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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Physics 90: Ghosts of Chernobyl

Reference Tools

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. 

Likely you will of course come across Wikipedia articles, 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.

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.*

Evaluating Web Resources

Web resources can be rich sources of information on a topic, but when conducting research, it's important to consider the quality and accuracy of sites you visit on the open web. Use the CRAPP test to determine whether a web resource is trustworthy: 


Books & Ebooks: A Source of Background Information

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. Print books will have the location in the library indicated. Lehigh uses the Dewey Decimal System.

You can find books that Lehigh does not own by going to WorldCat, which comes in two flavors. You can order them from other librariies using PALCI or ILLiad, available here.

Here is a video tutorial about how to find an ebook. 

Review Articles

Review articles give a bird's eye view of a field or niche within a field. As such, they can help provide "background information" about a field.

They can contain valuable bibliography. The titles of these articles often have a slightly higher level or "generic" quality than the titles of  articles reporting very specific research findings.

Examples of some review article sources are below.


For the following source, make sure to sort the lresults by date descending.