Research work is not for everyone as it entails patience, analysis work and resourcefulness. But for those who are passionate about this work, they are persistent and will do what it takes to complete their task on time. And in this digital age, it pays to use information technology efficiently and effectively.
Fortunately, numerous free online resources on a wide range of subject areas and tools are available to help make the work of researchers easier. College students tasked to write an essay can also make good use of these tools. Combined with a person’s skills, these technologies can surely provide a more comprehensive research outcome.
Google Scholar lets you find the journals, conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, abstracts, technical reports and other scholarly literature you need for your research.
Through its search robots, this tool by the biggest search engine provides an extensive database of various types of literature, most of which are available with a PDF copy.
And since this is a Google service, you can create an email alert using your Google account to receive notifications related to your specific search words.
Many of you own the print version of Merriam-Webster dictionary but if you want convenience, you can use its online version which even features a usage commentary. Additionally, video tutorials on usage are available courtesy of the dictionary staff. Other features include the Word of the Day, language watch and word games.
Smithsonian Research Online
Apart from being a popular museum, the Smithsonian has nine research centers which has produced thousands of articles, books and book chapters in recent years. Areas of focus include art, science, history and culture.
Various search options are also available on the Smithsonian Research Online. Researchers can search by keyword, year or by museum/department.
Infoplease provides resources focusing on current events and history. Specifically, it features timelines of political, social and cultural developments worldwide and guides to different countries.
Quantitative and qualitative features such as color psychology and the world’s most corrupt nations are available as well.
Mendeley has various features that will benefit researchers of all types. Apart from having letting users save websites and papers in their own online library, they can also create bibliographies and citations in their own papers. One of its greatest features, though, is its free online library with millions of research articles and papers. Any researcher, even those with no Mendeley account, can use the crowd-sourced library.
A multi-functional tool, EndNote helps users search for information via online databases and full texts. It is also capable of managing references and sharing research data with several people collaborating on a project. Those working alone, though, can also save, manage and tag their research results for easier access. Another useful feature of EndNote is its bibliography maker which can create citations in more than 6,000 styles.