The Internet is a great tool for finding primary sources for research papers, essays, and other class projects. The key to locating relevant references is to know how to search for information. A number of professional journals offer free access to full-text articles. You can find a list of journals that provide access to a selection of psychology journal articles in the following article:
Free Full-Text Psychology Journals
Learn more about using the Internet for research.
Image courtesy Stefanie L.
black-rose-bielefeld.de's Guide to Web Search, Wendy Boswell, also has a lot of great information on using the Internet as an academic tool. If you're looking for information on how to find materials online, how to evaluate Web sources, and free student downloads, check out some of the following helpful articles:
- How to Evaluate a Web Source
How can you tell if the information you find online is credible? This article offers tips for how to evaluate the references you find online before you cite them in a paper or class project.
- Free eBooks on the Web
If you're looking for free full-text books online, this list points out some of the best places to find eBooks.
- The Invisible Web
The term "invisible web" refers the the enormous amount of information that isn't accessible through search engines and directories. Learn more about how you can locate materials on the Invisible Web.
- Free Student Downloads
Save yourself some cash this semester by checking out these free student downloads.
- How to Use Google Scholar
Google scholar is another great way to locate reference materials. Learn more about how to use this resource.
The most important advantage of using the Internet for research is that it is easy to get information. In most cases, an online researcher can search to find secondary or tertiary sources to support their endeavor. In my situation as an online learner, being fairly isolated in a very rural Missouri town in the middle of the Ozark plateau does not prevent me from starting research. It seems difficult to universally determine what makes a good or bad source of online information. Because the Internet is so easy to post new knowledge, the drawback is that anybody can compile information ? even if it is wrong. A researcher must be able to critically analyze their Internet source materials.