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Arts 140: Modern Protest Movements: Your library connection

Four students participate in a lunch counter "sit-in" in Farmville, Virginia, July 1963.
Photo held by Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries.

Find books in Omni, the library's catalogue about the activities of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Page overview

The sections on this page will help you find and evaluate resources for your research essay.

Omni, the library catalogue

Omni's advanced search lets you apply filters that suit your research parameters. Limit for example, to: "Waterloo online resources" then enter keywords that describe your topic.

See Book services on how to obtain print materials.

Library databases

Library databases typically cover publications in broad subject areas like history or political science but there are also databases that focus on narrower topics such as gender studies or social movements. All of these track literature published by scholars. Still other databases contain collections of primary sources such as newspapers, letters, videos.

You can explore all of these using keywords.


You can use this "RADAR" guide to help you assess an item's quality and usefulness in your assignment.


Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does this item support or help advance your work/argument?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Which discipline is this information from?

Authority: the source of your information

  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are their credentials? Who are they affiliated with?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Date: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information created?
  • When was the information last updated?
  • Does your topic require recent information?
  • Could this work be used to provide historical context or comparision?

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Does it provide logical analysis?
  • Does it cite quality research and studies?
  • Has this work been peer-reviewed?

How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?

Ulrichs Web Global Serials Directory can help. Search the name of the journal in the search box. Click on the its entry and discover information about the journal including including whether it contains peer-reviewed articles. Journals that do are referred to as “refereed.”

Reason for writing. Ask the question: is this item meant to inform, educate, persuade, sell something ...?

  • Why has this information been created?
  • What is the purpose of the information?
  • Who has funded this research? What are the aims of the funder?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, propaganda?
  • Is the language or tone unbiased and free from emotion?

Mandalios, Jane. “RADAR: An Approach for Helping Students Evaluate Internet Sources.” Journal of Information Science 39, no. 4 (2013): 470–78.

Get research help

Don't hesitate to contact Jane Forgay, the Librarian for this course, for research help.