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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Bios 95 Science in the Media

Specific Resources for Background Information


It helps to read background information to understand the main concepts or jargon used in scholarly articles you read for the class.

There are many resources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, Wikipedia used judiciously, etc.) to identify background information sources that help you with this. Some the library pays for, others you can find on the open web.

Then go to the box "Using Google to Find Background Information."  Use the Advanced Google search feature. 

Using the criteria in the box "Evaluating Web Resources", assess if websites that you find using Google are reliable.

The resources below provide valuable backround information. You can also use Wikipedia, which can serve as 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 discussion of its reliability, see this Wikipedia article titled Reliability of Wikipedia.

TIP: Start with eLS. Example of an article that comes up: Amygdala  (in addition to other items about this topic.) Then try Access Science. Example: see this article about the brain. 

Using Advanced Google Search to Find Background Information

You can use Google to find background information.

Use the Google Advanced Search, to do a precise search. Make sure to evaluate critically the webpages that come up for reliability. The resource below provides ideas about how to evaluate websites.


To discover books and ebooks, go to ASA, the search engine near the top of the library homepage at  To limit to ebooks, see the filter on the right of the search results.

Example of an ebook:

Conquering Lyme disease : science bridges the great divide