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Posted by in The Cool Communicator

The Best Online Research Sites You’ve Never Heard Of

The Best Online Research Sites You’ve Never Heard Of

Good communication sometimes requires great research. Check out these valuable resources recommended by the Online Education Database.

Research can be a time consuming and sometimes tedious task. How can you make it easier for yourself? While there is no complete substitute for a good old-fashioned trip to the library, you can find a wide variety of information with many research tools. Here are a few sites listed in alphabetical order. You might not be familiar with some of the resources, but they can help supplement and improve your research.

Artcyclopedia — If you’re looking for information on artists or art movements, Artcyclopedia is a great place to begin. The site provides links to museums worldwide where works by more than 8,200 artists can be viewed. While most of the artists listed are painters and sculptors, you can also find photographers, decorative artists and architects. Any art or art history research can benefit from this site, at least as a starting point. www.artcyclopedia.com

BioMedCentral — This is an archive of more than 170 biology, chemistry and medical journals. The articles published on BioMedCentral are all peer-reviewed to ensure they are accurate and appropriate for use as reference materials. A majority of links on the site are free, but a few journals do require a subscription service to access. Test

Digital History — An valuable resource for those who seek information on U.S. history, Digital History offers an up-to-date textbook, as well as essays on film, private life, science and technology, and visual histories about Lincoln’s America and America’s Reconstruction. The site also makes use of primary sources such as gravestones, historical advertising and letters to give a more vivid picture of American History. The site also includes numerous reference materials including an extensive audio-visual archive. And if you have a question and can’t find the answer, there is a feature allowing you to pose questions to professional historians. The site might just turn your research into leisure time. www.digitalhistory.uh.edu

FindArticles.com — This site has the text of articles from about 500 print periodicals with coverage back to 1998, and usage is completely free of charge. While some of the more popular magazines aren’t included on FindArticles, the collection is broad enough to be useful for many topics. It’s no substitute for most library article archives; however, it can be a great resource for simple article searching. www.findarticles.com

INFOMINE — Here you’ll find a virtual library of Internet resources. It contains useful tools such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles and directories of researchers. It functions similarly to a search engine except the results are limited to academic sites and resources. Be advised not all resources supplied are free of charge, but those with fees can be found at your local library or university. www.infomine.ucr.edu

Internet History Sourcebooks — This Web site offers a collection of public domain and copy permitted historical texts. Topics include ancient, medieval, modern, women’s and Islamic history among others. So whether you’re looking for ancient Greek texts or information on everyday life in 17th century France, these sourcebooks can provide a valuable and timesaving resource. www.fordham.edu/halsall

Internet Public Library– This “library” is the first public library of and for the Internet community. The library is a collection of online resources organized by subject, everything from accounting to social sciences. This Web-based library features standard library services such as reference, cataloging, educational outreach, exhibits, government documents, special collections and archives, serials and online-only services such as a list of blogs. It can be a great place to start your research as the librarians who created it have spent a great deal of time organizing and finding the best Internet resources for your use. www.ipl.org

Intute — The site provides access to Web-based resources for science, technology, arts, humanities and social sciences. The database contains well over 100,000 records and continues to grow. Subject experts review old records regularly to ensure information is as current as possible. www.intute.ac.uk

Librarians Internet Index — Here is a Web site created and maintained by a group of librarians, very similar to the Internet Public Library. It has a searchable directory of Internet resources, more than 3,000 total, on a wide variety of topics. While originally created to focus on the state of California, the site has evolved to cover a much wider area. www.lii.org

Library of Congress — Most people have heard of the Library of Congress, but few realize the amount of information it offers online. The American Memory Collection contains a wealth of materials on American history including thousands of photos, maps, documents and even sheet music. In addition, the site offers online exhibits, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there is an online resource to ask a librarian. For anyone interested in American history, the Library of Congress is an invaluable resource providing you with a wealth of information not available anywhere else. www.loc.gov/index.html

Perseus Digital Library — This digital library provides information on the ancient world, including archaeology, atlas, texts and translations as well as information about English Renaissance and the American Civil War. Not all the resources are in English, in fact a majority of the ancient texts remain in their original language. You can, however, limit your search to only resources available in a given language. www.perseus.tufts.edu

Project Gutenberg — This site, aptly named after the inventor of the movable type printer, provides Web access to more than 20,000 books. It is the largest collection of free books on the Internet. Works include everything from “The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci” to “A History of China” by Wolfram Eberhard. If you still can’t seem to find a text, the site links up with other free online providers, giving you access to more than 100,000 books in total. If you don’t have time to make a trip to the library, Project Gutenberg can be a great way to access books without leaving the house. www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Research Guide for Students — This Web site might not appear to be much at first, as the layout is bare bones; but it’s actually an extremely good resource for researchers. It provides guidelines for the technical aspects of writing a paper such as layout and style guides, as well as a plethora of links to other research resources on just about every topic imaginable. And for those writing about classic literature, it also provides resources that are work-specific. www.aresearchguide.com

U.S. Government Manual — If you’re looking for any information about the finer points of U.S. Government, your best bet for research is the U.S. Government Manual. It provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial and executive branches, as well as semi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, boards, commissions and committees. It also includes the basics of U.S. governmental documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/index.html
No matter what you’re researching, the Internet can be a valuable tool in getting you started on the right track. Use these sites wisely and you’ll find a wealth of information at your fingertips.

To read more useful articles about research and education check out the Online Education Database at www.oedb.org.

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