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The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Welcome and Overview

Welcome to the Astronomy Research Guide

This guide will give you some ideas for places to start gathering information about topics in astronomy, as well as some tips and tricks for researching your topic.

The tabs on the left have more information about the following topics:

For help with your research, please contact your librarian, Anne Graham.

Types of Information in Library Databases

Information Type

Content and uses





Technical information written by experts

Learn about a topic, gather background information, historical and/or technical overviews

Author's and publisher's credentials Varies depending on author's intent Image of Book Cover: The Big Picture: The Universe in Five STEPS
Newspapers and Trade Magazines

News and journalistic reporting on events, industry developments

Follow events, industry trends

Written & edited by journalists and industry experts General public, scholars, and professionals Image of New York Times Article on NASA Mars Helicopter 2021
Scholarly Journals & Conference Proceedings

Research conducted by experts in a field

Content is advanced & technical

Read about primary research written by scholars

Peer-reviewed, edited by experts Scholars, researchers, and professionals Image of Journal Cover. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Legal document disclosing a novel, useful invention

Identify new research fronts or learn how something works

Created by inventors, reviewed by government patent examiners Innovators and scholars Image of patent titled: Devices and Methods for Optically Multiplexed Imaging
Technical Reports Report on research to funding agency Created by researchers Funding agencies  Image of Technical Report titles Astronomy Sortie Missions Definition Study