10 Places to Conduct Academic Research Online 2

This is a guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer, the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degree programs.  She has written frequently here in the past, and we are glad to have her back!

Conducting academic research online is easier than ever before. There are many different search engines, virtual reference shelves, and directories that have been created to help students and researchers find published studies, databases, journals, government documents, and other reliable sources of information. Some of the most useful include:


InfomineDesigned for students and researchers at the university level, Infomine is a good place to find databases, electronic journals, electronic books, and other scholarly resources. The site is library built and maintained by librarians from several colleges and universities around the nation.

Google Scholar

Google ScholarThis Google search engine makes it easy to locate theses, books, articles, journals, and abstracts online. Results are ranked according to the full text of the document, recent citations, and the quality of the writer and publication.


IntuiteCreated by a consortium of seven universities, Intute is a free online service that catalogs the best web resources for students and researchers. Site visitors can also develop and improve their research skills with Intute’s 60 free tutorials.


JstorThis not-for-profit service archives more than 1,000 academic journals for students, scholars, and researchers. Archived information can be searched by publication, title, or discipline.

Virtual Reference Shelf

Virtual Reference ShelfThe Virtual Reference Shelf is a collection of resources compiled by the Library of Congress. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the site, you can chat with a librarian.

Virtual Reference Desk

The Virtual Reference DeskCreated by a reference librarian at the University of Denver, this free virtual reference desk was created specifically to help academic researchers. The site offers thousands of suggestions for finding academic web pages, government documents, and government agencies.

Librarian’s Internet Index

Librarians' Internet IndexThis searchable directory of Internet resources is funded by Drexel University and the IPL Consortium. Resources are compiled by librarians and include only trusted websites.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian

Encyclopedia SmithsonianThe Encyclopedia Smithsonian database contains more than 2 million records with text, audio, video, and images. The searchable encyclopedia covers a wide range of topics, including art, design, history, culture, science, and technology.


DOAJThe DOAJ is a directory of open access scientific and scholarly journals. All of the journals that are in this directory are full-text and easily searchable.


ScholarpediaScholarpedia looks and works a lot like Wikipedia, but the quality of the content is less questionable. Each article is written by an expert, peer reviewed, and monitored by a curator. Content is never outdated and can be cited like a print journal.

What websites do you use for research?

2 thoughts on “10 Places to Conduct Academic Research Online

  1. Reply Jurn Dec 11,2009 9:53 PM

    Hi Nate, great list! You missed out JURN. It indexes more than 3,500 free ejournals in the arts and humanities. Just search Google for “Jurn” – it’s result number one.

  2. Reply Jason Dec 16,2009 8:31 PM

    Thanks for the great list! I’d also recommend:

    ProQuest Open
    Search and read the full text of open access dissertations and theses.

    Multidisciplinary web search engine for students and researchers.

    Comprehensive science-specific search engine.

    Global union catalog of library collections.

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