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Welcome to UVA Library

Three key resources to help you do research at UVA:

  • Virgo is the UVA Library catalog, giving you access to thousands of books, ebooks, articles, videos, and more.
  • The Research page on the Library website is the gateway to all of the databases the UVA Library has access to.
  • Subject guides are created by Library subject experts to give you easy access to the best resources in a particular subject area.

See below for additional resources on picking a topic, finding and accessing sources, and understanding and using academic sources. These resources are independent from each other and do not need to be completed in any order. 

Picking a Topic

clip art of a blue thought bubbleThe resources below will help you define a topic and make sure it is appropriately scoped.


  • The How Do I Start My Research? module will help you learn about defining a topic, knowledge gaps, and search strategies. It will take about 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The Thinking Tool is an activity that will help you think through a topic idea to generate more specific topics and keywords. It is available online or as a PDF for download.

Finding and Accessing Sources

clip art of a blue laptop with an orange magnifying glass on the screenThe resources below will introduce you to UVA Library resources, including books, databases, journal articles, and more, and get you started with search strategies.


  • .The Who is a Scholar and How Do I Become One? interactive module will introduce you to the different types of sources and how to find them in the UVA Library. It will take you 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The What is Authority? interactive module will help you learn how to identify peer-reviewed or academic sources. It will take you 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The short Databases 101 & 102 videos will introduce you to what research databases are, why to use them, and how to use them. 
  • This short video explains what subject guides are and how to use them. 

If you come across sources that you would like to use in your research but are not available through the UVA Library, you can request them through Interlibrary Loan and we will get them for you. 

Understanding and Using Academic Sources

blue clip art of a quill writing in a bookThe resources below will help you read the resources you have found, integrate the sources into your project, and cite your sources.


  • Reading academic sources like peer-reviewed journal articles is not like reading a novel or your Twitter feed. This short video and this guide will help you learn how to read and understand academic sources without being an expert in the field.
  • The How is Information Created? interactive module will discuss strategies for integrating sources into your writing. It will take you 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The How Do I Use Information Correctly? interactive module will help you learn about information ethics and how and why to properly cite your sources. It will take you 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • Zotero is a free citation manager that helps you keep track of your sources and generate citations. You can learn how to use Zotero with this tutorial.