Locating information about Current Events
There are some important things to keep in mind as you search for
information about a current event. The tips listed below will help you locate credible information
about current news topics.
Tips for Researching Current Events Topics
Understand the role of publication timing and limitations. The publication of
current event information follows a timeline that will impact when scholarly information becomes
available. Information about current events can first be found via online news sources, such as CNN
and MSNBC. They will then appear in newspapers within the next few days, followed by weekly news
magazines. Scholarly information about a current event can take up to a year or more to appear in
print as scholarly articles take longer to research, write, and publish than do news stories. If
you are researching a very current topic, you should not expect to find scholarly sources about
that particular event. However, you may find information about similar events that will be useful
to your research. This page on the
Information Cycle explains in more detail the timeline for
publication of information about a current event.
Suggested strategies if you need scholarly sources: Choose events that have been
going on for at least several months, older events, or events that can be placed in historic
perspective. By choosing events that meet one or more of these criteria, you should be able to
locate sufficient scholarly sources on your topic, which you can then combine with news
Use RSS feeds to keep current. This short video tutorial explains how to set up
RSS feeds so that you receive current information about topics of interest.
(Video Tutorial - Flash player required)
Sources for Researching Current Events Topics
Articles in these sources tend to be brief and to report or describe the facts, offering little
or no analysis. While these may be good sources for descriptions and facts, most research
assignments require academic, authoritative, and detailed analysis of events.
Online sources for current events topics
- Search the following for ideas:
Access World News The first place to look for newspaper articles.
Lexis-Nexis Academic Select the
Power Search tab and then select
U.S. Newspapers and Wires from the options in
Newspaper Source (EBSCO) - Identifies articles in regional U.S.
newspapers, international newspapers, newswires and newspaper columns, as well as TV and radio news
The New York Times - Online access to article from 1995 -
Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest) - A full-text collection of 200
newspapers and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.
CQ Researcher - Undergraduate periodicals and online
- Newsweek Global - Replacing the print edition of Newsweek, online access will be available in
- Browsing the headlines on major news websites can also be helpful when looking for current
events topic ideas or information:
Print sources for current events topics
- Browse recent issues of the following for ideas:
Facts on File - Undergraduate Reference Collection, call number D410 .F3
Editorials on File - Undergraduate Reference Collection, call number PN4778
Time - Undergraduate Library periodicals
handout of this page.