In the 21st Century, the Internet has become an effective tool for conducting research. As a result, it has now become easier for students and academicians to write research papers and even journal articles. However, depending on how you use it, the Internet can be a boon or a bane to your research. Here are some ways on how you can use the Internet for effective research, so you can use all the knowledge stored online to aid you in finding new things to learn.

Use Wikipedia as a Source-Finding Aid

Wikipedia can point you to sources

Even though Wikipedia in itself is not a credible source, for anyone can just edit it, it can still be useful because of its bibliographies. Every Wikipedia article has a bibliography, where the sources are cited. Feel free to use these citations to point you to sources which you might need. Who knows, maybe you might hit a gold mine by finding a citation that will make your research!

As Soon as You Find a Source, Format the Citation

Use sites such as Citation Machine to format your citations

When you find a source you plan to use, the first thing you should remember is to format the citation. This will make paper-writing more convenient, since you won’t end up panicking in the end as you rush to format all your citations. You can use tools such as Zotero or Citation Machine to help you construct your citations, to avoid plagiarism. Citing sources should be the first thing you do after you find them to make research easier for you!

Use Databases Like JSTOR to Your Advantage

JSTOR is your best friend when it comes to research

If you need journal articles for your research, I highly suggest you take advantage of your university’s subscription to databases like JSTOR. When it comes to research, JSTOR is your best friend, since it has so many journal articles, books, and even primary sources. Also, it provides formatted citations for these texts. So, if you are in a bind, JSTOR is indeed a lifesaver!

Feel free to access JSTOR using this link: http://www.jstor.org/

Library Genesis Will Save Your Academic Life

Libgen is another lifesaver

If you are looking for a book for your research, and it is not available in JSTOR or your library, then you can use Library Genesis to download ebooks in PDF format. Library Genesis, or Libgen for short, is a great help because it allows you to get books you need for free. This is great for books you only need once. However, if you want to collect that book, please support the author by purchasing your own copy.

Use the Internet to Plan Your Fieldwork

Access policies of archives can be found online

If your sources cannot be found online, then don’t despair, since you can still use the internet to plan a trip to the National Library or to the Archives you plan to visit. All you need to do is to go to the website of the library or archives you want to visit and check the instructions on how to access. Also, you can email the people in charge and ask for permission to access these places, and you are likely to get a reply within a day or two. You can even access the database of the National Library online to see if they have the book you need. So, don’t limit your Internet research to websites alone, but you may also use it to help in finding offline sources.

In the end, there is more to using the Internet to look for websites to help you in your research, for it can help you get journal articles, cite your sources, and even plan a trip to the Archives or National Library. Only you can decide your research limitations, so use all the tools you have in your disposal.