Information Literacy Tools: Conducting Research

RIT Libraries

The RIT Libraries offer many resources to students, faculty, and staff. These include, but are not limited to: ebooks, physical books, DVDs, journals. databases and personal 1-1 research help.

Browse with Summon

Summon is a great discovery tool for those who have not yet narrowed down their topic or key words. It will show the user all materials that are available to them through RIT. 


A database is a collection of materials that deal with a certain topic or area of study. Some tend to be very specific, while others cross disciplines. 

The database finder is organized by collections of databases for each college at RIT. 

Boolean Operators

A Boolean Operator is a word or symbol that is used to combine or exclude keywords in a search. You use these to be more specific and focus your search results. The most common operators are: AND, OR, NOT "" *


These operators work across different databases as well as in RIT Summon and other various search engines. 


  • AND will find both words
    • example: cats AND AI
  • OR will find either word
    • example: car OR automobile
  • NOT will exclude words
    • example: masks NOT halloween


A journal is an academic periodical publication. This means that a collection of materials is published together at regularly occurring intervals. 


A source is the information or material that you use to inform your research. There are two main types of sources: primary and secondary. Depending on what type of source you are looking for, you may have to adjust your search strategy. 

Interlibrary Loan

If you are unable to find what you are looking for in our collection, materials can be requested through IDS. 

Organizing your thoughts

Concept Mapping:

A concept map is a tool that is created and used to visually represent ideas and relationships. 

There are multiple free ways to make you own concept map. Such as a pen and paper, or google sheets. 

Edit this Guide

Log into Dashboard

Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

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