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Using the Internet for Research

Helpful Links

The IUP Library

The IUP library has many useful databases for doing research, including:

  • Britannica Online
    Britannica Online is not like your old hardcopy version of the encyclopedia. The links and bibliographies that you can find on a topic makes Britannica Online a great tool to use when you want to find out more about a subject area or a person. It may also be a useful way to get ideas for your papers.
  • Search Bank
    Search Bank contains three different databases: Business, Academic, and Health. The periodicals in the Academic database cover areas such as humanities, communications, social science, the arts, science and technology, and women’s studies. This database contains indexes and abstracts of approximately 1,580 scholarly and general interest periodicals and full texts from over 520 academic periodicals with a coverage of three years plus the current year.
  • Voyager Online Catalog
    The Voyager Online Public Access Catalog lists books and the materials held by IUP libraries and Media Services.
  • Winspirs
    Winspirs contains databases on general information, education, health and sports, humanities, science, and social science.

A Student’s Guide to Research with the WWW

This site is very helpful for learning about how to use the Internet to do student research. It addresses issues such as website authority, website relevance, and search strategies.

My Virtual Reference Desk

My Virtual Reference Desk contains a variety of helpful research tools, including search engines for both the Internet and dictionaries, links to magazines and newspapers, almanacs, on-line libraries, and on-line encyclopedias. It is arranged in an easy-to-use format and contains help files and on-line assistance for its usage. (John Eno; 3/99)

The Argus Clearinghouse 

Believing that “human effort must be combined with searching and browsing technologies,” a group of librarians created the Argus Clearinghouse in 1993. This site provides a central access point for topical guides that identify, describe, and evaluate Internet-based information resources. What does that mean in plain English? Internet guides are created when an individual (or individuals) searches the Web for useful or enlightening sites related to a specific topic, collects these resources, and repackages them in some way—creating a site that both organizes and evaluates this Internet information. The Argus Clearinghouse performs a similar function for Internet guides—selecting among guides submitted by others and organizing them according to topic. To be included in the Argus Clearinghouse, a guide must meet a rigorous set of guidelines, and the Clearinghouse itself ranks a selected guide in terms of five different criteria. This is a great site to explore to see if someone has already collected Internet information on a topic you are interested in: history, education, film, etc. In addition, don’t forget to look at the guides selected by this clearinghouse for the Digital Librarian’s Award; they are consistently excellent and interesting. (Jenny Staben; 3/99)

The Internet Public Library

The Internet Public Library page is a great starting point for research in any field. Included in the features is a “Reference Center” which allows the user to obtain documents in a variety of fields, including Science and Technology; Education; Arts and Humanities; Health and Medicine; Law, Government, and Political Science; Business and Economics; Entertainment; and Computers and the Internet. In addition, the IPL page directs users to magazines and serials which relate to these and many other fields. These links provide both full articles and abstracts with bibliographical information. Another great source of information provided by the IPL is access to the homepages and on-line editions of newspapers from all over the world. Finally, as an added interest to the user’s research, the page offers different “Exhibits,” which act as an on-line museum with photographs and information on various topics. (Doug Tucker; 3/99)

The Library of Congress Homepage

On the Library of Congress homepage, there are several links. These links are very beneficial for anyone who has specific needs, because they are very particular. For instance, there is a link that one can click when attempting to do research. The categories for research are broken down into specific fields that are useful to people within those fields. For instance, some categories include sources for publishers, educators of students from grades k-12, and just plain researchers. This helps students focus on the types of research that they want to focus on. I think that this categorization allows for a great focus on specific research. On this site a student is also able to use on-line catalogs form other libraries, and this variety allows for more sources from which one can draw their research. On this site, students are also able to see what is currently on display at the Library of Congress. Among other things, I thought that one creative aspect of the site was the fact that you can actually view the Library of Congress’ interior because they offer the floor plan and map of the library as a link. Although this really has no benefit to actual research, it is like “good advertising” as it serves as an eye-catching feature of the page. Overall, this page seems to be organized well. It has different departments, as well as different services for researchers. (April Rivers; 4/99)

The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is a good site to visit if you need any information concerning the vast and various fields of education. ERIC contains more than 950,000 document and journal article abstracts on research in education and practice. Besides providing a database for you to search through for information needed in specific educational fields, ERIC also provides many other resources. Some resources that this site includes are information and updates on the U.S. Department of Education, ERIC Clearinghouses, and special projects that the ERIC system is currently working on. In addition, there is also a link to the National Library of Education, which is one of the main resource centers for the federal government. There are numerous other exciting and helpful links available at this site to you to give you added help and guidance. Lastly, this site will always contain the latest information because it is updated monthly. If you are having trouble finding information regarding any aspect of education, ERIC is a good place to renew your search. (Jessica Williams; 3-99)

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