Although information publication follows a linear timeline, the research process itself is not linear. For example, you might start by trying to read scholarly articles, only to discover that you lack the necessary background knowledge to use a scholarly article effectively. To increase your background information, you might consult an encyclopedia or a book on your topic. Or, you may encounter a statement in a newspaper editorial that inspires you to consult the scholarly literature to see if research supports the statement.
The important thing to remember is that you will probably start your research at different points and move around among resource types depending on the type of information you need.
Figure 1. The research cycle
Chapter Attribution Information
The Research Cycle derived by Annemarie Hamlin, Chris Rubio, and Michele DeSilva, Central Oregon Community College, from A Cycle of Revolving Research by UC Libraries, CC: BY-NC-SA 3.0