When doing research, it’s important to use a variety of sources so you can get a well-rounded view, include several voices and perspectives, and diminish bias – this video will explain the importance of using a variety of sources.
Source variety can be broken down into two different categories that interact with one another: a variety of perspectives and a variety of source types.
Recognize that some types of sources exclude some voices and perspectives, which can be detrimental to your research.
For example, scholarly articles are written by people with degrees (Ph.Ds, for example) and affiliated with an institution (such as USU). But others; such as journalists, experts, and people with lived experiences; might also be credible sources with useful information. Their work isn’t published in academic journals, but can be found in trade magazines, news articles, books, blogs, tweets, etc.
Look at several different sources in order to understand topics comprehensively instead of basing your reactions only on one source.
Using a variety of sources can diminish the effects of bias—the preference of one view over another. Bias may prevent objectivity and often leads to an incomplete representation of information.
If blatant bias is present in a source, compensate for it with viewpoints from other sources. Using multiple perspectives in this way will help you create a well-rounded source other researchers can use.
1. When searching in a Library database such as Academic Search Ultimate. you can find a wide variety of source types. Place your search term at the top of the page and hit search. We're going to use "higher education."
2. On the left-hand side of the page, you can limit your search by source type.
3. Select the type of source you’d like to use, such as newspapers, and hit search. Now you’ll just be seeing newspapers.
4. You can also click on “Show More” to see all the source types available to search.