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When searching the library's discovery service, you'll get results that include many different kinds of resources -- books (both print and electronic), audio-visual resources, journals (both print and electronic), online articles, and maybe even archival records. For most projects, books and online articles will be the most commonly used resources. Does it matter which one you use?
It's important to understand that neither one is necessarily better than the other. Each communicates information differently, and one may be more appropriate than the other depending on your needs. You'll almost always want to make sure that you look at both kinds of resources when doing research.
If you aren't familiar with how to refine searches in our discovery service so that you're seeing only books or only online articles, please read our guide, Finding What You Need in Hiebert Library.
Here are some very general characteristics of books and articles that may help you understand the differences:
Since books tend to provide better introductory overviews to topics, we generally recommend that you start with them. Once you've looked at those resources, you'll probably be more ready to take on the more specialized resources available in scholarly journals. Again, for help with refining your searches, see Finding What You Need in Hiebert Library.