Most research is interdisciplinary, but many library research tools are subject- or discipline-specific. So how do you know which one to use? Here are some questions that can help:
- Who might have something to say on this topic? Political Scientists? Feminist Scholars? Philosophers?
Identifying which disciplines are concerned with your topic can help you choose a research tool.
- Whose voices do I want to hear?
A given subject, like sexuality or capitalism, can be examined through a variety of critical frameworks, or lenses. Deciding which "lens" you want to use can help you decide where to look for sources.
- What time period am I interested in?
Is your research question focused on the past, present, or future? Some research tools are better for finding historical sources, and others are better for contemporary topics.
- Do I have to choose a discipline?
If you're not sure, there are research tools that are multidisciplinary. You can start there and then narrow your search if necessary.