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Fullerton College Library

Research 101: Exploring Source Types

Getting Started With Research at Fullerton College Library

Exploring Source Types


Before you can effectively gather information to make a decision or solve a problem, consider the type of information you need. Do you need to locate academic research and analysis or news reports? Will primary materials or secondary sources better serve your needs? Will library databases or the open have what you are looking for?

This section will cover the different source types that will help you make informed decisions and back up claims.


Online Library Sources

How do online library sources differ from sources found using Google? Think of online library sources like shows on Netflix or HBO Go. These sources are located on the Web, but if you want access to them, you need to pay or subscribe to the service. In other words, the content is online, but it's hidden behind a paywall. Until you pay, access is denied. This is true for shows in Netlflix, and it's true for online articles and ebooks in library databases.

Here's the good news: The library subscribes to around 75 databases, such as Academic Search Complete and JSTOR, which you have free access to as an FC student. Off campus, you will simply need to log in with your ID number and your last name.  A multitude of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and more await you. Go forth and explore!

Print Library Sources

The library also has print materials that you can search for online (using the library catalog or OneSearch), but you will need to check out print sources in person from the library. Currently, you can borrow print books using our curbside pickup service

FC Library Sources by Type

Browse databases by source type below or by subject using the Fullerton College Library Databases (A-Z) page.

Academic, Scholarly, or Peer-Reviewed Journals

Academic Search Complete


OneSearch - In the left column of the results screen, limit to: scholarly (peer reviewed) journals or academic fournals 


Science Online (AAAS)




eBook Central College Complete

eBook Collection

Library Catalog 


Drama Online: Core Collection

Drama Online: National Theatre Collection

Popular Magazines and Newspapers

Current News: 

CQ Researcher

MasterFILE Complete (EBSCO) 

Newspaper Source Plus & Newswires (EBSCO) 

Nexis Uni 

Historical Periodicals: 

America: History and Life (EBSCO) 

America's Historical Newspapers 

Historical Periodicals Collection (EBSCO) 

Search Historical News Articles (on the open web):

NY Times Archives 

LA Times Archives 

Access Historical News via Microfilm: 

The New York Times 9/1851-12/1865, 1/1913-12/2003 

The Los Angeles Times 1/1970-12/2003

Search Old and New Periodicals:

OneSearch - In the left column of the results screen, limit by source type: magazines and newspapers

Primary Sources

African American Historical Serials Collection

America: History and Life (EBSCO)

America's Historical Newspapers 

Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 1&2

Ebony Magazine Archive

Gale eBooks: History  - Includes primary sources [using primary sources]

History Makers 

Historical Periodicals Collections: Series 1-5 (EBSCO) 

Library Catalog - Include "primary documents" [see example] or "primary sources" [see example] as search terms

Reference Sources

Gale eBooks 

Library Catalog - In the left column of the results screen, limit to location: reference collection

Science Reference Center

Statistical Data


Streaming Videos

Drama Online: Core Collection 

Drama Online: National Theatre Collection

Films on Demand: Archival Films and Newsreels Collection 

Films on Demand: Master Academic & CTE Collections


Swank Digital Campus

Trade, Industry, and Professional Publications

OneSearch: In the left column of the results screen, limit by source type: trade publications

Accessing Library Databases


From the library homepage, search almost all databases at once with OneSearch. 

OneSearch search bar

After submitting a search, you will be prompted to log in with your MyGateway username and password for full-text access. Look for the yellow bar at the top of the window.

OneSearch log in



Select the Databases tab to search a single database. 

databases tab

You will need to log in with your MyGateway username and password before you can search single databases.

MyGateway log in screen