Step 1: Start early!
Research is a process. The most important aspect of doing research is giving yourself enough time to do a thorough and adequate search of the available literature. Do not wait until a few days before your assignment is due to begin looking for information resources. A minimum of two weeks is recommended but it is never too early to start the research process.
Step 2: Consider search terms.
Using effective search terms is key to getting good results. Consult with colleagues, look up alternate terms in Google or the NCI Metathesaurus, develop alternate wording and concepts. Do not get tunnel vision! Broaden your scope and view of the topic, then narrow as you discover the most effective terms.
Step 3: Locate and retrieve materials.
Choose good resources. You will find a several resources here to help you make the selection of where to find information from choosing the right database to books to government resources just to name a few. Gather a collection of materials that you can later sort through and narrow down what you will actually use for your project. Note: keep track of the citation information for your reference list! Helpful tools are creating accounts in the various databases to collect resources and reference management software such as EndNote.
Articles that are published in peer-reviewed or refereed journals are recognized as scholarly contributions to their academic or medical field. You can identify peer-reviewed journals by searching for the journal title in Ulrich's Periodical Directory.