALUATING WEBSITES

Publicly accessible websites vary greatly in reliability. This guide from South Mountain Community College provides a good explanation about how to evaluate websites.

USING WIKIPEDIA

Wikipedia can be a valuable source of background information and a stepping stone to discovering academic resources. *Often wikipedia has useful links listed at the bottom of an article.*

You will of course have to confirm independently information you find in Wikipedia.

Here is a detailed guide about Wikipedia. For information about the reliability of Wikipedia, see this Wikipedia article.

Books can  be a great source of background information. 

You can look up books, whether print or electronic, in ASA, Lehigh's online catalog. See the search box.


Example of an electronic book that comes of: The brain and behavior: an introduction to behavior neuroantomy.

Scroll down to see link to the ebook.


Not finding a book at Lehigh? Try searching one of the two flavors of WorldCat available here.

Need to request a copy of a book that's not available at Lehigh? Use Palci in Interlibrary Loan to have books sent here. You will get an email when your book is ready for pickup. (Use