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Exercise & Sports Science Research Guide

This guide provides resources and information to help you get started with your research projects in the field of exercise and sports science. Need additional help? Please contact me!


Looking for information and resources for your assignments and research projects can sometimes be challenging. This section will help you:

  • Identify different types of sources and what type of information they might provide
  • Determine the differences between scholarly and popular sources
  • Identifying the type of source that meets your needs
  • Links to library and web resources where you can find those types of sources

Background Information

Whenever you start researching a new topic, you need to gain some background knowledge about it to serve as a starting point. Books, reference resources and websites are the key places to start.

Background sources provide an important foundation for your search strategy because:

  • It can provide a historical context of how/where the topic started and introduces you to different aspects of the topic which can you help you narrow or broaden your topic.
  • It can identify current issues and/or research areas.
  • It provides you with the language that people are using to discuss your topic which can help you develop better keywords to use in searching for scholarly and evidence-based sources.


General and Professional Opinions and Practical Advice Information

Whenever you are looking for more generalized information that provides practical or professional advice and guidance a good starting point are books, trade journals, professional organization websites, and magazines.

Scholarly Information & Evidence-Based Research

Scholarly journals, also called academic journals, provide the best access to scholarly, peer-reviewed articles and evidenced-based research.

Scholarly/academic journals focus on a specific academic discipline and have two key attributes:

  • They publish articles of scholarship and research relating to their discipline that are written by experts and professionals in that discipline.
  • Before accepting articles of scholarship and research for publication, they are put through a peer-review process where other experts in the discipline evaluate the article for quality, relevance, accuracy and so on.

Evidenced-based is defined as "Denoting an approach to medicine, education, and other disciplines that emphasizes the practical application of the findings of the best available current research." (English Oxford Living Dictionaries, In Exercise and Sports Science, professionals conduct and use evidence-based research to support evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice is when the professional combines using evidence-based research with the knowledge of the clinical experts and the client/patient's values and expectations in the clinical setting.