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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

EES 325 Fall 2023

Background Information

It is important to have some general knowledge of your topic before delving further into your research! It will situate your research and provide a context for doing more specific or refined searching.

There are many ways to obtain background information, some of which are below.

Throughout the course, you can return to these resources as you encounter technical terms or need to learn about facets of your topic. 

In addition to these resources, see the section "Finding Review articles", which describes a type of scholarly article that can help provide background information.

As you read papers and work on your presentation, the resources you find on this page can:

  • help create a good introduction to a paper, in the place where you lay out the big context of the more specific points to follow.
  • help you understand technical terminology you encounter in reading papers and books; 
  • point  to other resources useful as you get further into your topic.

Library Reference Resources

Elsevier Reference Works (and books)

There are various ways to search this extensive collection:

  • Click here. Click on the magnifying glass at the top (to the right of the text "journals and books". A box will open where you can search by your topic. Then, on the left, you can restrict by "Article type", for example encyclopedia.
  • Use the Topic Pages.


Google Searching--some tips


To make "precision" searching in Google easy, search on Google advanced search. This brings up the Google Advanced Search.

TIP: use the domain restriction to isolate .gov pages about remote sensing.


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.

Books as a source of background information

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. 

See the tutorial page of this guide; in the tutorial, there is a video about searching for ebooks.

For example, try a search on remote sensing.

Not finding a book at Lehigh? Try searching one of the two flavors of WorldCat available here. (Scroll down.) (You may find that your search results don't entirely overlap if you try both versions; i.e. they don't overlap in coverage.)

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 ILLiad for articles, or if you don't find a book in Palci.)

Dissertations and theses as a source of background information, literature reviews, and bibliography

Dissertations or theses can be a source of background information, literature reviews, and bibliography. Also: a good dissertations or theses can provide models.