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Use background resources to look up basic information (including definitions and overviews) about a topic. For example, if you are researching Medicare, background resources like encyclopedias and dictionaries will give you foundational information such as: the history of Medicare, important dates, and policy changes over time. Background resources are great starting points for a research project because they allow you to better understand some of the books and research articles you might engage with later. Advanced sources like scholarly journal articles assume you already have a baseline of knowledge on a given topic. You may also use background sources later in the research process to look up concepts, people, or events discovered while looking through other sources.
The databases below specialize in providing background information. Please keep in mind that not all of them may have the information you need. If you search in, say, Credo and don't find what you need, don't give up. Try one of the other databases and you're likely to find relevant information.