Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Preliminary research is the research that you do when you are first exploring a subject and trying to come up with a research question.
The sources used in preliminary research are usually introductory and give an overview of the topic.
These sources are not typically cited in the final paper.
The databases listed on this page require a login. For access:
- Go to your Atlas account and log in.
- Click on the Search the Library link, under the "Courses" tab.
- On the page that follows, click Databases A-Z or Databases by Subject.
- Click on the name of the database, e.g. Academic Search Complete.
Note: If you do not access this guide through Atlas, you will be prompted for a Borrower ID and PIN when you click on the links to the databases
- Your Borrower ID is the number is your VID card, including the 'V'
- Your PIN is the last four digits of your VID
Overview Articles from Virtual Reference Library
Overview articles, usually found in reference works such as specialized encyclopedias, are a good place to start to find out about themes and historical context.