A Note about Encyclopedias

General encyclopedias are not substantive sources and are good for background information. Check with your teacher if you have questions about your assignment. 

Finding Print and e-Books in Destiny

Choose Books & eBooks from the drop down menu next to the search box. In the results, you'll see your search word highlighted. Wite down your book's call number and note the sublocation. If the book is in the bookroom, request it from the bookroom

Subject Encyclopedias

Oxford Art Online (Grove Art Online)
Visual arts, aesthetics, architecture plus dictionaries of art terms and artists.

Bloom's Literature Online
Reference essays and scholarly criticism examining authors and their works with videos famous productions of plays.

World Geography Online
Biographies, history, culture, politics, and economy as well as a tool to compare features of countries.

Cambridge Ancient History
From prehistory to late antiquity.

Modern World History Online
Biographical information, encyclopedia articles, videos, maps and timelines from the mid-15th century to the present.
U.S. History In Context
Biographies, events and topics in U.S. History plus 1000s of primary source documents from slave journals to presidential papers. 

Oxford Music Online (Grove Music Online) 
Thousands of scholarly & biographical articles, audio & visual examples, and images.

Social Sciences
Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas
U.S. history through the study of popular culture. Includes speeches, biographies, photos, videos, and articles.

Science Reference Center
Hundreds of science magazines, scholarly journals, reference books, experiments, images and videos. 

General Reference: Encyclopedias and Dictionaries


Britannica Online
This general encyclopedia is a go to resource for basic information most subjects.

Oxford Quick Reference (Oxford University)
More than a million entries on historical figures, countries, movements on a vast range of topics including gender studies, history, music, and more. 

Source Reference (Infobase)
Background information to start your research from more than 2 million articles.

World Book Online 
Like Britannica, this is a helpful starter tool for context and basic information about your topic, and gives very basic background info on historical events, persons, countries, etc.


OED - Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
More than just a dictionary, the OED is a guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words.

What is a reference work?  

A reference work contains collections of factual information and includes dictionaries as well as general and subject encyclopedias. Reference sources bring together material from different experts about the topics in the source. Reference items cannot be checked out from the library and, when you find a reference book in our collection online, it will have Sublocation: USIC - Reference under the title.

Multidisciplinary Reference Sources

Middle Search Plus (Ebsco) 
Popular middle school magazines, reference e-books, and thousands of primary source documents and videos. 

Oxford Quick Reference (Oxford University) 
More than 600 reference works and topic overviews on a wide range of topics.

Source Reference (Infobase)
Starting point for almost any topic with 450 reference titles and 1000s of articles.

Newspaper Sources

Newsbank's Access World Newsbank 
A comprehensive collection of reliable news sources covering a wide array of topics and issues.

Middle Search Plus (Ebsco)
Magazines, reference e-books, and thousands of primary source documents and videos helpful.

Trouble Narrowing Your Topic?

Check out this helpful 3 minute video. Remember that if you are struggling with a topic, doing some initial research to see how others have researched your topic will show you how others have approached it. And don't forget you can make an appointment with one of the librarians under services!

Multidisciplinary: Search across Subjects

Academic Search Complete
1000s of academic journals, reports, and conference proceedings from most disciplines including science, math, and humanities.

Scholarly full-text journal articles, e-books, and primary sources/historical texts, from the 16th century to 2019 in most subjects. Note: Select Content I Can Access (it will NOT be underlined if selected). 

Project Muse (Johns Hopkins)
100s of journals in the humanities and social sciences. Note: Limit to full text by clicking the button next to Only content I have access to after your search. 

WOS - Web of Science
Find the most prominent researcher/authors or articles in your area of research as well as some complete academic articles. Includes humanities as well as science.

Subject Specific

Note: Some items are not full-text. Remember, if you find the perfect article, and we do not have it, request it under our Services tab.

Art & Architecture Complete
Full-text of 100s of journals and 1000s of images from visual arts, film, urban studies, archeology, etc.


Cambridge Ancient History
From prehistory to late antiquity.

Cambridge World History
Scholarly essays, photos, illustrations, diagrams and maps. Covers paleolithic to modern times.

Access World News (Newsbank)
Searchable database of more than 11,000 newspapers browsable language, title, type and individual titles by calendar date. Some newspapers in Spanish, French, Dutch and Afrikaans. Some titles in full color.

Political Science and Law
Criminal Justice (SY2324 discontinued)
Search writing from law legal studies, and criminal justice journals.

Nexis Uni
News, business, and legal sources—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Covers current social issues.

Psychology/Behavioral Science
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
Psychology & Full-text database with 100s of psychology journals.

Biological Sciences Review Register
Visit to view magazine: Biological Sciences Review - Hodder Education

Science Reference Center
Hundreds of science magazines, journals, reference books, experiments, and videos.

WOS - Web of Science (Clarivate)
An amazing database of scientific research articles.  Includes links to free full-text articles (i.e. not just descriptions of the article). If we don't have an article that you need, request it under our Services tab!

Current trends from more than 170 markets and industries. Useful for business, market and other consumer trend related research.

Finding and Recognizing Academic Sources

Have you found an academic source?

Find out by following a few simple steps. But first, ask yourself if the source is even relevant to your topic.

Our USIC Search is a great place to start looking!

Check out our guides on how to use the USIC Search as well as Google Scholar. (Google Scholar will also find resources at our library as it has been connected to our search).  Make an appointment with us if you need help under Services!!

Taiwan Specific Resources

Find Taiwanese resources for local collections and online theses, etc.

Publishing In Academic Journals

Thinking of publishing your research in an academic journal? Check out our page on publishing in academic journals.

Primary Sources on the Internet

There are 1,000,000s of primary sources online. Below is a selection of recommended primary source sites that include documents, videos, maps, photos and other digitized materials.

Columbia University - Asia for Educators

United States Holocaust Museum

The Library of Congress, LOC (USA) -  sources from the United States. LOC is the largest library in the world.

The National Archives (UK) -   sources from UK Government, England and Wales. Check out their research guide.

The National Archives (USA) - materials online dating back to 1775. Good for US materials.

Wilson Center Digital Archive - has a ton of primary sources on 20th-century foreign policy and international resources.

University of Cambridge Digital Library - six centuries of primary sources from many countries.

Oxford University Digital Library - like Cambridge, Oxford has been collecting for centuries from all over the world.

The Smithsonian -"from ancient Chinese bronzes to the Star-Spangled Banner; from a 3.5 billion-year-old fossil to the Apollo lunar landing module; from the ruby slippers featured in The Wizard of Oz to presidential memorabilia." 

Internet History Sourcebooks - historical texts including American, Byzantine, Islamic, Jewish, Indian, East Asian, and African history. You will also find many documents especially relevant to women's history and LGBT studies.

Boston University - links to digitized sources on a variety of topics including World War I, Victorian Women Writers, European History to Einstein

SweetSearch History - try searching keywords about your topic and primary source - or think about what you might find on your topic and use more specific keywords like letters, diaries, laws, legislation, etc.

YouTube - for film footage from the time period you're studying, if available, including footage from the scene or interviews with eyewitnesses can be primary sources.

Googling or searching SweetSearch History for a type of resource you want, e.g. drawings Franco-Prussian War, can sometimes bring you to the appropriate archive, government, museum, library, or university collection. IF you Google something and it brings you to a paper, find the original location of the document instead. 

Cite your source! See our Citations Guide Chicago  for instructions on how to cite primary sources.

What is a Primary Source?
Primary vs secondary sources

This 4 minute beginner's video on Primary vs Secondary Sources is a good place learn how to identify a primary source.

What Is the Difference Between Types of Sources?

Watch this video to understand how to match the type of source with the information you need. 

"Primary sources are materials originating during the period you are studying. They include sources such as journal entries, artwork, newspaper articles, photos, and other items that reflect a firsthand experience or insights from a particular event or era." 

"Secondary sources are created by analysts, commentators, and reporters who evaluate primary sources to help other people better understand why a primary account is important." Academic journal articles and books (not autobiographies) are also usually secondary sources.

Check out Identifying primary, secondary, and tertiary sources from Learning Tools - Credo Reference

e-Resources with Primary Sources

MAS Ultra - School Edition (SY2324 discontinued)
Multidisciplinary. Primary source documents including millions of photos.

Middle Search Plus 
Multidisciplinary. 1000s of primary sources on many topics.

Modern World History Online 
Search a topic and limit to Primary Sources below the search box.

U.S. History In Context 
More than 5,000 primary source documents that range from slave journals to presidential papers. 

World Religions (SY2324 discontinued)
Search a topic and limit to Primary Sources below the search box.

Full Color or Web Editions of Newspapers and Magazines

Popular News Titles

The Diplomat Analysis and commentary on events occurring in Asia and around the world. To use off-campus, login with email usicpublic@tas.tw and password usicpublic2022.

The Economist Content from magazine - 1997 to the present. Register with your tas email account. Use the same login to access the fantastic Economist app after registering via our website! Instructions.

Financial Times Register with your tas email account. Use the same login to access the app after registering via our website!

New York Times 1851 through today Select whether you are student or faculty and create an account with your tas.edu.tw or students.tas.tw email address. Use the same login to access the NYT app (and NYT games and cooking apps) after registering via our website! Renew your account yearly. UPDATED NYTimes INSTRUCTIONS

Project Syndicate World news and opinions from respected journalists. Create an account with your tas email address.

Wall Street Journal Create an account with your TAS email address. Use for coursework only please. The Wall Street Journal gives us a limited number of users per subscription. Use the same login to access the app after registering via our website!

News and Magazine Resources with 100s of Titles

100s of full color magazines and newspapers from around the world in 60+ languages including Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. Read Washington Post, South China Morning Post, and many more on the app or your computer. Download the app and use your tas login - email and password to activate - after choosing our school from Libraries and Groups under login. 

Full color popular magazines as well as magazines about literature, art and science.

Flipster Magazine Subscriptions
Full color Scientific American, Communication arts, The Atlantic, The Advocate and other magazines to complement our Sora collection.

Analyze current events from multiple perspectives

Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale)
Covers current social issues by providing an overview of each controversial topic and features viewpoints from different sides of the issue.

All Sides
Displays the day’s top news stories from  media outlets across the political spectrum.


Naxos Music Library
Comprehensive classical music as well as world music, training exercises, and musicology.

Naxos Music Library/Jazz
International collection of jazz albums as well as blues and R&B from 32,000+ artists.

Other resources with visual or audio content

Many of our resources have photos and images including the below.

Britannica Online
Maps, photos, illustrations, videos, multimedia clips from 1993 to the present.

MAS Ultra - School Edition (SY2324 discontinued)
An image collection of more than two million photos, maps, and documents.

Middle Search Plus
Thousands of document images and videos. Multidisciplinary.

Source Reference
Look up your topic and click on the image tab for photos, maps, posters, etc. 

World Book Online
Images, illustrations, maps, audio files, and videos on 1000s of topics.


Alexander Street - Academic Video Online Collection
Educational content with documentaries, speech recordings, movies & news. (Video quality varies.)

Kanopy Documentaries (Video)
Please Google the movie title for a preview and then select once you are sure that you want to view the movie. We are charged for the whole movie, if you watch more than 30 seconds of the movie twice.

Safari-Montage Safari-Montage will be discontinued for SY23/24.
Thousands of educational videos, images, audio files and e-books including PBS full-length programs. 

Free Online Educational Videos 






Find more streaming options including well-known documentaries check here


Chinese Language Learning e-Resources

Chinese Library Destiny Catalog

e-Resources from Chinese Library

Publications in Traditional Chinese





Publications in Spanish



Sources for Country and Society Information

There are even more newspapers and magazines including the Economist, New York Times, and other publications with a global perspective on our Current Events Page.

World Geography Online 
Biographies, history, culture, politics, and economy as well as a tool to compare features of country.

Britannica Online
This general encyclopedia is a go to resource for basic information.

Oxford Quick Reference (Oxford University)
More than a million entries on historical figures, countries, movements on a vast range of topics including gender studies, history, music and more. 

Source Reference (Infobase)
Background information to start your research from more than 2 million articles with information on everything from entertainment to weather in different countries.

World Book Online 
Like Britannica, this is a helpful starter tool for context and basic information and gives very basic background info on demographics, culture, etc.

Cite Your Sources

Use our Citation All Styles Guides Pages for information on how to cite. Make an appointment with Dr. Warrick or Ms. Lee under the Services Tab for help.

Reading & Games

Reading fiction is not just a healthy way to entertain yourself. Reading fiction helps develop desired skills for the 21st centuries including leadership, empathy, and awareness of social and individual responsibility.

Find Your Next Great Read

New York Times Games

Want to exercise your brain and have fun at the same time? USIC has full access to NYT Crossword and Games including Spelling Bee - simply click on REDEEM button. (The code is already filled in.) 

If you want to use the NYT Games app, make sure you've created a New York Times account, and redeemed via NYT Crossword and Games. Then download the app and login with the same account you created to access New York Times.

Searching Strategy for Research Papers

The library purchases quality academic resources and you can find them in our USIC Search (the search bar above), in our eResource Guide, and when using Google Scholar on campus. Googling a topic might be helpful for context, but academic resources will be behind paywalls. 

1. Use the USIC Search     
USIC Search (the search at the top of our page), you searches all our academic databases, books and eBooks. USIC Search operates like many research databases. If you learn to use USIC Search, you will be able to search other academic databases easily.

2. Use Google Scholar    
After using USIC search, try Google ScholarWhen you search Google Scholar, you will also find items that are behind a paywall. The Using Google Scholar guide shows you how to search in, cite from, and find an entire article (instead of a paywall).

Searching Specific Databases    
Sometimes you'll want to search a specific database like those we have listed in our Next Level Research. Limit by date, subject, etc. on the left hand side (just like USIC Search) to narrow your topic.

Searching for Print Material 
Our Basic Research page has information on how to search the USIC collection only.

Have you found an academic source?

Find out by following a few simple steps. But first, ask yourself if the source is even relevant to your topic.

Trouble finding topics about your research question?

  • You might need to broaden or refine your topic. Don't worry and trust in the research process.
  • Don't forget you can make an appointment with one of the librarians!
  • Real research takes time. When researching, you might not find what you need right away. Don't get discouraged. Explore, use our guides, and try again! 
  • If you can't find what you need, email us at usic@tas.edu.tw or request that we purchase an item