• Corrections

Search Help

Get the most out of Google Scholar with some helpful tips on searches, email alerts, citation export, and more.

Finding recent papers

Your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not by date. To find newer articles, try the following options in the left sidebar:

  • click "Since Year" to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance;
  • click "Sort by date" to show just the new additions, sorted by date;
  • click the envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.

Locating the full text of an article

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Alas, reading the entire article may require a subscription. Here're a few things to try:

  • click a library link, e.g., "FindIt@Harvard", to the right of the search result;
  • click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;
  • click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources;
  • click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles.

If you're affiliated with a university, but don't see links such as "FindIt@Harvard", please check with your local library about the best way to access their online subscriptions. You may need to do search from a computer on campus, or to configure your browser to use a library proxy.

Getting better answers

If you're new to the subject, it may be helpful to pick up the terminology from secondary sources. E.g., a Wikipedia article for "overweight" might suggest a Scholar search for "pediatric hyperalimentation".

If the search results are too specific for your needs, check out what they're citing in their "References" sections. Referenced works are often more general in nature.

Similarly, if the search results are too basic for you, click "Cited by" to see newer papers that referenced them. These newer papers will often be more specific.

Explore! There's rarely a single answer to a research question. Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" to see closely related work, or search for author's name and see what else they have written.

Searching Google Scholar

Use the "author:" operator, e.g., author:"d knuth" or author:"donald e knuth".

Put the paper's title in quotations: "A History of the China Sea".

You'll often get better results if you search only recent articles, but still sort them by relevance, not by date. E.g., click "Since 2018" in the left sidebar of the search results page.

To see the absolutely newest articles first, click "Sort by date" in the sidebar. If you use this feature a lot, you may also find it useful to setup email alerts to have new results automatically sent to you.

Note: On smaller screens that don't show the sidebar, these options are available in the dropdown menu labelled "Year" right below the search button.

Select the "Case law" option on the homepage or in the side drawer on the search results page.

It finds documents similar to the given search result.

It's in the side drawer. The advanced search window lets you search in the author, title, and publication fields, as well as limit your search results by date.

Select the "Case law" option and do a keyword search over all jurisdictions. Then, click the "Select courts" link in the left sidebar on the search results page.

Tip: To quickly search a frequently used selection of courts, bookmark a search results page with the desired selection.

Access to articles

For each Scholar search result, we try to find a version of the article that you can read. These access links are labelled [PDF] or [HTML] and appear to the right of the search result. For example:

A paper that you need to read

Access links cover a wide variety of ways in which articles may be available to you - articles that your library subscribes to, open access articles, free-to-read articles from publishers, preprints, articles in repositories, etc.

When you are on a campus network, access links automatically include your library subscriptions and direct you to subscribed versions of articles. On-campus access links cover subscriptions from primary publishers as well as aggregators.

Off-campus access

Off-campus access links let you take your library subscriptions with you when you are at home or traveling. You can read subscribed articles when you are off-campus just as easily as when you are on-campus. Off-campus access links work by recording your subscriptions when you visit Scholar while on-campus, and looking up the recorded subscriptions later when you are off-campus.

We use the recorded subscriptions to provide you with the same subscribed access links as you see on campus. We also indicate your subscription access to participating publishers so that they can allow you to read the full-text of these articles without logging in or using a proxy. The recorded subscription information expires after 30 days and is automatically deleted.

In addition to Google Scholar search results, off-campus access links can also appear on articles from publishers participating in the off-campus subscription access program. Look for links labeled [PDF] or [HTML] on the right hand side of article pages.

Anne Author , John Doe , Jane Smith , Someone Else

In this fascinating paper, we investigate various topics that would be of interest to you. We also describe new methods relevant to your project, and attempt to address several questions which you would also like to know the answer to. Lastly, we analyze …

You can disable off-campus access links on the Scholar settings page . Disabling off-campus access links will turn off recording of your library subscriptions. It will also turn off indicating subscription access to participating publishers. Once off-campus access links are disabled, you may need to identify and configure an alternate mechanism (e.g., an institutional proxy or VPN) to access your library subscriptions while off-campus.

Email Alerts

Do a search for the topic of interest, e.g., "M Theory"; click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page; enter your email address, and click "Create alert". We'll then periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria.

No, you can enter any email address of your choice. If the email address isn't a Google account or doesn't match your Google account, then we'll email you a verification link, which you'll need to click to start receiving alerts.

This works best if you create a public profile , which is free and quick to do. Once you get to the homepage with your photo, click "Follow" next to your name, select "New citations to my articles", and click "Done". We will then email you when we find new articles that cite yours.

Search for the title of your paper, e.g., "Anti de Sitter space and holography"; click on the "Cited by" link at the bottom of the search result; and then click on the envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page.

First, do a search for your colleague's name, and see if they have a Scholar profile. If they do, click on it, click the "Follow" button next to their name, select "New articles by this author", and click "Done".

If they don't have a profile, do a search by author, e.g., [author:s-hawking], and click on the mighty envelope in the left sidebar of the search results page. If you find that several different people share the same name, you may need to add co-author names or topical keywords to limit results to the author you wish to follow.

We send the alerts right after we add new papers to Google Scholar. This usually happens several times a week, except that our search robots meticulously observe holidays.

There's a link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email.

If you created alerts using a Google account, you can manage them all here . If you're not using a Google account, you'll need to unsubscribe from the individual alerts and subscribe to the new ones.

Google Scholar library

Google Scholar library is your personal collection of articles. You can save articles right off the search page, organize them by adding labels, and use the power of Scholar search to quickly find just the one you want - at any time and from anywhere. You decide what goes into your library, and we’ll keep the links up to date.

You get all the goodies that come with Scholar search results - links to PDF and to your university's subscriptions, formatted citations, citing articles, and more!

Library help

Find the article you want to add in Google Scholar and click the “Save” button under the search result.

Click “My library” at the top of the page or in the side drawer to view all articles in your library. To search the full text of these articles, enter your query as usual in the search box.

Find the article you want to remove, and then click the “Delete” button under it.

  • To add a label to an article, find the article in your library, click the “Label” button under it, select the label you want to apply, and click “Done”.
  • To view all the articles with a specific label, click the label name in the left sidebar of your library page.
  • To remove a label from an article, click the “Label” button under it, deselect the label you want to remove, and click “Done”.
  • To add, edit, or delete labels, click “Manage labels” in the left column of your library page.

Only you can see the articles in your library. If you create a Scholar profile and make it public, then the articles in your public profile (and only those articles) will be visible to everyone.

Your profile contains all the articles you have written yourself. It’s a way to present your work to others, as well as to keep track of citations to it. Your library is a way to organize the articles that you’d like to read or cite, not necessarily the ones you’ve written.

Citation Export

Click the "Cite" button under the search result and then select your bibliography manager at the bottom of the popup. We currently support BibTeX, EndNote, RefMan, and RefWorks.

Err, no, please respect our robots.txt when you access Google Scholar using automated software. As the wearers of crawler's shoes and webmaster's hat, we cannot recommend adherence to web standards highly enough.

Sorry, we're unable to provide bulk access. You'll need to make an arrangement directly with the source of the data you're interested in. Keep in mind that a lot of the records in Google Scholar come from commercial subscription services.

Sorry, we can only show up to 1,000 results for any particular search query. Try a different query to get more results.

Content Coverage

Google Scholar includes journal and conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, pre-prints, abstracts, technical reports and other scholarly literature from all broad areas of research. You'll find works from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies and university repositories, as well as scholarly articles available anywhere across the web. Google Scholar also includes court opinions and patents.

We index research articles and abstracts from most major academic publishers and repositories worldwide, including both free and subscription sources. To check current coverage of a specific source in Google Scholar, search for a sample of their article titles in quotes.

While we try to be comprehensive, it isn't possible to guarantee uninterrupted coverage of any particular source. We index articles from sources all over the web and link to these websites in our search results. If one of these websites becomes unavailable to our search robots or to a large number of web users, we have to remove it from Google Scholar until it becomes available again.

Our meticulous search robots generally try to index every paper from every website they visit, including most major sources and also many lesser known ones.

That said, Google Scholar is primarily a search of academic papers. Shorter articles, such as book reviews, news sections, editorials, announcements and letters, may or may not be included. Untitled documents and documents without authors are usually not included. Website URLs that aren't available to our search robots or to the majority of web users are, obviously, not included either. Nor do we include websites that require you to sign up for an account, install a browser plugin, watch four colorful ads, and turn around three times and say coo-coo before you can read the listing of titles scanned at 10 DPI... You get the idea, we cover academic papers from sensible websites.

That's usually because we index many of these papers from other websites, such as the websites of their primary publishers. The "site:" operator currently only searches the primary version of each paper.

It could also be that the papers are located on examplejournals.gov, not on example.gov. Please make sure you're searching for the "right" website.

That said, the best way to check coverage of a specific source is to search for a sample of their papers using the title of the paper.

Ahem, we index papers, not journals. You should also ask about our coverage of universities, research groups, proteins, seminal breakthroughs, and other dimensions that are of interest to users. All such questions are best answered by searching for a statistical sample of papers that has the property of interest - journal, author, protein, etc. Many coverage comparisons are available if you search for [allintitle:"google scholar"], but some of them are more statistically valid than others.

Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.

Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate.

We normally add new papers several times a week. However, updates to existing records take 6-9 months to a year or longer, because in order to update our records, we need to first recrawl them from the source website. For many larger websites, the speed at which we can update their records is limited by the crawl rate that they allow.

Inclusion and Corrections

We apologize, and we assure you the error was unintentional. Automated extraction of information from articles in diverse fields can be tricky, so an error sometimes sneaks through.

Please write to the owner of the website where the erroneous search result is coming from, and encourage them to provide correct bibliographic data to us, as described in the technical guidelines . Once the data is corrected on their website, it usually takes 6-9 months to a year or longer for it to be updated in Google Scholar. We appreciate your help and your patience.

If you can't find your papers when you search for them by title and by author, please refer your publisher to our technical guidelines .

You can also deposit your papers into your institutional repository or put their PDF versions on your personal website, but please follow your publisher's requirements when you do so. See our technical guidelines for more details on the inclusion process.

We normally add new papers several times a week; however, it might take us some time to crawl larger websites, and corrections to already included papers can take 6-9 months to a year or longer.

Google Scholar generally reflects the state of the web as it is currently visible to our search robots and to the majority of users. When you're searching for relevant papers to read, you wouldn't want it any other way!

If your citation counts have gone down, chances are that either your paper or papers that cite it have either disappeared from the web entirely, or have become unavailable to our search robots, or, perhaps, have been reformatted in a way that made it difficult for our automated software to identify their bibliographic data and references. If you wish to correct this, you'll need to identify the specific documents with indexing problems and ask your publisher to fix them. Please refer to the technical guidelines .

Please do let us know . Please include the URL for the opinion, the corrected information and a source where we can verify the correction.

We're only able to make corrections to court opinions that are hosted on our own website. For corrections to academic papers, books, dissertations and other third-party material, click on the search result in question and contact the owner of the website where the document came from. For corrections to books from Google Book Search, click on the book's title and locate the link to provide feedback at the bottom of the book's page.

General Questions

These are articles which other scholarly articles have referred to, but which we haven't found online. To exclude them from your search results, uncheck the "include citations" box on the left sidebar.

First, click on links labeled [PDF] or [HTML] to the right of the search result's title. Also, check out the "All versions" link at the bottom of the search result.

Second, if you're affiliated with a university, using a computer on campus will often let you access your library's online subscriptions. Look for links labeled with your library's name to the right of the search result's title. Also, see if there's a link to the full text on the publisher's page with the abstract.

Keep in mind that final published versions are often only available to subscribers, and that some articles are not available online at all. Good luck!

Technically, your web browser remembers your settings in a "cookie" on your computer's disk, and sends this cookie to our website along with every search. Check that your browser isn't configured to discard our cookies. Also, check if disabling various proxies or overly helpful privacy settings does the trick. Either way, your settings are stored on your computer, not on our servers, so a long hard look at your browser's preferences or internet options should help cure the machine's forgetfulness.

Not even close. That phrase is our acknowledgement that much of scholarly research involves building on what others have already discovered. It's taken from Sir Isaac Newton's famous quote, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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Eight Ways (and More) To Find and Access Research Papers

This blog is part of our Research Smarter series. You’ll discover the various search engines, databases and data repositories to help you along the way. Click on any of the following links for in an in-depth look at how to find relevant research papers, journals , and authors for your next project using the Web of Science™. You can  also check out our ultimate guides here , which include tips to speed up the writing process.

If you’re in the early stages of your research career, you’re likely struggling to learn all you can about your chosen field and evaluate your options. You also need an easy and convenient way to find the right research papers upon which to build your own work and keep you on the proper path toward your goals.

Fortunately, most institutions have access to thousands of journals, so your first step should be to be to check with library staff  and find out what is available via your institutional subscriptions.

For those who may be unfamiliar with other means of access, this blog post – the first in a series devoted to helping you “research smarter” – will provide a sampling of established data sources for scientific research. These include search engines, databases, and data repositories.

Search Engines and Databases

You may have already discovered that the process of searching for research papers offers many choices and scenarios. Some search engines, for example, can be accessed free of charge. Others require a subscription. The latter group generally includes services that index the contents of thousands of published journals, allowing for detailed searches on data fields such as author name, institution, title or keyword, and even funding sources. Because many journals operate on a subscription model too, the process of obtaining full-text versions of papers can be complicated.

On the other hand, a growing number of publishers follow the practice of Open Access (OA) , making their journal content freely available. Similarly, some authors publish their results in the form of preprints, posting them to preprint servers for immediate and free access. These repositories, like indexing services, differ in that some concentrate in a given discipline or broad subject area, while others cover the full range of research.

Search Engines

Following is a brief selection of reputable search engines by which to locate articles relevant to your research.

Google Scholar is a free search engine that provides access to research in multiple disciplines. The sources include academic publishers, universities, online repositories, books, and even judicial opinions from court cases. Based on its indexing, Google Scholar provides citation counts to allow authors and others to track the impact of their work.  

The Directory of Open Access Journals ( DOAJ ) allows users to search and retrieve the article contents of nearly 10,000 OA journals in science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities. All journals must adhere to quality-control standards, including peer review.

PubMed , maintained by the US National Library of Medicine, is a free search engine covering the biomedical and life sciences. Its coverage derives primarily from the MEDLINE database, covering materials as far back as 1951.

JSTOR affords access to more than 12 million journal articles in upwards of 75 disciplines, providing full-text searches of more than 2,000 journals, and access to more than 5,000 OA books.

Selected Databases

The following selection samples a range of resources, including databases which, as discussed above, index the contents of journals either in a given specialty area or the full spectrum of research. Others listed below offer consolidated coverage of multiple databases. Your institution is likely subscribed to a range of research databases, speak to your librarian to see which databases you have access to, and how to go about your search.

Web of Science includes The Web of Science Core Collection, which covers more than 20,000 carefully selected journals, along with books, conference proceedings, and other sources. The indexing also captures citation data, permitting users to follow the thread of an idea or development over time, as well as to track a wide range of research-performance metrics. The Web of Science also features EndNote™ Click , a free browser plugin that offers one-click access to the best available legal and legitimate full-text versions of papers. See here for our ultimate guide to finding relevant research papers on the Web of Science .

Science.gov covers the vast territory of United States federal science, including more than 60 databases and 2,200-plus websites. The many allied agencies whose research is reflected include NASA, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

CiteSeerx is devoted primarily to information and computer science. The database includes a feature called Autonomous Citation Indexing, designed to extract citations and create a citation index for literature searching and evaluation.

Preprint and Data Repositories

An early form of OA literature involved authors, as noted above,  making electronic, preprint versions of their papers freely available. This practice has expanded widely today. You can find archives devoted to a single main specialty area, as well as general repositories connected with universities and other institutions.

The specialty archive is perhaps best exemplified by arXiv (conveniently pronounced “archive,” and one of the earliest examples of a preprint repository). Begun in 1991 as a physics repository, ArXiv has expanded to embrace mathematics, astronomy, statistics, economics, and other disciplines. The success of ArXiv spurred the development of, for example, bioArXiv devoted to an array of topics within biology, and for chemistry, ChemRxiv .

Meanwhile, thousands of institutional repositories hold a variety of useful materials. In addition to research papers, these archives store raw datasets, graphics, notes, and other by-products of investigation. Currently, the Registry of Open Access Repositories lists more than 4,700 entries.

Reach Out Yourself?

If the resources above don’t happen to result in a free and full-text copy of the research you seek, you can also try reaching out to the authors yourself.

To find who authored a paper, you can search indexing platforms like the Web of Science , or research profiling systems like Publons™ , or ResearchGate , then look to reach out to the authors directly.

So, although the sheer volume of research can pose a challenge to identifying and securing needed papers, plenty of options are available.

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Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to efficiently search online databases for academic research

How to search online databases

How to access academic databases

How to search academic databases, 1. use the campus network to access research databases, 2. find databases that are specifically related to your topic, 3. set up the search parameters within a database to be as narrow as possible, 4. ask a librarian for help, 5. slowly expand your search to get additional results, 6. use the pro features of the database, 7. try a more general database, if needed, 8. keep track of seminal works, frequently asked questions about searching online databases, related articles.

University libraries provide access to plenty of online academic databases that can yield good results when you use the right strategies. They are among the best sources to turn to when you need to find articles from scholarly journals, books, and other periodicals.

Searching an online research database is much like searching the internet, but the hits returned will be scholarly articles and other academic sources, depending on the subject. In this guide, we highlight 8 tips for searching academic databases.

  • Use college and university library networks.
  • Search subject-specific databases.
  • Set up search parameters.
  • Ask a librarian for help.
  • Narrow or broaden your search, as needed.
  • Use the pro features, where applicable.
  • Try a more general database.
  • Keep track of seminal works.

Tip: The best practice is to use the links provided on your library's website to access academic databases.

Most academic databases cannot be accessed for free. As authoritative resources, these multi-disciplinary databases are comprehensive collections of the current literature on a broad range of topics. Because they have a huge range of publications, public access is sometimes restricted.

College and university libraries pay for subscriptions to popular academic databases. As a student, staff, or faculty member, you can access these resources from home thanks to proxy connections.

➡️ Check out our list of EZProxy connections to see if your institution provides such a service.

Tip: Searching the right databases is key to finding the right academic journals.

Around 2.5 million articles are published EACH year. As a result, it's important to search the right database for the reference you need. Comprehensive databases often contain subject-specific resources and filters and these will help you narrow down your search results. Otherwise, you will have to screen too many unrelated papers that won't give you the reference you want.

Ask a librarian or check your library's A-Z resource list to find out which databases you can access. If you do not know where to start, you can check out the three biggest academic database providers:

➡️ Take a look at our compilations of research databases for computer science or healthcare .

Unlike in a Google search, typing in full sentences will not bring you satisfactory results. Some strategies for narrowing search parameters include:

  • Narrowing your search terms in order to get the most pertinent information from the scholarly resources you are reviewing
  • Narrowing results by filters like specific date range or source type
  • Using more specific keywords

If your university library has a subject specialist in your field, you may want to contact them for guidance on keywords and other subject- and database-specific search strategies. Consider asking a librarian to meet you for a research consultation.

A specific search might not return as many results. This can be good because these results will most likely be current and applicable. If you do not get enough results, however, slowly expand the:

  • type of journal

From there, you'll be able to find a wider variety of related technical reports, books, academic journals, and other potential results that you can use for your research.

Academic search engines and databases are getting smart! In the age of big data and text mining, many databases crunch millions of scientific papers to extract connections between them. Watch out for things like:

  • related relevant articles
  • similar academic resources
  • list of "cited by" or "citations"
  • list of references

When you have thoroughly finished searching a comprehensive database, you can move on to another to find more results. Some databases that cover the same topics might give you the same search results, but they might also cover an entire range of different journals or online resources.

You might prefer the search system of one database over another based on the results you get from keyword searches. One database might have more advanced search options than the other. You can also try a more general database like:

  • Web Of Science

➡️ Visit our list of the best academic research databases .

There are experts in every field, people who have published a lot of scholarly content on your topic, people who get quoted or interviewed a lot and seem to be present almost everywhere. Pay attention to those names when searching a database and once you have found someone interesting, you can search for more from that person.

Also, take note of seminal articles, or those works that have been cited repeatedly within your field. Many major databases for academic journals have features that allow you to quickly determine which articles are cited most frequently.

➡️ Ready to start writing your paper? Visit our guide on how to start a research paper .

Your institution's library provides access to plenty of online research databases. They are among the best sources to turn to when you need to find articles from scholarly journals and periodicals.

Searching the right databases is key to finding the right articles. Ask a librarian or check your library's website to access details. If you do not know where to start, check out the three biggest academic database providers:

Or take a look at our compilation of research database for computer science or healthcare .

You can narrow your search by only including articles within a specific date range or unchecking certain types of journals or magazines that are included in the database but have nothing to do with your topic. Make sure to also use very specific keywords when searching.

Unlike in a Google search, typing in full sentences will not bring you satisfactory results. There are different methods to search different databases. Ask a librarian or do an internet search on how to best search your particular database.

Narrowing down a search might not return many results. If you do not get enough results, slowly expand the date range, type of journal, or keywords.

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Expert Commentary

How to find an academic research paper

Looking for research on a particular topic? We’ll walk you through the steps we use here at Journalist's Resource.

how do you find research paper online

Republish this article

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License .

by David Trilling, The Journalist's Resource October 18, 2017

This <a target="_blank" href="https://journalistsresource.org/home/find-academic-research-paper-for-journalists/">article</a> first appeared on <a target="_blank" href="https://journalistsresource.org">The Journalist's Resource</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.<img src="https://journalistsresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cropped-jr-favicon-150x150.png" style="width:1em;height:1em;margin-left:10px;">

Journalists frequently contact us looking for research on a specific topic. While we have published a number of resources on how to understand an academic study and how to pick a good one — and why using social science research enriches journalism and public debate — we have little on the mechanics of how to search. This tip sheet will briefly discuss the resources we use.

Google Scholar

Let’s say we’re looking for papers on the opioid crisis. We often start with Google Scholar, a free service from Google that searches scholarly articles, books and documents rather than the entire web: scholar.google.com .

But a search for the keyword “opioids” returns almost half a million results, some from the 1980s. Let’s narrow down our search. On the left, you see options “anytime” (the default), “since 2013,” “since 2016,” etc. Try “since 2017” and the results are now about 17,000. You can also insert a custom range to search for specific years. And you can include patents or citations, if you like (unchecking these will slightly decrease the number of results).

Still too many results. To narrow the search further, try any trick you’d use with Google. (Here are some tips from MIT on how to supercharge your Google searches.) Let’s look for papers on opioids published in 2015 that look at race and exclude fentanyl (Google: “opioids +race -fentanyl”). Now we’re down to 2,750 results. Better.

how do you find research paper online

Unless you tell Google to “sort by date,” the search engine will generally weight the papers that have been cited most often so you will see them first.

Try different keywords. If you’re looking for a paper that studies existing research, include the term “meta-analysis.” Try searching by the author’s name, if you know it, or title of the paper. Look at the endnotes in papers you like for other papers. And look at the papers that cited the paper you like; they’ll probably be useful for your project.

If you locate a study and it’s behind a paywall, try these steps:

  • Click on “all versions.” Some may be available for free. (Though check the date, as this may include earlier drafts of a paper.)
  • Reach out to the journal and the scholar. (The scholar’s email is often on the abstract page. Also, scholars generally have an easy-to-find webpage.) One is likely to give you a free copy of the paper, especially if you are a member of the press.
  • In regular Google, search for the study by title and you might find a free version.

More tips on using Google Scholar from MIT and Google .

Other databases

  • PubMed Central at the National Library of Medicine: If you are working on a topic that has a relationship to health, try this database run by the National Institutes of Health. This free site hosts articles or abstracts and links to free versions of a paper if they are available. Often Google Scholar will point you here.
  • If you have online access to a university library or a local library, try that.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals .
  • Digital Public Library of America .
  • Subscription services include org and Web of Science .

For more on efforts to make scholarly research open and accessible for all, check out SPARC , a coalition of university libraries.

Citations as a measure of impact

How do you know if a paper is impactful? Some scholars use the number of times the paper has been cited by other scholars. But that can be problematic: Some papers cite papers that are flawed simply to debunk them. Some topics will be cited more often than others. And new research, even if it’s high-quality, may not be cited yet.

The impact factor measures how frequently a journal, not a paper, is cited.

This guide from the University of Illinois, Chicago, has more on metrics.

Here’s a useful source of new papers curated by Boston Globe columnist Kevin Lewis for National Affairs.

Another way to monitor journals for new research is to set up an RSS reader like Feedly . Most journals have a media page where you can sign up for press releases or newsletters featuring the latest research.

Relevant tip sheets from Journalist’s Resource:

  • 10 things we wish we’d known earlier about research
  • How to tell good research from bad: 13 questions journalists should ask  (This post also discusses how to determine if a journal is good.)
  • Lessons on online search techniques, reading studies, understanding data and methods
  • Guide to critical thinking, research, data and theory: Overview for journalists

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21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2022

#scribendiinc

Written by  Scribendi

Has this ever happened to you? While looking for websites for research, you come across a research paper site that claims to connect academics to a peer-reviewed article database for free.

Intrigued, you search for keywords related to your topic, only to discover that you must pay a hefty subscription fee to access the service. After the umpteenth time being duped, you begin to wonder if there's even such a thing as free journal articles .

Subscription fees and paywalls are often the bane of students and academics, especially those at small institutions who don't provide access to many free article directories and repositories.

Whether you're working on an undergraduate paper, a PhD dissertation, or a medical research study, we want to help you find tools to locate and access the information you need to produce well-researched, compelling, and innovative work.

Below, we discuss why peer-reviewed articles are superior and list out the best free article databases to use in 2022.

Download Our Free Research Database Roundup PDF

Why peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are more authoritative.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Determining what sources are reliable can be challenging. Peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are the gold standard in academic research. Reputable academic journals have a rigorous peer-review process.

The peer review process provides accountability to the academic community, as well as to the content of the article. The peer review process involves qualified experts in a specific (often very specific) field performing a review of an article's methods and findings to determine things like quality and credibility.

Peer-reviewed articles can be found in peer-reviewed article databases and research databases, and if you know that a database of journals is reliable, that can offer reassurances about the reliability of a free article. Peer review is often double blind, meaning that the author removes all identifying information and, likewise, does not know the identity of the reviewers. This helps reviewers maintain objectivity and impartiality so as to judge an article based on its merit.

Where to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-reviewed articles can be found in a variety of research databases. Below is a list of some of the major databases you can use to find peer-reviewed articles and other sources in disciplines spanning the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

What Are Open Access Journals?

An open access (OA) journal is a journal whose content can be accessed without payment. This provides scholars, students, and researchers with free journal articles . OA journals use alternate methods of funding to cover publication costs so that articles can be published without having to pass those publication costs on to the reader.

Open Access Journals

Some of these funding models include standard funding methods like advertising, public funding, and author payment models, where the author pays a fee in order to publish in the journal. There are OA journals that have non-peer-reviewed academic content, as well as journals that focus on dissertations, theses, and papers from conferences, but the main focus of OA is peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.

The internet has certainly made it easier to access research articles and other scholarly publications without needing access to a university library, and OA takes another step in that direction by removing financial barriers to academic content.

Choosing Wisely

Features of legitimate oa journals.

 There are things to look out for when trying to decide if a free publication journal is legitimate:

Mission statement —The mission statement for an OA journal should be available on their website.

Publication history —Is the journal well established? How long has it been available?

Editorial board —Who are the members of the editorial board, and what are their credentials?

Indexing —Can the journal be found in a reliable database?

Peer review —What is the peer review process? Does the journal allow enough time in the process for a reliable assessment of quality?

Impact factor —What is the average number of times the journal is cited over a two-year period?

Features of Illegitimate OA Journals

There are predatory publications that take advantage of the OA format, and they are something to be wary of. Here are some things to look out for:

Contact information —Is contact information provided? Can it be verified?

Turnaround —If the journal makes dubious claims about the amount of time from submission to publication, it is likely unreliable.

Editorial board —Much like determining legitimacy, looking at the editorial board and their credentials can help determine illegitimacy.

Indexing —Can the journal be found in any scholarly databases?

Peer review —Is there a statement about the peer review process? Does it fit what you know about peer review?

How to Find Scholarly Articles

Identify keywords.

Keywords are included in an article by the author. Keywords are an excellent way to find content relevant to your research topic or area of interest. In academic searches, much like you would on a search engine, you can use keywords to navigate through what is available to find exactly what you're looking for.

Authors provide keywords that will help you easily find their article when researching a related topic, often including general terms to accommodate broader searches, as well as some more specific terms for those with a narrower scope. Keywords can be used individually or in combination to refine your scholarly article search.

Narrow Down Results

Sometimes, search results can be overwhelming, and searching for free articles on a journal database is no exception, but there are multiple ways to narrow down your results. A good place to start is discipline.

What category does your topic fall into (psychology, architecture, machine learning, etc.)? You can also narrow down your search with a year range if you're looking for articles that are more recent.

A Boolean search can be incredibly helpful. This entails including terms like AND between two keywords in your search if you need both keywords to be in your results (or, if you are looking to exclude certain keywords, to exclude these words from the results).

Consider Different Avenues

If you're not having luck using keywords in your search for free articles, you may still be able to find what you're looking for by changing your tactics. Casting a wider net sometimes yields positive results, so it may be helpful to try searching by subject if keywords aren't getting you anywhere.

You can search for a specific publisher to see if they have OA publications in the academic journal database. And, if you know more precisely what you're looking for, you can search for the title of the article or the author's name.

The Top 21 Free Online Journal and Research Databases

Navigating OA journals, research article databases, and academic websites trying to find high-quality sources for your research can really make your head spin. What constitutes a reliable database? What is a useful resource for your discipline and research topic? How can you find and access full-text, peer-reviewed articles?

Fortunately, we're here to help. Having covered some of the ins and outs of peer review, OA journals, and how to search for articles, we have compiled a list of the top 21 free online journals and the best research databases. This list of databases is a great resource to help you navigate the wide world of academic research.

These databases provide a variety of free sources, from abstracts and citations to full-text, peer-reviewed OA journals. With databases covering specific areas of research and interdisciplinary databases that provide a variety of material, these are some of our favorite free databases, and they're totally legit!

CORE is a multidisciplinary aggregator of OA research. CORE has the largest collection of OA articles available. It allows users to search more than 219 million OA articles. While most of these link to the full-text article on the original publisher's site, or to a PDF available for download, five million records are hosted directly on CORE.

CORE's mission statement is a simple and straightforward commitment to offering OA articles to anyone, anywhere in the world. They also host communities that are available for researchers to join and an ambassador community to enhance their services globally. In addition to a straightforward keyword search, CORE offers advanced search options to filter results by publication type, year, language, journal, repository, and author.

CORE's user interface is easy to use and navigate. Search results can be sorted based on relevance or recency, and you can search for relevant content directly from the results screen.

Collection: 219,537,133 OA articles

Other Services: Additional services are available from CORE, with extras that are geared toward researchers, repositories, and businesses. There are tools for accessing raw data, including an API that provides direct access to data, datasets that are available for download, and FastSync for syncing data content from the CORE database.

CORE has a recommender plug-in that suggests relevant OA content in the database while conducting a search and a discovery feature that helps you discover OA versions of paywalled articles. Other features include tools for managing content, such as a dashboard for managing repository output and the Repository Edition service to enhance discoverability.

Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles: Yes

Advanced Search Options: Language, author, journal, publisher, repository, DOI, year

2. ScienceOpen

Functioning as a research and publishing network, ScienceOpen offers OA to more than 74 million articles in all areas of science. Although you do need to register to view the full text of articles, registration is free. The advanced search function is highly detailed, allowing you to find exactly the research you're looking for.

The Berlin- and Boston-based company was founded in 2013 to "facilitate open and public communications between academics and to allow ideas to be judged on their merit, regardless of where they come from." Search results can be exported for easy integration with reference management systems.

You can also bookmark articles for later research. There are extensive networking options, including your Science Open profile, a forum for interacting with other researchers, the ability to track your usage and citations, and an interactive bibliography. Users have the ability to review articles and provide their knowledge and insight within the community.

Collection: 74,560,631

Other Services: None

Advanced Search Options:  Content type, source, author, journal, discipline

3. Directory of Open Access Journals

A multidisciplinary, community-curated directory, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) gives researchers access to high-quality peer-reviewed journals. It has archived more than two million articles from 17,193 journals, allowing you to either browse by subject or search by keyword.

The site was launched in 2003 with the aim of increasing the visibility of OA scholarly journals online. Content on the site covers subjects from science, to law, to fine arts, and everything in between. DOAJ has a commitment to "increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, OA scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language."

Information about the journal is available with each search result. Abstracts are also available in a collapsible format directly from the search screen. The scholarly article website is somewhat simple, but it is easy to navigate. There are 16 principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing that clearly outline DOAJ policies and standards.

Collection: 6,817,242

Advanced Search Options:  Subject, journal, year

4. Education Resources Information Center

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) of the Institution of Education Sciences allows you to search by topic for material related to the field of education. Links lead to other sites, where you may have to purchase the information, but you can search for full-text articles only. You can also search only peer-reviewed sources.

The service primarily indexes journals, gray literature (such as technical reports, white papers, and government documents), and books. All sources of material on ERIC go through a formal review process prior to being indexed. ERIC's selection policy is available as a PDF on their website.

The ERIC website has an extensive FAQ section to address user questions. This includes categories like general questions, peer review, and ERIC content. There are also tips for advanced searches, as well as general guidance on the best way to search the database. ERIC is an excellent database for content specific to education.

Collection: 1,292,897

Advanced Search Options: Boolean

5. arXiv e-Print Archive

The arXiv e-Print Archive is run by Cornell University Library and curated by volunteer moderators, and it now offers OA to more than one million e-prints.

There are advisory committees for all eight subjects available on the database. With a stated commitment to an "emphasis on openness, collaboration, and scholarship," the arXiv e-Print Archive is an excellent STEM resource.

The interface is not as user-friendly as some of the other databases available, and the website hosts a blog to provide news and updates, but it is otherwise a straightforward math and science resource. There are simple and advanced search options, and, in addition to conducting searches for specific topics and articles, users can browse content by subject. The arXiv e-Print Archive clearly states that they do not peer review the e-prints in the database.

Collection: 1,983,891

Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles: No

Advanced Search Options:  Subject, date, title, author, abstract, DOI

6. Social Science Research Network

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a collection of papers from the social sciences community. It is a highly interdisciplinary platform used to search for scholarly articles related to 67 social science topics. SSRN has a variety of research networks for the various topics available through the free scholarly database.

The site offers more than 700,000 abstracts and more than 600,000 full-text papers. There is not yet a specific option to search for only full-text articles, but, because most of the papers on the site are free access, it's not often that you encounter a paywall. There is currently no option to search for only peer-reviewed articles.

You must become a member to use the services, but registration is free and enables you to interact with other scholars around the world. SSRN is "passionately committed to increasing inclusion, diversity and equity in scholarly research," and they encourage and discuss the use of inclusive language in scholarship whenever possible.

Collection: 1,058,739 abstracts; 915,452 articles

Advanced Search Options: Term, author, date, network

7. Public Library of Science

Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a big player in the world of OA science. Publishing 12 OA journals, the nonprofit organization is committed to facilitating openness in academic research. According to the site, "all PLOS content is at the highest possible level of OA, meaning that scientific articles are immediately and freely available to anyone, anywhere."

PLOS outlines four fundamental goals that guide the organization: break boundaries, empower researchers, redefine quality, and open science. All PLOS journals are peer-reviewed, and all 12 journals uphold rigorous ethical standards for research, publication, and scientific reporting.

PLOS does not offer advanced search options. Content is organized by topic into research communities that users can browse through, in addition to options to search for both articles and journals. The PLOS website also has resources for peer reviewers, including guidance on becoming a reviewer and on how to best participate in the peer review process.

Collection: 12 journals

Advanced Search Options: None

8. OpenDOAR

OpenDOAR, or the Directory of Open Access Repositories, is a comprehensive resource for finding free OA journals and articles. Using Google Custom Search, OpenDOAR combs through OA repositories around the world and returns relevant research in all disciplines.

The repositories it searches through are assessed and categorized by OpenDOAR staff to ensure they meet quality standards. Inclusion criteria for the database include requirements for OA content, global access, and categorically appropriate content, in addition to various other quality assurance measures. OpenDOAR has metadata, data, content, preservation, and submission policies for repositories, in addition to two OA policy statements regarding minimum and optimum recommendations.

This database allows users to browse and search repositories, which can then be selected, and articles and data can be accessed from the repository directly. As a repository database, much of the content on the site is geared toward the support of repositories and OA standards.

Collection: 5,768 repositories

Other Services: OpenDOAR offers a variety of additional services. Given the nature of the platform, services are primarily aimed at repositories and institutions, and there is a marked focus on OA in general. Sherpa services are OA archiving tools for authors and institutions.

They also offer various resources for OA support and compliance regarding standards and policies. The publication router matches publications and publishers with appropriate repositories.

There are also services and resources from JISC for repositories for cost management, discoverability, research impact, and interoperability, including ORCID consortium membership information. Additionally, a repository self-assessment tool is available for members.

Advanced Search Options:  Name, organization name, repository type, software name, content type, subject, country, region

9. Bielefeld Academic Search Engine

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is operated by the Bielefeld University Library in Germany, and it offers more than 240 million documents from more than 8,000 sources. Sixty percent of its content is OA, and you can filter your search accordingly.

BASE has rigorous inclusion requirements for content providers regarding quality and relevance, and they maintain a list of content providers for the sake of transparency, which can be easily found on their website. BASE has a fairly elegant interface. Search results can be organized by author, title, or date.

From the search results, items can be selected and exported, added to favorites, emailed, and searched in Google Scholar. There are basic and advanced search features, with the advanced search offering numerous options for refining search criteria. There is also a feature on the website that saves recent searches without additional steps from the user.

Collection: 276,019,066 documents; 9,286 content providers

Advanced Search Options:  Author, subject, year, content provider, language, document type, access, terms of reuse

Research Databases

10. Digital Library of the Commons Repository

Run by Indiana University, the Digital Library of the Commons (DLC) Repository is a multidisciplinary journal repository that allows users to access thousands of free and OA articles from around the world. You can browse by document type, date, author, title, and more or search for keywords relevant to your topic.

DCL also offers the Comprehensive Bibliography of the Commons, an image database, and a keyword thesaurus for enhanced search parameters. The repository includes books, book chapters, conference papers, journal articles, surveys, theses and dissertations, and working papers. DCL advanced search features drop-down menus of search types with built-in Boolean search options.

Searches can be sorted by relevance, title, date, or submission date in ascending or descending order. Abstracts are included in selected search results, with access to full texts available, and citations can be exported from the same page. Additionally, the image database search includes tips for better search results.

Collection: 10,784

Advanced Search Options:  Author, date, title, subject, sector, region, conference

11. CIA World Factbook

The CIA World Factbook is a little different from the other resources on this list in that it is not an online journal directory or repository. It is, however, a useful free online research database for academics in a variety of disciplines.

All the information is free to access, and it provides facts about every country in the world, which are organized by category and include information about history, geography, transportation, and much more. The World Factbook can be searched by country or region, and there is also information about the world’s oceans.

This site contains resources related to the CIA as an organization rather than being a scientific journal database specifically. The site has a user interface that is easy to navigate. The site also provides a section for updates regarding changes to what information is available and how it is organized, making it easier to interact with the information you are searching for.

Collection: 266 countries

12. Paperity

Paperity boasts its status as the "first multidisciplinary aggregator of OA journals and papers." Their focus is on helping you avoid paywalls while connecting you to authoritative research. In addition to providing readers with easy access to thousands of journals, Paperity seeks to help authors reach their audiences and help journals increase their exposure to boost readership.

Paperity has journal articles for every discipline, and the database offers more than a dozen advanced search options, including the length of the paper and the number of authors. There is even an option to include, exclude, or exclusively search gray papers.

Paperity is available for mobile, with both a mobile site and the Paperity Reader, an app that is available for both Android and Apple users. The database is also available on social media. You can interact with Paperity via Twitter and Facebook, and links to their social media are available on their homepage, including their Twitter feed.

Collection: 8,837,396

Advanced Search Options: Title, abstract, journal title, journal ISSN, publisher, year of publication, number of characters, number of authors, DOI, author, affiliation, language, country, region, continent, gray papers

13. dblp Computer Science Bibliography

The dblp Computer Science Bibliography is an online index of major computer science publications. dblp was founded in 1993, though until 2010 it was a university-specific database at the University of Trier in Germany. It is currently maintained by the Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics.

Although it provides access to both OA articles and those behind a paywall, you can limit your search to only OA articles. The site indexes more than three million publications, making it an invaluable resource in the world of computer science. dblp entries are color-coded based on the type of item.

dblp has an extensive FAQ section, so questions that might arise about topics like the database itself, navigating the website, or the data on dblp, in addition to several other topics, are likely to be answered. The website also hosts a blog and has a section devoted to website statistics.

Collection: 5,884,702

14. EconBiz

EconBiz is a great resource for economic and business studies. A service of the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, it offers access to full texts online, with the option of searching for OA material only. Their literature search is performed across multiple international databases.

EconBiz has an incredibly useful research skills section, with resources such as Guided Walk, a service to help students and researchers navigate searches, evaluate sources, and correctly cite references; the Research Guide EconDesk, a help desk to answer specific questions and provide advice to aid in literature searches; and the Academic Career Kit for what they refer to as Early Career Researchers.

Other helpful resources include personal literature lists, a calendar of events for relevant calls for papers, conferences, and workshops, and an economics terminology thesaurus to help in finding keywords for searches. To stay up-to-date with EconBiz, you can sign up for their newsletter.

Collection: 1,075,219

Advanced Search Options:  Title, subject, author, institution, ISBN/ISSN, journal, publisher, language, OA only

15. BioMed Central

BioMed Central provides OA research from more than 300 peer-reviewed journals. While originally focused on resources related to the physical sciences, math, and engineering, BioMed Central has branched out to include journals that cover a broader range of disciplines, with the aim of providing a single platform that provides OA articles for a variety of research needs. You can browse these journals by subject or title, or you can search all articles for your required keyword.

BioMed Central has a commitment to peer-reviewed sources and to the peer review process itself, continually seeking to help and improve the peer review process. They're "committed to maintaining high standards through full and stringent peer review." They publish the journal Research Integrity and Peer Review , which publishes research on the subject.

Additionally, the website includes resources to assist and support editors as part of their commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed OA articles.

Collection: 507,212

Other Services: BMC administers the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) registry. While initially designed for registering clinical trials, since its creation in 2000, the registry has broadened its scope to include other health studies as well.

The registry is recognized by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), and it meets the requirements established by the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

The study records included in the registry are all searchable and free to access. The ISRCTN registry "supports transparency in clinical research, helps reduce selective reporting of results and ensures an unbiased and complete evidence base."

Advanced Search Options:  Author, title, journal, list

A multidisciplinary search engine, JURN provides links to various scholarly websites, articles, and journals that are free to access or OA. Covering the fields of the arts, humanities, business, law, nature, science, and medicine, JURN has indexed almost 5,000 repositories to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

Search features are enhanced by Google, but searches are filtered through their index of repositories. JURN seeks to reach a wide audience, with their search engine tailored to researchers from "university lecturers and students seeking a strong search tool for OA content" and "advanced and ambitious students, age 14-18" to "amateur historians and biographers" and "unemployed and retired lecturers."

That being said, JURN is very upfront about its limitations. They admit to not being a good resource for educational studies, social studies, or psychology, and conference archives are generally not included due to frequently unstable URLs.

Collection: 5,064 indexed journals

Other Services: JURN has a browser add-on called UserScript. This add-on allows users to integrate the JURN database directly into Google Search. When performing a search through Google, the add-on creates a link that sends the search directly to JURN CSE. JURN CSE is a search service that is hosted by Google.

Clicking the link from the Google Search bar will run your search through the JURN database from the Google homepage. There is also an interface for a DuckDuckGo search box; while this search engine has an emphasis on user privacy, for smaller sites that may be indexed by JURN, DuckDuckGo may not provide the same depth of results.

Advanced Search Options:  Google search modifiers

Dryad is a digital repository of curated, OA scientific research data. Launched in 2009, it is run by a not-for-profit membership organization, with a community of institutional and publisher members for whom their services have been designed. Members include institutions such as Stanford, UCLA, and Yale, as well as publishers like Oxford University Press and Wiley.

Dryad aims to "promote a world where research data is openly available, integrated with the scholarly literature, and routinely reused to create knowledge." It is free to access for the search and discovery of data. Their user experience is geared toward easy self-depositing, supports Creative Commons licensing, and provides DOIs for all their content.

Note that there is a publishing charge associated if you wish to publish your data in Dryad. When searching datasets, they are accompanied by author information and abstracts for the associated studies, and citation information is provided for easy attribution.

Collection: 44,458

Advanced Search Options: No

Run by the British Library, the E-Theses Online Service (EThOS) allows you to search over 500,000 doctoral theses in a variety of disciplines. All of the doctoral theses available on EThOS have been awarded by higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.

Although some full texts are behind paywalls, you can limit your search to items available for immediate download, either directly through EThOS or through an institution's website. More than half of the records in the database provide access to full-text theses.

EThOS notes that they do not hold all records for all institutions, but they strive to index as many doctoral theses as possible, and the database is constantly expanding, with approximately 3,000 new records added and 2,000 new full-text theses available every month. The availability of full-text theses is dependent on multiple factors, including their availability in the institutional repository and the level of repository development.

Collection: 500,000+

Advanced Search Options:  Abstract, author's first name, author's last name, awarding body, current institution, EThOS ID, year, language, qualifications, research supervisor, sponsor/funder, keyword, title

PubMed is a research platform well-known in the fields of science and medicine. It was created and developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). It has been available since 1996 and offers access to "more than 33 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books."

While PubMed does not provide full-text articles directly, and many full-text articles may be behind paywalls or require subscriptions to access them, when articles are available from free sources, such as through PubMed Central (PMC), those links are provided with the citations and abstracts that PubMed does provide.

PMC, which was established in 2000 by the NLM, is a free full-text archive that includes more than 6,000,000 records. PubMed records link directly to corresponding PMC results. PMC content is provided by publishers and other content owners, digitization projects, and authors directly.

Collection: 33,000,000+

Advanced Search Options: Author's first name, author's last name, identifier, corporation, date completed, date created, date entered, date modified, date published, MeSH, book, conflict of interest statement, EC/RN number, editor, filter, grant number, page number, pharmacological action, volume, publication type, publisher, secondary source ID, text, title, abstract, transliterated title

20. Semantic Scholar

A unique and easy-to-use resource, Semantic Scholar defines itself not just as a research database but also as a "search and discovery tool." Semantic Scholar harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to efficiently sort through millions of science-related papers based on your search terms.

Through this singular application of machine learning, Semantic Scholar expands search results to include topic overviews based on your search terms, with the option to create an alert for or further explore the topic. It also provides links to related topics.

In addition, search results produce "TLDR" summaries in order to provide concise overviews of articles and enhance your research by helping you to navigate quickly and easily through the available literature to find the most relevant information. According to the site, although some articles are behind paywalls, "the data [they] have for those articles is limited," so you can expect to receive mostly full-text results.

Collection: 203,379,033

Other Services: Semantic Scholar supports multiple popular browsers. Content can be accessed through both mobile and desktop versions of Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera.

Additionally, Semantic Scholar provides browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, so AI-powered scholarly search results are never more than a click away. The mobile interface includes an option for Semantic Swipe, a new way of interacting with your research results.

There are also beta features that can be accessed as part of the Beta Program, which will provide you with features that are being actively developed and require user feedback for further improvement.

Advanced Search Options: Field of study, date range, publication type, author, journal, conference, PDF

Zenodo, powered by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was launched in 2013. Taking its name from Zenodotus, the first librarian of the ancient library of Alexandria, Zenodo is a tool "built and developed by researchers, to ensure that everyone can join in open science." Zenodo accepts all research from every discipline in any file format.

However, Zenodo also curates uploads and promotes peer-reviewed material that is available through OA. A DOI is assigned to everything that is uploaded to Zenodo, making research easily findable and citable. You can sort by keyword, title, journal, and more and download OA documents directly from the site.

While there are closed access and restricted access items in the database, the vast majority of research is OA material. Search results can be filtered by access type, making it easy to view the free articles available in the database.

Collection: 2,220,000+

Advanced Search Options:  Access, file type, keywords

Check out our roundup of free research databases as a handy one-page PDF.

How to find peer-reviewed articles.

There are a lot of free scholarly articles available from various sources. The internet is a big place. So how do you go about finding peer-reviewed articles when conducting your research? It's important to make sure you are using reputable sources.

The first source of the article is the person or people who wrote it. Checking out the author can give you some initial insight into how much you can trust what you’re reading. Looking into the publication information of your sources can also indicate whether the article is reliable.

Aspects of the article, such as subject and audience, tone, and format, are other things you can look at when evaluating whether the article you're using is valid, reputable, peer-reviewed material. So, let's break that down into various components so you can assess your research to ensure that you're using quality articles and conducting solid research.

Check the Author

Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts or scholars with experience in the field or discipline they're writing about. The research in a peer-reviewed article has to pass a rigorous evaluation process, so it’s a foregone conclusion that the author(s) of a peer-reviewed article should have experience or training related to that research.

When evaluating an article, take a look at the author’s information. What credentials does the author have to indicate that their research has scholarly weight behind it? Finding out what type of degree the author has—and what that degree is in—can provide insight into what kind of authority the author is on the subject.

Something else that might lend credence to the author’s scholarly role is their professional affiliation. A look at what organization or institution they are affiliated with can tell you a lot about their experience or expertise. Where were they trained, and who is verifying their research?

Identify Subject and Audience

The ultimate goal of a study is to answer a question. Scholarly articles are also written for scholarly audiences, especially articles that have gone through the peer review process. This means that the author is trying to reach experts, researchers, academics, and students in the field or topic the research is based on.

Think about the question the author is trying to answer by conducting this research, why, and for whom. What is the subject of the article? What question has it set out to answer? What is the purpose of finding the information? Is the purpose of the article of importance to other scholars? Is it original content?

Research should also be approached analytically. Is the methodology sound? Is the author using an analytical approach to evaluate the data that they have obtained? Are the conclusions they've reached substantiated by their data and analysis? Answering these questions can reveal a lot about the article’s validity.

Format Matters

Reliable articles from peer-reviewed sources have certain format elements to be aware of. The first is an abstract. An abstract is a short summary or overview of the article. Does the article have an abstract? It's unlikely that you're reading a peer-reviewed article if it doesn’t. Peer-reviewed journals will also have a word count range. If an article seems far too short or incredibly long, that may be reason to doubt it.

Another feature of reliable articles is the sections the information is divided into. Peer-reviewed research articles will have clear, concise sections that appropriately organize the information. This might include a literature review, methodology, and results in the case of research articles and a conclusion.

One of the most important sections is the references or bibliography. This is where the researcher lists all the sources of their information. A peer-reviewed source will have a comprehensive reference section.

An article that has been written to reach an academic community will have an academic tone. The language that is used, and the way this language is used, is important to consider. If the article is riddled with grammatical errors, confusing syntax, and casual language, it almost definitely didn't make it through the peer review process.

Also consider the use of terminology. Every discipline is going to have standard terminology or jargon that can be used and understood by other academics in the discipline. The language in a peer-reviewed article is going to reflect that.

If the author is going out of their way to explain simple terms, or terms that are standard to the field or discipline, it's unlikely that the article has been peer reviewed, as this is something that the author would be asked to address during the review process.

Publication

The source of the article will be a very good indicator of the likelihood that it was peer reviewed. Where was the article published? Was it published alongside other academic articles in the same discipline? Is it a legitimate and reputable scholarly publication?

A trade publication or newspaper might be legitimate or reputable, but it is not a scholarly source, and it will not have been subject to the peer review process. Scholarly journals are the best resource for peer-reviewed articles, but it's important to remember that not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed.

It’s helpful to look at a scholarly source’s website, as peer-reviewed journals will have a clear indication of the peer review process. University libraries, institutional repositories, and reliable databases (and you now might have a list of some legit ones) can also help provide insight into whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal.

Free Online Journal

Common Research Mistakes to Avoid

Research is a lot of work. Even with high standards and good intentions, it’s easy to make mistakes. Perhaps you searched for access to scientific journals for free and found the perfect peer-reviewed sources, but you forgot to document everything, and your references are a mess. Or, you only searched for free online articles and missed out on a ground-breaking study that was behind a paywall.

Whether your research is for a degree or to get published or to satisfy your own inquisitive nature, or all of the above, you want all that work to produce quality results. You want your research to be thorough and accurate.

To have any hope of contributing to the literature on your research topic, your results need to be high quality. You might not be able to avoid every potential mistake, but here are some that are both common and easy to avoid.

Sticking to One Source

One of the hallmarks of good research is a healthy reference section. Using a variety of sources gives you a better answer to your question. Even if all of the literature is in agreement, looking at various aspects of the topic may provide you with an entirely different picture than you would have if you looked at your research question from only one angle.

Not Documenting Every Fact

As you conduct your research, do yourself a favor and write everything down. Everything you include in your paper or article that you got from another source is going to need to be added to your references and cited.

It's important, especially if your aim is to conduct ethical, high-quality research, that all of your research has proper attribution. If you don't document as you go, you could end up making a lot of work for yourself if the information you don’t write down is something that later, as you write your paper, you really need.

Using Outdated Materials

Academia is an ever-changing landscape. What was true in your academic discipline or area of research ten years ago may have since been disproven. If fifteen studies have come out since the article that you're using was published, it's more than a little likely that you're going to be basing your research on flawed or dated information.

If the information you're basing your research on isn’t as up-to-date as possible, your research won't be of quality or able to stand up to any amount of scrutiny. You don’t want all of your hard work to be for naught.

Relying Solely on Open Access Journals

OA is a great resource for conducting academic research. There are high-quality journal articles available through OA, and that can be very helpful for your research. But, just because you have access to free articles, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be found behind a paywall.

Just as dismissing high-quality peer-reviewed articles because they are OA would be limiting, not exploring any paid content at all is equally short-sighted. If you're seeking to conduct thorough and comprehensive research, exploring all of your options for quality sources is going to be to your benefit.

Digging Too Deep or Not Deep Enough

Research is an art form, and it involves a delicate balance of information. If you conduct your research using only broad search terms, you won't be able to answer your research question well, or you'll find that your research provides information that is closely related to your topic but, ultimately, your findings are vague and unsubstantiated.

On the other hand, if you delve deeply into your research topic with specific searches and turn up too many sources, you might have a lot of information that is adjacent to your topic but without focus and perhaps not entirely relevant. It's important to answer your research question concisely but thoroughly.

Different Types of Scholarly Articles

Different types of scholarly articles have different purposes. An original research article, also called an empirical article, is the product of a study or an experiment. This type of article seeks to answer a question or fill a gap in the existing literature.

Research articles will have a methodology, results, and a discussion of the findings of the experiment or research and typically a conclusion.

Review articles overview the current literature and research and provide a summary of what the existing research indicates or has concluded. This type of study will have a section for the literature review, as well as a discussion of the findings of that review. Review articles will have a particularly extensive reference or bibliography section.

Theoretical articles draw on existing literature to create new theories or conclusions, or look at current theories from a different perspective, to contribute to the foundational knowledge of the field of study.

10 Tips for Navigating Journal Databases

Use the right academic journal database for your search, be that interdisciplinary or specific to your field. Or both!

If it’s an option, set the search results to return only peer-reviewed sources.

Start by using search terms that are relevant to your topic without being overly specific.

Try synonyms, especially if your keywords aren’t returning the desired results.

Scholarly Journal Articles

Even if you’ve found some good articles, try searching using different terms.

Explore the advanced search features of the database(s).

Learn to use Booleans (AND, OR, NOT) to expand or narrow your results.

Once you’ve gotten some good results from a more general search, try narrowing your search.

Read through abstracts when trying to find articles relevant to your research.

Keep track of your research and use citation tools. It’ll make life easier when it comes time to compile your references.

7 Frequently Asked Questions

1. how do i get articles for free.

Free articles can be found through free online academic journals, OA databases, or other databases that include OA journals and articles. These resources allow you to access free papers online so you can conduct your research without getting stuck behind a paywall.

Academics don’t receive payment for the articles they contribute to journals. There are often, in fact, publication fees that scholars pay in order to publish. This is one of the funding structures that allows OA journals to provide free content so that you don’t have to pay fees or subscription costs to access journal articles.

2. How Do I Find Journal Articles?

Journal articles can be found in databases and institutional repositories that can be accessed at university libraries. However, online research databases that contain OA articles are the best resource for getting free access to journal articles that are available online.

Peer-reviewed journal articles are the best to use for academic research, and there are a number of databases where you can find peer-reviewed OA journal articles. Once you've found a useful article, you can look through the references for the articles the author used to conduct their research, and you can then search online databases for those articles, too.

3. How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles?

Peer-reviewed articles can be found in reputable scholarly peer-reviewed journals. High-quality journals and journal articles can be found online using academic search engines and free research databases. These resources are excellent for finding OA articles, including peer-reviewed articles.

OA articles are articles that can be accessed for free. While some scholarly search engines and databases include articles that aren't peer reviewed, there are also some that provide only peer-reviewed articles, and databases that include non-peer-reviewed articles often have advanced search features that enable you to select “peer review only.” The database will return results that are exclusively peer-reviewed content.

4. What Are Research Databases?

A research database is a list of journals, articles, datasets, and/or abstracts that allows you to easily search for scholarly and academic resources and conduct research online. There are databases that are interdisciplinary and cover a variety of topics.

For example, Paperity might be a great resource for a chemist as well as a linguist, and there are databases that are more specific to a certain field. So, while ERIC might be one of the best educational databases available for OA content, it's not going to be one of the best databases for finding research in the field of microbiology.

5. How Do I Find Scholarly Articles for Specific Fields?

There are interdisciplinary research databases that provide articles in a variety of fields, as well as research databases that provide articles that cater to specific disciplines. Additionally, a journal repository or index can be a helpful resource for finding articles in a specific field.

When searching an interdisciplinary database, there are frequently advanced search features that allow you to narrow the search results down so that they are specific to your field. Selecting “psychology” in the advanced search features will return psychology journal articles in your search results. You can also try databases that are specific to your field.

If you're searching for law journal articles, many law reviews are OA. If you don’t know of any databases specific to history, visiting a journal repository or index and searching “history academic journals” can return a list of journals specific to history and provide you with a place to begin your research.

6. Are Peer-Reviewed Articles Really More Legitimate?

The short answer is yes, peer-reviewed articles are more legitimate resources for academic research. The peer review process provides legitimacy, as it is a rigorous review of the content of an article that is performed by scholars and academics who are experts in their field of study. The review provides an evaluation of the quality and credibility of the article.

Non-peer-reviewed articles are not subject to a review process and do not undergo the same level of scrutiny. This means that non-peer-reviewed articles are unlikely, or at least not as likely, to meet the same standards that peer-reviewed articles do.

7. Are Free Article Directories Legitimate?

Yes! As with anything, some databases are going to be better for certain requirements than others. But, a scholarly article database being free is not a reason in itself to question its legitimacy.

Free scholarly article databases can provide access to abstracts, scholarly article websites, journal repositories, and high-quality peer-reviewed journal articles. The internet has a lot of information, and it's often challenging to figure out what information is reliable. 

Research databases and article directories are great resources to help you conduct your research. Our list of the best research paper websites is sure to provide you with sources that are totally legit.

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how do you find research paper online

How to Do Online Research

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How to do online research? The abundance of online sources for research papers can be overwhelming. Today the problem is not how to find material when doing a research paper but how to work your way through the thousands (or even millions) of pages that turn up in your search. Enter a search word or phrase about a any topic into Google, Bing, or whatever your favorite search engine might be, and in seconds you will be presented with pages upon pages of two-line summaries of articles that contain it. Google and other search engines “weight” the results by putting the most likely matches at the top, but the chore of finding the perfect source to meet your research needs is still left to you.

Searching the Web

The Internet presents a vast number of widely distributed resources covering thousands of topics and providing many options for research in many fields. Often there is so much information that you may not know where to begin. Or maybe you haven’t been able to locate what you’re seeking.

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When you do your search, don’t expect something that you found today to be there tomorrow—or even an hour later. If you find material and need it, keep a copy of it. It’s not enough to write down the address and plan on locating the site later.

Unfortunately, the  internet is not like a library where information has been arranged within an accepted set of rules. It’s more like a garage sale, where items of similar nature are usually grouped together—but not always. As a result, you’ll find treasures side-by-side with spam. And like a garage sale, the method of organization on the web shifts constantly. So how can you search online for information to use in your research paper? There are several different ways, each of them surprisingly easy. Here’s how they work.

Using Search Engines

A search engine is a computer program that finds information stored on a computer system such as the internet. Some search engines have also been designed for corporate and proprietary networks. The search engine allows the user to ask for content meeting specific search criteria and retrieves a list of references that match those criteria.

Search engines that work with keywords help you locate Web sites. You type in a keyword and the search engine automatically looks through its giant databases for matches. The more specific the word or phrase, the better your chances of finding the precise information you need. For example, if you’re interested in a college, don’t use “college” as a keyword. You’ll get millions and millions of responses. Instead, name a specific college, such as “Texas State University.” This will send to you the precise web page you need.

Google is, no doubt, the most used and, certainly, the best-known search engine in the world. The question for researchers who use it and other search engines that scan the entire internet is: How reliable is the information? One thing you need to know when you do Internet research is that anyone can publish anything on the Web. For that reason, it can be very difficult to determine if the articles you find are based on complete, factual, and reliable information. It is not always easy to determine whether the article you are reading makes conclusions based on facts or on other factors, such as advertising or promotion, that account for it being on the Web. E-commerce sites, for instance, are in the business of selling products. Political sites are in the business of selling ideas. The information on them may be what you are looking for but it may also be slanted to promote a particular product, agenda, or point of view. Search engines, such as Google, will find what you are looking for but they cannot evaluate the material to ensure it is acceptable for a research paper.

Google offers a number of specialized look-up features that help you control the search.  Google Scholar , for instance, offers you a quick way to search across many different academic sources, including scholarly articles from academic journals and publishers, professional societies, and university Web sites.  Google News  provides access to 25,000 news sources.  Google Books  offers full-text searches of books, as well as related book reviews and other Web references to the books.

Most web search engines are commercial ventures supported by advertising revenue; as a result, some allow advertisers to pay to have their listings ranked higher in search results. This makes your research more difficult and time-consuming because you have to sift through irrelevant information. Those search engines that don’t charge for their results make money by running ads on their pages.

Utilizing Keyword Searches

Strategies for conducting a successful online research differ according to whether you are accessing publications through the databases of an academic library or using a popular search engine, such as Google. College students are encouraged to conduct their searches through their university’s academic library. University search engines access catalogs of print sources, as well as print publications that are available in electronic format, including CDs, DVDs, and other multimedia resources that are available through the library network. They also provide access to electronic databases of publications that are available only to member libraries and research institutions.

Institutional search engines, such as those offered through your university, high school, or library system typically offer options for online research. These typically include quick look-ups under subject indexes, names of journals and databases, by authors and titles, and by keywords. This multiplicity of search mechanisms and the various resource catalogs and databases needed to access them can be confusing to newbies. A few moments spent with a campus librarian who can orient you to the various search mechanisms can save you hours later.

Simple online browsing can be useful when you do not have access to an academic library. Keywords describe your research paper topic and can be combined in different ways to target and narrow your search. The search engine will look for those words throughout the text of many different articles and deliver a listing of the results in short summaries that can stretch on for pages. The search engine will find all references in the article and the words you are looking for may or may not be together. Using search operators, such as quotation marks around the exact phrase you want to find, and the words and, or, and not, can help you narrow the search and zero in on the pages that will be of greatest interest to you.

Phrases for Keyword Searches

  • Acronyms : You can use acronyms to find organizations,technologies, and scientific references. For example: CDC (Centers for Disease Control), CDR (compact digital recorder), USC (University of Southern California).
  • Alternate spellings : You can use alternate and “sound-alike” spellings when you are unsure of names or the exact spelling of other terms. For examples: Gabriel LaBoiteaux, LaBoytoe, Labertew.
  • Quotation marks  ( ” “ ): You can use quotation marks to restrict your search to exact names and unique phrases inside the quotes. For example: “Patrick Henry,” “American Revolution,” “Give me liberty or give me death.”
  • And : You can use  and  to find articles that include both of the terms that it links. For example: “Patrick Henry” and “Give me liberty or give me death.” This search will find only articles in which Patrick Henry’s name and the full phrase,” Give me liberty or give me death,” appear.
  • Or : You can use  or  to find articles that include one term or the other. For example: “Patrick Henry” or “Give me liberty or give me death.” This search will find articles that mention Patrick Henry, articles that include the phrase,”Give me liberty or give me death,” and articles that include both.
  • Not  …  and not : Use  not  or  and not  to deliberately exclude terms from your search. For example: “Patrick Henry” not “Give me liberty or give me death”. This search will find articles that mention Patrick Henry but will exclude articles where his name appears with the phrase,”Give me liberty or give me death.”

Using Databases

A database is a collection of related material stored in a computer in a systematic way so that a computer program can consult it to answer questions. Libraries pay fees to subscribe to specialized databases. You can access these databases in person in the library; increasingly, you can also access these databases for free off-site through the library’s portal. The information in these databases has been vetted, so they provide higher-quality information. A library’s databases saves you time, too, because you are not sifting through commercial sites, as you do with a search engine. Databases such as  Academic Search Premier ,  The Encyclopedia Britannica ,  EBSCOhost ,  ProQuest , and  Lexis/Nexis  offer access to a wide range of scholarly articles and journals that would otherwise require an ID and password for access.

Started in 2001,  Wikipedia  is a free online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is unique because it’s written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by almost anyone with access to the Web site. A 2005 comparison by the science journal Nature of sections of Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Brittanica found that the two were close in terms of the accuracy of their articles on the natural sciences. Nonetheless, there are serious issues over Wikipedia’s reliability and accuracy, with the site receiving criticism for the following problems:

  • susceptibility to vandalism
  • spoof (fake) articles
  • questionable information
  • uneven quality and inconsistency
  • preference for popularity over credentials
  • poor writing
  • lack of proper sources to legitimize articles

Wikipedia can be a valuable reference tool, but use it with care. Remember that the articles can be written by anyone: 80-year-old Ph.D.’s to 8-year-old cybergeeks.

Identifying Reputable Online Sources

No matter how you access articles on the Internet, you should critically evaluate every publication you identify as a possible source in your research to determine its acceptability. Web sites for companies and special interest groups may provide a vast amount of information on your topic but, if the purpose of the Web site is to sell products related to the topic or advocate a particular position or point of view, it may not be useful for your purposes.

A discussion about the prognosis for those suffering from pancreatic cancer that appears on the Web site of the  American Cancer Society , for instance, would be considered reliable for someone writing a research paper for a nursing class. However, if the discussion appeared on a commercial Web site of a company selling a purported miracle cure, it would not. It is important to identify who is publishing the article and why.

When you find an article, however, it is often difficult to determine just how well-informed the author was and how reliable the information is. Too often, the writers of the information and articles you find on a site are not even identified. So how do you determine how authoritative an article is?

Frequently, we can make that determination based on what we have already learned from our research. Ask yourself: Is this information consistent with what I have found elsewhere? Does it logically follow what I have already learned? If it does not and you still would like to use the information in your research paper, expand your research to see if you can find other sources that  support or confirm what it says.

Find out a bit about the author. Look for a biography next to, or at the bottom of, the article. Sometimes, the author’s byline is hot-linked to a biography on another Web page. Avoid using unreferenced blog posts and other sources by unnamed authors or authors using anonymous or fictitious “handles.”

It is also useful to know what type of Web site domain the article is from.The type of domain is indicated by the three-letter extension that follows the “dot” at the beginning of the Web address where the article is located. Common domain types include commercial (com), educational (edu), governmental (gov), and organizational (org). The official Web site of the U.S. president, for instance, is  http://www.whitehouse.gov  where the .gov stands for government. The official site of the American Cancer Society is  http://www.cancer.org where the .org stands for organization.

Be especially wary of sites with extensions that are not consistent with the nature of the site. While gov means that you have arrived on a government-sponsored site, for instance, com usually means that you have arrived at a privately sponsored commercial site.

Other clues at the Web site will be helpful. To get a sense of how well-researched or fact-checked an article may be, check for citations and hyperlinks that refer to sources with additional reading. These can include previously published articles, graphics, maps, and hyperlinks to outside references.

Publication dates are also important. Not only do they indicate how timely the information in the article is, but they provide a historical context when you need one. A report quoting eye-witnesses to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the event that sparked the U.S. entry into World War II,may provide more specific details about the events as they unfolded than an analysis of events that was published 40 years later. Online newspapers and magazines usually include a “dateline” that identifies the date of publication at the top of the story, just under the headline. “Last updated” and copyright notices that appear at the bottom of Web pages can also help you identify when an article was published. If you have chosen a topic that demands up-to-date information, such as the United States’ evolving policy toward stem cell research, it is often best to avoid articles where you cannot determine a date of publication.

How to Identify Good Online Sources

  • Does it come from a source my audience will recognize as an authority on the subject?
  • Does it meet the requirements of the assignment?
  • Will it meet my instructor’s expectations?
  • Am I getting facts or opinion?
  • Does the information have a commercial purpose? Is it advertising, a press release, or promotional copy?
  • Do the author’s arguments seem logical, or do they overgeneralize or oversimplify?
  • How well researched was the article?
  • Are the sources of the article’s information evident? What are they?
  • What is the author’s name? Avoid using sources by unnamed authors or authors using anonymous or fictitious “handles.”
  • What is the person’s background? Does the author possess the experience, education, or authority to comment intelligently on the subject?
  • Who is the publisher or the sponsoring organization?
  • If it is an organization, what is its mission?
  • When was the article written?
  • Based on what you already know, does the article appear to make exaggerated claims?

Useful Research Sites

  • ReferenceDesk
  • Librarians’ Internet Index
  • Google Scholar
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • Google News
  • Newspaper Archive

Other Great Places on the Web

  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Library of Congress
  • U.S. Federal Agencies
  • Virtual Reference Shelf

No one is an expert on every facet of the Internet—it’s impossible. While many people are skilled with the tools and have a good idea where to look for information on many research paper topics, no one can keep up with the information flow. Fortunately, you don’t have to understand everything to use the Internet quickly and easily. All you need are a computer and the time to explore different paths.

Using Offline Libraries

Your own questions can guide your research by showing you what kind of information you need. You also can see how your research questions give you an idea of how your paper might take shape.

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Evaluating Digital Sources

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Because so much information is now available online, it’s important to know how to navigate digital sources versus print sources. Today, almost every print source has a digital edition (e.g., ebooks, online newspapers), and some academic journals only publish digitally. However, despite the many credible digital sources available today, there are still many unreliable sources available on the internet. Below are some suggestions for evaluating digital texts and a breakdown of the different types of sources available online.

This image displays a meme that attributes the quotation "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it" to Abraham Lincoln.

Example of just one fallacious quotation that can be found online.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (often abbreviated SEO) is a strategy used to increase unpaid views on a website from search engines. By using an algorithm, SEO works by locating keywords and sorting information for relevancy and accuracy. For example, if you were to search “How to change a flat tire” in a search engine, you would most likely get how-to videos and pages, rather than someone selling their car on Craigslist, because the algorithm sorts the webpages based on the keywords you input.

Different search engines may utilize SEO differently, which also means that, depending on what search engine you use, you might have different results appear first. For example, companies that are owned by Google will most likely appear first when searching for something on Google. However, if you used a different search engine, such as Yahoo or Bing, your results may differ.

Understanding SEO is important because it dictates the initial information you’re presented with when using a search engine for your research.

Differences in Domain Extensions

Different websites have different domain extensions, that is, the final string of letters following the period on a website’s domain name. Domain extensions help differentiate the type of websites and the different purposes they serve.

Below is a breakdown of the most common domain extensions:

  • .com ⁠— a commercial website
  • .gov ⁠— a government owned/operated website
  • .org ⁠— a website associated with an organization
  • .edu ⁠— a website associated with an educational institution
  • .net ⁠— a website used by network providers

While there is no universal rule for whether a website’s domain extension makes it credible, it’s important to know that .com, .org, and .net domain extensions can be purchased and used by anyone. However, the .edu domain extension is reserved only for educational institutions, and the .gov domain extension is only used by governmental institutions.

Determining a website’s credibility can be especially confusing for websites with a .org extension that appear to have a governmental or educational affiliation. For example, the website passportUSA.org appears to contain official instructions for applying for a passport online; however, it is simply a PDF editing site. Because of the .org domain extension, it appears more credible.

On the other hand, some well-known organizations use a .com domain extension. Both National Geographic and TED use .com domain extension, despite the fact that they’re large organizations.

It’s important to not necessarily evaluate an online source simply based on its domain extension. As you navigate through different sources, you need to examine the authors and the website’s other credentials before making assumptions simply by the domain extension.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created by the Wikimedia Foundation. Like other encyclopedias, Wikipedia can provide valuable information about certain topics. However, unlike encyclopedias, Wikipedia pages can be edited by anyone, which means that sometimes the information stated is not reliable and is edited for the sake of making a joke (see example below).

This image shows a Wikipedia page that has been vandalized as a prank.

An example of a Wikipedia page that has been vandalized to include a joking reference to the film  Fight Club. Though this sort of vandalism is rare, it is not unheard of.

In fact, even Wikipedia itself encourages its users to take caution when gathering information from its site. It states: “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start. Indeed, many articles start out by giving one—perhaps not particularly evenhanded—view of the subject, and it is after a long process of discussion, debate, and argument that they gradually take on a  consensus  form. Others may become caught up in a heavily unbalanced viewpoint and can take some time—months perhaps—to regain a better-balanced consensus” (see “Researching with Wikipedia” ).

While it’s not encouraged to use Wikipedia as one of your main sources, Wikipedia can be used as a jumping-off point for other sources. At the bottom of most Wikipedia pages, you can find a list of sources that will take you to other pages (see image below).

This image shows a list of references at the bottom of a well-sourced Wikipedia article.

An example of a References section from a Wikipedia article that has been carefully sourced.

Clickbait is a type of sensationalized advertisement that seeks to attract viewers through catchy or seemingly unbelievable headlines. Most sites that use clickbait use it to simply gain “clicks” on their site.

When looking for sources online, it’s important to recognize which article titles sound like clickbait. Most clickbait articles want to shock the reader, so be aware of words like surprising , alarming , and shocking in titles. Another form of clickbait is a page that challenges the viewer to a quiz or test. These will entice the reader by stating that the reader probably cannot answer each question correctly.

This image shows the beginning of a clickbait article. The sensationalistic headline "Baby Ducks See Water For The First Time⁠—Can You BELIEVE What They Do?" accompanies an image of ducklings gathered around a small pool.

An example of a sensationalistic clickbait headline.

Understanding which articles are clickbait helps you evaluate your sources for credibility. Because clickbait sources exist simply to promote webpages, they are not considered credible sources.

Social Media

Social media is simply defined as any type of digital space that allows users to create content and share it with others in a social setting. A few of the most common social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Instagram. While social media is not regularly used as a source in research, sometimes you might use a YouTube video or a tweet from a well-known individual.

When evaluating social media sites, it’s important to know more about a user beyond their username. For example, if you were interested in examining how scientists use Twitter as a platform, you might find yourself quoting a tweet by Bill Nye or the physicist Brian Cox. Both of these individuals have blue checks next to their Twitter handles, which means the accounts are verified. However, you might not want to quote a tweet by someone with an anonymous name and a Twitter handle such as @iluvscience321. 

Similarly, YouTube videos can either be posted by a large organization or a single user. If you are interested in using a YouTube video in your research, look at whether the publisher is a larger organization (such as TED or National Geographic) or a single user that only publishes under a username. While not all large organizations produce unbiased information, more well-known organizations will most likely provide more credible information.

In general, while you will probably not use a lot of social media in your research, if you do, try to locate the people or groups behind the usernames. After you identify the person or organization, you can find out more about them and determine their credibility.

Personal Websites

Many people have personal websites, such as blogs, that are not associated with a larger group or organization. Blogs can range in subject, from seasonal fashion tips to discussing every one of Emily Dickinson’s poems. When evaluating a personal website, find out what you can about the author and their affiliations. Some personal websites exist solely to spread propaganda or other biased information.

Podcasts are becoming a much more popular digital medium today. Podcasts are essentially audio files that can be streamed on a computer or mobile device, like portable radio. They are usually part of a series or follow a theme.

Like YouTube videos, podcasts can be valuable resources if used correctly. While almost anyone can produce a podcast, and topics range from discussing tv shows or books like The Bachelor  and Harry Potter , other podcasts give in-depth information about science, history, anthropology, and a wide variety of other topics. For example, podcasts like Stuff You Missed in History Class  and Historium Unearthia  provide information on often-overlooked historical events.

Like most sources, you should try to find out information about the author and cross-check the information in the podcast to see if you can find it elsewhere. Because anyone can produce a podcast, be aware that biased podcasts exist, and some might be used as propaganda.

Online News Articles

It’s possible to find many news articles online, both from digital newspapers and websites that post news articles. When examining online news articles, find out what you can about the organization behind the articles. Different news outlets may have different agendas attached to their reporting. For example, some websites are known for being more left-wing or right-wing.

Online Databases

Often, the most reliable information you will find on the internet will come from online databases. A database is a large collection of data, usually about one specific topic or idea. Some databases contain a broader field of information, while some are narrower. For example, Hoosier State Chronicles is a database that only houses Indiana newspapers, while JSTOR is a database that holds a wider variety of journals and books.

When looking for online sources, using a database helps you find credible information. In order for a source to be included in a database, it usually must go through a screening process that requires individuals to verify the information in the text. Because of this cross-checking process, the articles you find in databases will usually be more reliable than sources you might find simply by looking for them using a search engine.

Grad Coach

How To Write A Research Paper

Step-By-Step Tutorial With Examples + FREE Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewer: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | March 2024

For many students, crafting a strong research paper from scratch can feel like a daunting task – and rightly so! In this post, we’ll unpack what a research paper is, what it needs to do , and how to write one – in three easy steps. 🙂 

Overview: Writing A Research Paper

What (exactly) is a research paper.

  • How to write a research paper
  • Stage 1 : Topic & literature search
  • Stage 2 : Structure & outline
  • Stage 3 : Iterative writing
  • Key takeaways

Let’s start by asking the most important question, “ What is a research paper? ”.

Simply put, a research paper is a scholarly written work where the writer (that’s you!) answers a specific question (this is called a research question ) through evidence-based arguments . Evidence-based is the keyword here. In other words, a research paper is different from an essay or other writing assignments that draw from the writer’s personal opinions or experiences. With a research paper, it’s all about building your arguments based on evidence (we’ll talk more about that evidence a little later).

Now, it’s worth noting that there are many different types of research papers , including analytical papers (the type I just described), argumentative papers, and interpretative papers. Here, we’ll focus on analytical papers , as these are some of the most common – but if you’re keen to learn about other types of research papers, be sure to check out the rest of the blog .

With that basic foundation laid, let’s get down to business and look at how to write a research paper .

Research Paper Template

Overview: The 3-Stage Process

While there are, of course, many potential approaches you can take to write a research paper, there are typically three stages to the writing process. So, in this tutorial, we’ll present a straightforward three-step process that we use when working with students at Grad Coach.

These three steps are:

  • Finding a research topic and reviewing the existing literature
  • Developing a provisional structure and outline for your paper, and
  • Writing up your initial draft and then refining it iteratively

Let’s dig into each of these.

Need a helping hand?

how do you find research paper online

Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature

As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question . More specifically, that’s called a research question , and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What’s important to understand though is that you’ll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources – for example, journal articles, government reports, case studies, and so on. We’ll circle back to this in a minute.

The first stage of the research process is deciding on what your research question will be and then reviewing the existing literature (in other words, past studies and papers) to see what they say about that specific research question. In some cases, your professor may provide you with a predetermined research question (or set of questions). However, in many cases, you’ll need to find your own research question within a certain topic area.

Finding a strong research question hinges on identifying a meaningful research gap – in other words, an area that’s lacking in existing research. There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you wanna learn more, check out the plain-language explainer video below.

Once you’ve figured out which question (or questions) you’ll attempt to answer in your research paper, you’ll need to do a deep dive into the existing literature – this is called a “ literature search ”. Again, there are many ways to go about this, but your most likely starting point will be Google Scholar .

If you’re new to Google Scholar, think of it as Google for the academic world. You can start by simply entering a few different keywords that are relevant to your research question and it will then present a host of articles for you to review. What you want to pay close attention to here is the number of citations for each paper – the more citations a paper has, the more credible it is (generally speaking – there are some exceptions, of course).

how to use google scholar

Ideally, what you’re looking for are well-cited papers that are highly relevant to your topic. That said, keep in mind that citations are a cumulative metric , so older papers will often have more citations than newer papers – just because they’ve been around for longer. So, don’t fixate on this metric in isolation – relevance and recency are also very important.

Beyond Google Scholar, you’ll also definitely want to check out academic databases and aggregators such as Science Direct, PubMed, JStor and so on. These will often overlap with the results that you find in Google Scholar, but they can also reveal some hidden gems – so, be sure to check them out.

Once you’ve worked your way through all the literature, you’ll want to catalogue all this information in some sort of spreadsheet so that you can easily recall who said what, when and within what context. If you’d like, we’ve got a free literature spreadsheet that helps you do exactly that.

Don’t fixate on an article’s citation count in isolation - relevance (to your research question) and recency are also very important.

Step 2: Develop a structure and outline

With your research question pinned down and your literature digested and catalogued, it’s time to move on to planning your actual research paper .

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to have some sort of rough outline in place before you start writing your paper. So often, we see students eagerly rushing into the writing phase, only to land up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on in multiple

Now, the secret here is to not get caught up in the fine details . Realistically, all you need at this stage is a bullet-point list that describes (in broad strokes) what you’ll discuss and in what order. It’s also useful to remember that you’re not glued to this outline – in all likelihood, you’ll chop and change some sections once you start writing, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is that you have some sort of roadmap in place from the start.

You need to have a rough outline in place before you start writing your paper - or you’ll end up with a disjointed research paper that rambles on.

At this stage you might be wondering, “ But how should I structure my research paper? ”. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, but in general, a research paper will consist of a few relatively standardised components:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Let’s take a look at each of these.

First up is the introduction section . As the name suggests, the purpose of the introduction is to set the scene for your research paper. There are usually (at least) four ingredients that go into this section – these are the background to the topic, the research problem and resultant research question , and the justification or rationale. If you’re interested, the video below unpacks the introduction section in more detail. 

The next section of your research paper will typically be your literature review . Remember all that literature you worked through earlier? Well, this is where you’ll present your interpretation of all that content . You’ll do this by writing about recent trends, developments, and arguments within the literature – but more specifically, those that are relevant to your research question . The literature review can oftentimes seem a little daunting, even to seasoned researchers, so be sure to check out our extensive collection of literature review content here .

With the introduction and lit review out of the way, the next section of your paper is the research methodology . In a nutshell, the methodology section should describe to your reader what you did (beyond just reviewing the existing literature) to answer your research question. For example, what data did you collect, how did you collect that data, how did you analyse that data and so on? For each choice, you’ll also need to justify why you chose to do it that way, and what the strengths and weaknesses of your approach were.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that for some research papers, this aspect of the project may be a lot simpler . For example, you may only need to draw on secondary sources (in other words, existing data sets). In some cases, you may just be asked to draw your conclusions from the literature search itself (in other words, there may be no data analysis at all). But, if you are required to collect and analyse data, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the methodology section. The video below provides an example of what the methodology section might look like.

By this stage of your paper, you will have explained what your research question is, what the existing literature has to say about that question, and how you analysed additional data to try to answer your question. So, the natural next step is to present your analysis of that data . This section is usually called the “results” or “analysis” section and this is where you’ll showcase your findings.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may need to present and interpret the data in one section – or you might split the presentation and the interpretation into two sections. In the latter case, your “results” section will just describe the data, and the “discussion” is where you’ll interpret that data and explicitly link your analysis back to your research question. If you’re not sure which approach to take, check in with your professor or take a look at past papers to see what the norms are for your programme.

Alright – once you’ve presented and discussed your results, it’s time to wrap it up . This usually takes the form of the “ conclusion ” section. In the conclusion, you’ll need to highlight the key takeaways from your study and close the loop by explicitly answering your research question. Again, the exact requirements here will vary depending on your programme (and you may not even need a conclusion section at all) – so be sure to check with your professor if you’re unsure.

Step 3: Write and refine

Finally, it’s time to get writing. All too often though, students hit a brick wall right about here… So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

Well, there’s a lot to be said when it comes to writing a research paper (or any sort of academic piece), but we’ll share three practical tips to help you get started.

First and foremost , it’s essential to approach your writing as an iterative process. In other words, you need to start with a really messy first draft and then polish it over multiple rounds of editing. Don’t waste your time trying to write a perfect research paper in one go. Instead, take the pressure off yourself by adopting an iterative approach.

Secondly , it’s important to always lean towards critical writing , rather than descriptive writing. What does this mean? Well, at the simplest level, descriptive writing focuses on the “ what ”, while critical writing digs into the “ so what ” – in other words, the implications. If you’re not familiar with these two types of writing, don’t worry! You can find a plain-language explanation here.

Last but not least, you’ll need to get your referencing right. Specifically, you’ll need to provide credible, correctly formatted citations for the statements you make. We see students making referencing mistakes all the time and it costs them dearly. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by using a simple reference manager . If you don’t have one, check out our video about Mendeley, an easy (and free) reference management tool that you can start using today.

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. To recap, the three steps to writing a high-quality research paper are:

  • To choose a research question and review the literature
  • To plan your paper structure and draft an outline
  • To take an iterative approach to writing, focusing on critical writing and strong referencing

Remember, this is just a b ig-picture overview of the research paper development process and there’s a lot more nuance to unpack. So, be sure to grab a copy of our free research paper template to learn more about how to write a research paper.

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How To Write A Research Paper

Find Sources For A Research Paper

Cathy A.

How to Find Sources For a Research Paper | A Guide

10 min read

Published on: Mar 26, 2024

Last updated on: Mar 25, 2024

How to find sources for a research paper

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Research papers are an essential part of academic life, but one of the most challenging aspects can be finding credible sources to support your arguments. 

With the vast amount of information available online, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, by following some simple steps, you can streamline the process of finding reliable sources for your research paper . 

In this guide, we'll break down the process into easy-to-follow steps to help you find the best sources for your paper.

On This Page On This Page -->

Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions

Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources.

Step 2: Utilize Academic Databases

Academic databases are treasure troves of scholarly articles, research papers, and academic journals covering a wide range of subjects. Institutions often provide access to these databases through their libraries. Some popular academic databases include:

  • IEEE Xplore
  • Google Scholar

These databases allow you to search for peer-reviewed articles and academic papers related to your topic. 

Use advanced search features to narrow down your results based on publication date, author, and keywords .

Academic Resources Classified by Discipline

Here's a breakdown of prominent databases categorized by academic discipline:

Step 3: Explore Library Catalogs

Your university or local library's catalog is another valuable resource for finding sources. Library catalogs contain books, periodicals, and other materials that may not be available online. 

Use the catalog's search function to locate relevant books, journals, and other materials that can contribute to your research.

Step 4: Consult Bibliographies and References

When you find a relevant source, take note of its bibliography or make a list of sources for the research paper. These lists often contain citations to other works that may be useful for your research. 

By exploring the references cited in a particular source, you can uncover additional resources and expand your understanding of the topic.

Step 5: Boolean Operators for Effective Searches

Boolean operators are words or symbols used to refine search queries by defining the relationships between search terms. The three primary operators include "AND," which narrows searches by requiring all terms to be present; "OR," which broadens searches by including either term or both; and "NOT," which excludes specific terms to refine results further. 

Most databases provide advanced search features for seamless application of Boolean logic.

Step 6: Consider Primary Sources 

Depending on your research topic, primary sources such as interviews, surveys, archival documents, and original data sets can provide valuable insights and support for your arguments. 

Primary sources offer firsthand accounts and original perspectives on historical events, social phenomena, and scientific discoveries.

Step 7: Evaluate the Credibility of Sources

Not all sources are created equal, and it's crucial to evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you encounter. 

Consider the author's credentials, the publication venue, and whether the source is peer-reviewed. Look for evidence of bias or conflicts of interest that may undermine the source's credibility.

Step 8: Keep Track of Your Sources

As you gather sources for your research paper, maintain a systematic record of the materials you consult.  Keep track of bibliographic information, including author names, publication dates, titles, and page numbers . This information will be invaluable when citing your sources and creating a bibliography or works cited page.

Other Online Sources

In addition to academic databases and library catalogs, exploring popular online sources can provide valuable insights and perspectives on your research topic.  Here are some types of online sources you can consider:

Websites hosted by reputable organizations, institutions, and experts (such as the New York Times) can offer valuable information and analysis on a wide range of topics. Look for websites belonging to universities, research institutions, government agencies, and established non-profit organizations.

Crowdsourced Encyclopedias like Wikipedia

While Wikipedia can provide a broad overview of a topic and lead you to other sources, it's essential to verify the information found there with more authoritative sources. 

Use Wikipedia as a starting point for your research, but rely on peer-reviewed journal articles and academic sources for in-depth analysis and evidence.

Tips for Assessing the Credibility of Online Sources

When using online sources, it's important to exercise caution and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you find. Here are some tips for assessing the credibility of online sources:

  • Check the Domain Extension: Look for websites with domain extensions that indicate credibility. URLs ending in .edu are educational resources, while URLs ending in .gov are government-related resources. These sites often provide reliable and authoritative information.
  • Look for DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers): DOIs are unique alphanumeric strings assigned to scholarly articles and indicate that the article has been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. Finding a DOI can help you assess the scholarly rigor of the source.
  • Evaluate the Authorship and Credentials: Consider the qualifications and expertise of the author or organization behind the website or blog. Look for information about the author's credentials, affiliations, and expertise in the subject matter.
  • Consider the Currency and Relevance: Assess how up-to-date the information is and whether it aligns with the scope and focus of your research. Look for recent publications and timely analyses that reflect current trends and developments in the field.

Wrapping it up!

Finding sources for your research paper may seem like a challenge, but by following these steps, you can locate credible sources to support your arguments and enhance the quality of your paper. 

By approaching the research process systematically and critically evaluating the information you encounter, you can produce a well-researched and compelling research paper.

If you are struggling with finding credible sources or have time constraints, do not hesitate to seek writing help for your research papers . CollegeEssay.org has professional writers ready to assist you. 

Connect with our essay writing service now and receive expert guidance and support to elevate your research paper to the next level.

Cathy A. (Law)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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How to Watch 'Road House' Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor Online — Now Streaming

How to Watch Road House Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Prepare for a movie night with epic fight scenes when you stream the new 'Road House' film.

Road House , the iconic story from the late 1980s starring Patrick Swayze , is kicking its way into the modern era. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and UFC record-breaking champion Conor McGregor , the upcoming reimagined film welcomes the next generation of fans.

In 2024's  Road House ,  Gyllenhaal  takes on the role of Elwood Dalton, an ex-UFC fighter hired to help clean up the clientele at a bar in the Florida Keys. When a real estate developer wants the bar's land for his next project, he hires a lethal hitman (played by McGregor ), posing big trouble for Dalton. Audiences will also see an appearance from Post Malone during the film that drops to Prime Video today, March 21.

Watch 'Road House' (2024) on Prime Video

Watch 'Road House' (2024) on Prime Video

Start planning your upcoming movie night, because  Road House premieres on Prime Video on Thursday, March 21.

Plans starting at $9/month

Gyllenhaal spoke with ET about his upcoming film and his friendship with Swayze. 

"I mean, from the jump, from the moment I met Patrick -- we worked on the [2001] movie  Donnie Darko --  and from all the scenes we filmed and throughout the years, him and his wife, Lisa [Niemi] -- and even Lisa to this day -- have been just loving and supportive," Gyllenhaal recalled. "I mean, they were just such a beautiful couple. I think he was raised in that sort of theatrical dancing ensemble idea, and he always brought that to the groups that he worked with and brought that to me. He would just, I mean, so many different times just ... they're kind, giving. That was his spirit."

Below, find out everything you need to know to stream the new Road House at home.

When does Road House (2024) premiere?

Road House (2024) premiered at the 2024 SXSW Festival. However, now everyone can enjoy the film on Prime Video beginning today, March 21.

Where is Road House (2024) streaming?

Road House is a Prime Video original film, so it will stream exclusively on Prime Video. Amazon customers with a Prime membership will automatically have access to the movie, however, Amazon also has a stand-alone membership option that allows subscribers to access Prime Video for just $9 per month compared to the $15 per month for a Prime membership.

Sign Up for Prime Video

Watch the Road House official trailer:

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Where to get free solar eclipse glasses before April 8: Warby Parker, libraries, more

The right eyewear is key to watching the april 8 solar eclipse. here's how to get them for free..

how do you find research paper online

The American Astronomical Society says the April 8, 2024 total eclipse of the sun will be "hauntingly beautiful" and "one of the most spectacular sights in all of nature." But it's your own sight that you need to protect when viewing the solar eclipse, whether you're in the path of totality or outside it, as all but a sliver of Michigan will be.

Even good sunglasses aren't adequate protection: the sun's rays are too intense for the retina to handle and even looking at a partially obscured sun can cause permanent damage to your eyesight.

So what's the best way to watch the eclipse ? Where can you find eclipse glasses for free? Here's what to know.

More: 2024 total solar eclipse to be visible in sliver of Michigan: Where map shows to go

How to safely watch the 2024 eclipse

For starters, the proper eyewear should comply with the requirements of the ISO 12312-2 international standard . The American Astronomical Society does not recommend searching for glasses on Amazon, eBay, or other online marketplaces and buying from the vendor with the lowest prices. The society also says to make sure the seller is identified on any website.

The society has a list of North American filter and eyewear suppliers on its website and said they were chosen because, after all, the solar eclipse is almost exclusively a North American event.

For more information, go to the society's website .

How to use eclipse glasses

  • Before viewing the eclipse, the American Astronomical Society recommends inspecting the glasses and discarding them if they are scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged.
  • Wear eclipse eyewear over your normal glasses.
  • Cover your eyes before you look at the sun, and wait to take the glasses off until after you've turned away from the sun.
  • Do not use an unfiltered camera, telescope or binoculars even if you're wearing proper eyewear.

Where to find eclipse glasses

So where are these eclipse glasses sold or found? Herea are a few suggestions:

  • Warby Parker, the eyewear company, is giving away eclipse eyewear at its stores beginning April 1 , but does not have details about the availability of the free glasses at its locations. According to its website, the chain has six stores in Michigan: Grand Rapids, Novi, Troy, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Birmingham.
  • You also may be able to find free eclipse glasses at your local public library in Michigan, along with special programs. Check your local library for details.
  • The society says some locations of these retailers may sell eclipse glasses: Walmart, Lowe's, Menards, Kroger, Meijer and Staples.

Another option is welding glasses, as long as they have a shade of 12 or higher. The American Astronomical Society says the sun's light may be too bright for some using the shade 12, and the view through a shade 15 or higher may be too dark.

So the "sweet spot" is shade 13 or 14, which matches the view of eclipse glasses, except the image is green instead of yellow-orange or white, according to the society. These shades are rarely stocked in welder supply stores, and the society recommends looking for them on safesolarviewing.com .

But don't use adjustable or welding helmets that darken automatically, because they can be adjusted to an unsafe setting or not darken fast enough when looking at the sun.

How can you see a solar eclipse without eclipse glasses

If you can't snag a pair of eclipse glasses, there are other no-cost ways of viewing the eclipse . You can make a waffle-like pattern with your hands by crossing the slightly open fingers of one hand over the other hand, and with your back to the sun, see the shadow. Another suggestion from the astronomical society: the shadow of a leafy tree.

A colander makes a terrific pinhole projector , as does a straw hat, perforated spoon or anything else with small holes in it, according to the society.

The April 8 eclipse's path of totality will be about 115 miles wide, crossing Mexico and sweeping northeast from Texas to Maine to eastern parts of Canada. That includes central Indiana and north central Ohio .

The only question: What the weather will be like that day .

Contact Jennifer Dixon: [email protected] .

DJT had a good first day: Trump's Truth Social media stock price saw rapid rise

Buoyed by legions of avid supporters, Donald Trump made a bubbly debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange Tuesday.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group soared like helium from the opening bell and maintained most of those gains until late in the trading day when a selloff brought Trump's namesake social media company closer to earth with a closing market value of nearly $8 billion, on par with ride-hailing company Lyft and online marketplace Etsy.

It was also an epic trading day for Trump , the presumptive GOP presidential nominee and Trump Media's largest shareholder. Shares rose as high as $79.38 before flagging at the end of trade to close at $57.99, close to their low of the day.

His 60% stake in Truth Social’s parent company, which now trades under the ticker DJT, is worth about $4.5 billion on paper. And, if the stock price stays above $17.50 per share for an extended period, tens of millions of additional shares would be issued, most of them to Trump.

Enthusiasm in the MAGA ranks was undercut by the more sober assessment of stock market observers. They say Trump Media’s valuation is divorced from the business realities it faces.

Its flagship product Truth Social, Trump’s bullhorn of choice, is a minor player in a social media landscape dominated by megacorporations like Facebook owner Meta. Trump Media, on the other hand, has racked up tens of millions of dollars in losses and generated sparse sales. And it has struggled to attract advertisers and users since its launch in 2021.

It owes its success to Trump, who is one of Truth Social's most prolific users and has among the most followers on the platform with nearly 6.8 million. Trump has 34 million followers on Facebook, 24 million on Instagram and more than 87 million on X.

"It's hard to come up with any reasonable metrics that would get you to this valuation," Derek Horstmeyer, a finance professor at George Mason University in Virginia, told USA TODAY.

The one-day pop was typical of so-called meme stocks in recent years, like video-game retailer GameStop.Trump supporters banded together on social media to lift the stock even before it completed the merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC , that was already listed on the Nasdaq.

The difference here may be that the former president's fans may continue to lift − rather than dump − the stock.

Trading was exceptionally heavy, according to University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter. The number of shares available to trade – called the public float – is about 28 million. But more than 52 million shares traded Tuesday. In fact, trading was so intense that Nasdaq temporarily halted it following the opening bell. Typically, trading in most stocks is less than 1% a day.

“Clearly a lot of the buyers and holders are people who are buying it for ideological reasons and plan on holding it for a while,” Ritter said.

That’s not so different from the online traders, mom-and-pop investors, small brokers and others who organized on social media platform Reddit to drive up the price of GameStop and face down hedge funds that were betting against the company and shorting the stock.

“In that regard, GameStop investors were doing it for ideological reasons, too,” Ritter said. “But after the stock price went up, they then sold and the stock price collapsed.”

Nobody knows when the Trump Media bubble will burst, he said. Just because you are a Trump supporter doesn’t mean you will hold it forever, Ritter said.

“In the short run, anything can happen,” he said. “But in the long run, I am highly confident there is going to be a huge percentage decline.”

How much is Truth Social worth?

Those Trump Media shares have handed Trump a crucial lifeline in posting bond as he appeals the civil fraud judgment against him.

A New York appeals court gave Trump 10 more days to post his bond and slashed the amount to $175 million. Trump has been struggling under the weight of not just the $454 million civil fraud judgment, but also an $83.3 million defamation trial loss to advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Trump's gains are all on paper for the time being. He would need Trump Media’s seven-person board to lift a restriction that prevents Trump and other insiders from selling shares or using them as collateral for a bond for the next six months.

The board, which is stacked with allies including his son, Donald Trump Jr., and three former members of his administration, could also hold a secondary offering that would allow Trump to cash out some of his stake in coming months.

What is Trump’s net worth?

Truth Social going public means a massive boost to Trump’s net worth, at least on paper. 

His shares in Trump Media and the reduction in the bond that Trump must post in a New York civil fraud lawsuit increased his net worth by more than $4 billion Monday, catapulting him into the world’s wealthiest 500 people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for the first time.

Why is Truth Social’s ticker DJT?

Research shows that familiar names, such as a former president’s initials, can help a company’s stock performance. 

One 2006 study by Princeton University psychologists found that stocks with tickers that are easier to pronounce tend to perform better in the first few days of trading. Another study from Pomona College in 2019 verified earlier research that found clever tickers tend to perform better, partly because they are more memorable to investors.

What is Digital World Acquisition?

Digital World is a SPAC, also known as a blank check company . These publicly traded shell companies exist to acquire or merge with private companies and take them public.

Truth Social’s merger with Digital World was first announced in 2021 when the number of companies going public via SPACs surged. The investment vehicles have since faced criticism for being bad deals for retail investors.

Why did Trump launch Truth Social?

Truth Social was founded after Trump was booted from major social media platforms following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. 

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How to unlock the Warfarer vocation in Dragon’s Dogma 2

Where to find Newt Liqueur

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Four Warfarers wield all kinds of weapons in Dragon’s Dogma 2

The Warfarer is Dragon’s Dogma 2 ’s jack-of-all-trades vocation, allowing you to wield multiple weapons and show off your mastery of the game’s combat systems. Of all the vocations in the game, Warfarer is the most complicated to unlock. You’ll need to do a little prep work and invest some money if you want to get it.

In this Dragon’s Dogma 2 guide, we’ll walk you through how to unlock the Warfarer vocation and where to find Newt Liqueur you need to do so.

Where to find Newt Liqueur in Dragon’s Dogma 2

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Higg’s Tavern Stand location in Bakbattahl

While you can make a beeline straight for the Warfarer teacher as soon as you reach Battahl , you won’t be able to unlock it without getting three bottles of Newt Liqueur first. You can find them at Higg’s Tavern Stand in Bakbattahl for 5,000 gold per bottle.

Higg’s Tavern Stand is just north of the residential district, to the west of all the fields and pools. Outside the building, you might meet a grumpy beastren named Karnel. Ignore him for now.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 fenced area next to the entrance to Higg’s Tavern Stand

If you’re playing as a human, equip the Beastren Mask (which you presumably acquired when making your way to Battahl) before you take the next step. If you don’t, you’ll get arrested .

Just to the left of the door to Higg’s, walk over to the small fence that has hay inside and two big sack bundles on the outside. Grab one of the sack bundles using your grapple button and carry it inside the fenced-in area. Drop it and Karnel will invite you inside Higg’s Tavern Stand.

Once you regain control of your character, talk to Ezekiel and purchase all the Newt Liqueur he has. After you collect the three bottles of Newt Liqueur, you can make your way to Agamen Volcanic Island and the Warfarer teacher.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 map showing a back way from Bakbattahl into Agamen Volcanic Island

The fastest way to get there is through the back way through Drabnir’s Grotto, in southwestern Battahl . (This is the same route you’ll take to unlock the Mystic Archer vocation, for what it’s worth.)

Dragon’s Dogma 2 map showing Lamond’s location in the Volcanic Island Camp

Once you exit Drabnir’s Grotto, follow the path east until you reach Agamen Volcanic Island. You’re looking for Lamond , the NPC who will teach you Warfarer, at the hot spring in the Volcanic Island Camp .

To get there, continue following the road east until you reach a small city that has a hot spring inside an elevated cave. Make your way to the small building where you can purchase a dip in the springs, and talk to that tattooed man sitting just outside: Lamond.

Lamond sits on the ground of the hot springs in Dragon’s Dogma 2

Lamond is a bit down on his luck, and would like to drown his sorrows with his favorite drink: Newt Liqueur. After talking to him, he’ll give you a quest: “ The Sotted Sage .” For this quest, he’ll ask you for a few bottles of his favorite booze and promise to give you some... rotten soft-boiled eggs in exchange.

You’ll satisfy Lamond’s thirst if you give him three bottles of Newt Liqueur . Once you do, he’ll tell you his story and then give you the Warfarer vocation. But before you leave, make sure he gave you the Grandmaster’s Path skill scroll, as it’s the vocation’s ultimate skill and you’ll need it for the class to function properly. If he didn’t give it to you, just talk to him again and he should fork it over.

For more Dragon’s Dogma 2 guides , see our suggestions for the best Thief build , best Fighter build , best Archer build , and best Mage build for beginners. We also have explainers on how to unlock the Warrior , Sorcerer , Mystic Spearhand , Magick Archer , and Trickster vocations, plus how to change your vocation , and a list of all vocations .

  • Dragon’s Dogma 2 guides
  • Beginner’s tips
  • What vocation to pick
  • Vernworth quest order
  • Best augments

Dragon’s Dogma 2 guides, walkthroughs, and explainers

  • How to import a pre-made character
  • Beginner’s tips before starting
  • How to hire and use pawns
  • Combat tips for new players
  • How to delete your Dragon’s Dogma 2 save files (PC only)
  • What vocation to pick + all vocations list
  • Best augments and augments list
  • How to change your vocation
  • How to unlock the Warrior vocation
  • How to unlock the Sorcerer vocation
  • How to unlock the Magick Archer vocation
  • How to unlock the Mystic Spearhand vocation
  • How to unlock the Trickster vocation
  • The best Archer build for beginners
  • The best Fighter build for beginners
  • The best Mage build for beginners
  • The best Thief build for beginners
  • How to change your appearance
  • How to fast travel
  • How to change the time of day
  • How to buy a house
  • How to increase inventory size
  • How to get more Wakestones
  • How to get out of gaol
  • Where to find 30 Seeker’s Tokens
  • Best quest order for Captain Brant
  • When to go to the ‘Feast of Deception’ coronation
  • How to get into Battahl
  • How to reach the Nameless Village
  • ‘The Arisen’s Shadow’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘Prey for the Pack’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘The Phantom Oxcart’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘A Beggar’s Tale’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘The Caged Magistrate’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘Hunt for the Jadeite Orb’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘The Ornate Box’ quest walkthrough
  • ‘Oxcart Courier’ quest walkthrough

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Frequently asked questions

How do i find the doi of an article.

The DOI is usually clearly visible when you open a journal article on an academic database. It is often listed near the publication date, and includes “doi.org” or “DOI:”. If the database has a “cite this article” button, this should also produce a citation with the DOI included.

If you can’t find the DOI, you can search on Crossref using information like the author, the article title, and the journal name.

Frequently asked questions: Citing sources

A scientific citation style is a system of source citation that is used in scientific disciplines. Some commonly used scientific citation styles are:

  • Chicago author-date , CSE , and Harvard , used across various sciences
  • ACS , used in chemistry
  • AMA , NLM , and Vancouver , used in medicine and related disciplines
  • AAA , APA , and ASA , commonly used in the social sciences

There are many different citation styles used across different academic disciplines, but they fall into three basic approaches to citation:

  • Parenthetical citations : Including identifying details of the source in parentheses —usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if available ( author-date ). The publication date is occasionally omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: Including a number in brackets or superscript, corresponding to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: Including a full citation in a footnote or endnote , which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

A source annotation in an annotated bibliography fulfills a similar purpose to an abstract : they’re both intended to summarize the approach and key points of a source.

However, an annotation may also evaluate the source , discussing the validity and effectiveness of its arguments. Even if your annotation is purely descriptive , you may have a different perspective on the source from the author and highlight different key points.

You should never just copy text from the abstract for your annotation, as doing so constitutes plagiarism .

Most academics agree that you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia as a source in your academic writing , and universities often have rules against doing so.

This is partly because of concerns about its reliability, and partly because it’s a tertiary source. Tertiary sources are things like encyclopedias and databases that collect information from other sources rather than presenting their own evidence or analysis. Usually, only primary and secondary sources are cited in academic papers.

A Wikipedia citation usually includes the title of the article, “Wikipedia” and/or “Wikimedia Foundation,” the date the article was last updated, and the URL.

In APA Style , you’ll give the URL of the current revision of the article so that you’re sure the reader accesses the same version as you.

There’s some disagreement about whether Wikipedia can be considered a reliable source . Because it can be edited by anyone, many people argue that it’s easy for misleading information to be added to an article without the reader knowing.

Others argue that because Wikipedia articles cite their sources , and because they are worked on by so many editors, misinformation is generally removed quickly.

However, most universities state that you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia in your writing.

Hanging indents are used in reference lists in various citation styles to allow the reader to easily distinguish between entries.

You should apply a hanging indent to your reference entries in APA , MLA , and Chicago style.

A hanging indent is used to indent all lines of a paragraph except the first.

When you create a hanging indent, the first line of the paragraph starts at the border. Each subsequent line is indented 0.5 inches (1.27 cm).

APA and MLA style both use parenthetical in-text citations to cite sources and include a full list of references at the end, but they differ in other ways:

  • APA in-text citations include the author name, date, and page number (Taylor, 2018, p. 23), while MLA in-text citations include only the author name and page number (Taylor 23).
  • The APA reference list is titled “References,” while MLA’s version is called “ Works Cited .”
  • The reference entries differ in terms of formatting and order of information.
  • APA requires a title page , while MLA requires a header instead.

A parenthetical citation in Chicago author-date style includes the author’s last name, the publication date, and, if applicable, the relevant page number or page range in parentheses . Include a comma after the year, but not after the author’s name.

For example: (Swan 2003, 6)

To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .

APA Style distinguishes between parenthetical and narrative citations.

In parenthetical citations , you include all relevant source information in parentheses at the end of the sentence or clause: “Parts of the human body reflect the principles of tensegrity (Levin, 2002).”

In narrative citations , you include the author’s name in the text itself, followed by the publication date in parentheses: “Levin (2002) argues that parts of the human body reflect the principles of tensegrity.”

In a parenthetical citation in MLA style , include the author’s last name and the relevant page number or range in parentheses .

For example: (Eliot 21)

A parenthetical citation gives credit in parentheses to a source that you’re quoting or paraphrasing . It provides relevant information such as the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number(s) cited.

How you use parenthetical citations will depend on your chosen citation style . It will also depend on the type of source you are citing and the number of authors.

APA does not permit the use of ibid. This is because APA in-text citations are parenthetical and there’s no need to shorten them further.

Ibid. may be used in Chicago footnotes or endnotes .

Write “Ibid.” alone when you are citing the same page number and source as the previous citation.

When you are citing the same source, but a different page number, use ibid. followed by a comma and the relevant page number(s). For example:

  • Ibid., 40–42.

Only use ibid . if you are directing the reader to a previous full citation of a source .

Ibid. only refers to the previous citation. Therefore, you should only use ibid. directly after a citation that you want to repeat.

Ibid. is an abbreviation of the Latin “ibidem,” meaning “in the same place.” Ibid. is used in citations to direct the reader to the previous source.

Signal phrases can be used in various ways and can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.

To use signal phrases effectively, include:

  • The name of the scholar(s) or study you’re referencing
  • An attributive tag such as “according to” or “argues that”
  • The quote or idea you want to include

Different citation styles require you to use specific verb tenses when using signal phrases.

  • APA Style requires you to use the past or present perfect tense when using signal phrases.
  • MLA and Chicago requires you to use the present tense when using signal phrases.

Signal phrases allow you to give credit for an idea or quote to its author or originator. This helps you to:

  • Establish the credentials of your sources
  • Display your depth of reading and understanding of the field
  • Position your own work in relation to other scholars
  • Avoid plagiarism

A signal phrase is a group of words that ascribes a quote or idea to an outside source.

Signal phrases distinguish the cited idea or argument from your own writing and introduce important information including the source of the material that you are quoting , paraphrasing , or summarizing . For example:

“ Cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker (1994) insists that humans possess an innate faculty for comprehending grammar.”

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

To paraphrase effectively, don’t just take the original sentence and swap out some of the words for synonyms. Instead, try:

  • Reformulating the sentence (e.g., change active to passive , or start from a different point)
  • Combining information from multiple sentences into one
  • Leaving out information from the original that isn’t relevant to your point
  • Using synonyms where they don’t distort the meaning

The main point is to ensure you don’t just copy the structure of the original text, but instead reformulate the idea in your own words.

“ Et al. ” is an abbreviation of the Latin term “et alia,” which means “and others.” It’s used in source citations to save space when there are too many authors to name them all.

Guidelines for using “et al.” differ depending on the citation style you’re following:

To insert endnotes in Microsoft Word, follow the steps below:

  • Click on the spot in the text where you want the endnote to show up.
  • In the “References” tab at the top, select “Insert Endnote.”
  • Type whatever text you want into the endnote.

If you need to change the type of notes used in a Word document from footnotes to endnotes , or the other way around, follow these steps:

  • Open the “References” tab, and click the arrow in the bottom-right corner of the “Footnotes” section.
  • In the pop-up window, click on “Convert…”
  • Choose the option you need, and click “OK.”

To insert a footnote automatically in a Word document:

  • Click on the point in the text where the footnote should appear
  • Select the “References” tab at the top and then click on “Insert Footnote”
  • Type the text you want into the footnote that appears at the bottom of the page

Footnotes are notes indicated in your text with numbers and placed at the bottom of the page. They’re used to provide:

  • Citations (e.g., in Chicago notes and bibliography )
  • Additional information that would disrupt the flow of the main text

Be sparing in your use of footnotes (other than citation footnotes), and consider whether the information you’re adding is relevant for the reader.

Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page they refer to. This is convenient for the reader but may cause your text to look cluttered if there are a lot of footnotes.

Endnotes appear all together at the end of the whole text. This may be less convenient for the reader but reduces clutter.

Both footnotes and endnotes are used in the same way: to cite sources or add extra information. You should usually choose one or the other to use in your text, not both.

An in-text citation is an acknowledgement you include in your text whenever you quote or paraphrase a source. It usually gives the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number of the relevant text. In-text citations allow the reader to look up the full source information in your reference list and see your sources for themselves.

If you are reusing content or data you used in a previous assignment, make sure to cite yourself. You can cite yourself just as you would cite any other source: simply follow the directions for that source type in the citation style you are using.

Keep in mind that reusing your previous work can be considered self-plagiarism , so make sure you ask your professor or consult your university’s handbook before doing so.

A credible source should pass the CRAAP test  and follow these guidelines:

  • The information should be up to date and current.
  • The author and publication should be a trusted authority on the subject you are researching.
  • The sources the author cited should be easy to find, clear, and unbiased.
  • For a web source, the URL and layout should signify that it is trustworthy.

Peer review is a process of evaluating submissions to an academic journal. Utilizing rigorous criteria, a panel of reviewers in the same subject area decide whether to accept each submission for publication. For this reason, academic journals are often considered among the most credible sources you can use in a research project– provided that the journal itself is trustworthy and well-regarded.

Academic dishonesty can be intentional or unintentional, ranging from something as simple as claiming to have read something you didn’t to copying your neighbor’s answers on an exam.

You can commit academic dishonesty with the best of intentions, such as helping a friend cheat on a paper. Severe academic dishonesty can include buying a pre-written essay or the answers to a multiple-choice test, or falsifying a medical emergency to avoid taking a final exam.

Academic dishonesty refers to deceitful or misleading behavior in an academic setting. Academic dishonesty can occur intentionally or unintentionally, and varies in severity.

It can encompass paying for a pre-written essay, cheating on an exam, or committing plagiarism . It can also include helping others cheat, copying a friend’s homework answers, or even pretending to be sick to miss an exam.

Academic dishonesty doesn’t just occur in a classroom setting, but also in research and other academic-adjacent fields.

To apply a hanging indent to your reference list or Works Cited list in Word or Google Docs, follow the steps below.

Microsoft Word:

  • Highlight the whole list and right click to open the Paragraph options.
  • Under Indentation > Special , choose Hanging from the dropdown menu.
  • Set the indent to 0.5 inches or 1.27cm.

Google Docs:

  • Highlight the whole list and click on Format >  Align and indent >  Indentation options .
  • Under  Special indent , choose Hanging from the dropdown menu.

When the hanging indent is applied, for each reference, every line except the first is indented. This helps the reader see where one entry ends and the next begins.

For a published interview (whether in video , audio, or print form ), you should always include a citation , just as you would for any other source.

For an interview you conducted yourself , formally or informally, you often don’t need a citation and can just refer to it in the text or in a footnote , since the reader won’t be able to look them up anyway. MLA , however, still recommends including citations for your own interviews.

The main elements included in a newspaper interview citation across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the names of the interviewer and interviewee, the interview title, the publication date, the name of the newspaper, and a URL (for online sources).

The information is presented differently in different citation styles. One key difference is that APA advises listing the interviewer in the author position, while MLA and Chicago advise listing the interviewee first.

The elements included in a newspaper article citation across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author name, the article title, the publication date, the newspaper name, and the URL if the article was accessed online .

In APA and MLA, the page numbers of the article appear in place of the URL if the article was accessed in print. No page numbers are used in Chicago newspaper citations.

Untitled sources (e.g. some images ) are usually cited using a short descriptive text in place of the title. In APA Style , this description appears in brackets: [Chair of stained oak]. In MLA and Chicago styles, no brackets are used: Chair of stained oak.

For social media posts, which are usually untitled, quote the initial words of the post in place of the title: the first 160 characters in Chicago , or the first 20 words in APA . E.g. Biden, J. [@JoeBiden]. “The American Rescue Plan means a $7,000 check for a single mom of four. It means more support to safely.”

MLA recommends quoting the full post for something short like a tweet, and just describing the post if it’s longer.

The main elements included in image citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the name of the image’s creator, the image title, the year (or more precise date) of publication, and details of the container in which the image was found (e.g. a museum, book , website ).

In APA and Chicago style, it’s standard to also include a description of the image’s format (e.g. “Photograph” or “Oil on canvas”). This sort of information may be included in MLA too, but is not mandatory.

The main elements included in a lecture citation across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the name of the speaker, the lecture title, the date it took place, the course or event it was part of, and the institution it took place at.

For transcripts or recordings of lectures/speeches, other details like the URL, the name of the book or website , and the length of the recording may be included instead of information about the event and institution.

The main elements included in a YouTube video citation across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the name of the author/uploader, the title of the video, the publication date, and the URL.

The format in which this information appears is different for each style.

All styles also recommend using timestamps as a locator in the in-text citation or Chicago footnote .

Each annotation in an annotated bibliography is usually between 50 and 200 words long. Longer annotations may be divided into paragraphs .

The content of the annotation varies according to your assignment. An annotation can be descriptive, meaning it just describes the source objectively; evaluative, meaning it assesses its usefulness; or reflective, meaning it explains how the source will be used in your own research .

Any credible sources on your topic can be included in an annotated bibliography . The exact sources you cover will vary depending on the assignment, but you should usually focus on collecting journal articles and scholarly books . When in doubt, utilize the CRAAP test !

An annotated bibliography is an assignment where you collect sources on a specific topic and write an annotation for each source. An annotation is a short text that describes and sometimes evaluates the source.

The elements included in journal article citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the name(s) of the author(s), the title of the article, the year of publication, the name of the journal, the volume and issue numbers, the page range of the article, and, when accessed online, the DOI or URL.

In MLA and Chicago style, you also include the specific month or season of publication alongside the year, when this information is available.

In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.

If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:

  • In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
  • In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.

If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.

The main elements included in website citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the date of publication, the page title, the website name, and the URL. The information is presented differently in each style.

When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)

In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.

For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.

The abbreviation “ et al. ” (Latin for “and others”) is used to shorten citations of sources with multiple authors.

“Et al.” is used in APA in-text citations of sources with 3+ authors, e.g. (Smith et al., 2019). It is not used in APA reference entries .

Use “et al.” for 3+ authors in MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Use “et al.” for 4+ authors in a Chicago in-text citation , and for 10+ authors in a Chicago bibliography entry.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

The main elements included in all book citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the title, the year of publication, and the name of the publisher. A page number is also included in in-text citations to highlight the specific passage cited.

In Chicago style and in the 6th edition of APA Style , the location of the publisher is also included, e.g. London: Penguin.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:

  • APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
  • MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
  • Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.

In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:

  • To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
  • To give evidence from primary sources
  • To accurately present a precise definition or argument

Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

A DOI is a unique identifier for a digital document. DOIs are important in academic citation because they are more permanent than URLs, ensuring that your reader can reliably locate the source.

Journal articles and ebooks can often be found on multiple different websites and databases. The URL of the page where an article is hosted can be changed or removed over time, but a DOI is linked to the specific document and never changes.

When a book’s chapters are written by different authors, you should cite the specific chapter you are referring to.

When all the chapters are written by the same author (or group of authors), you should usually cite the entire book, but some styles include exceptions to this.

  • In APA Style , single-author books should always be cited as a whole, even if you only quote or paraphrase from one chapter.
  • In MLA Style , if a single-author book is a collection of stand-alone works (e.g. short stories ), you should cite the individual work.
  • In Chicago Style , you may choose to cite a single chapter of a single-author book if you feel it is more appropriate than citing the whole book.

Articles in newspapers and magazines can be primary or secondary depending on the focus of your research.

In historical studies, old articles are used as primary sources that give direct evidence about the time period. In social and communication studies, articles are used as primary sources to analyze language and social relations (for example, by conducting content analysis or discourse analysis ).

If you are not analyzing the article itself, but only using it for background information or facts about your topic, then the article is a secondary source.

A fictional movie is usually a primary source. A documentary can be either primary or secondary depending on the context.

If you are directly analyzing some aspect of the movie itself – for example, the cinematography, narrative techniques, or social context – the movie is a primary source.

If you use the movie for background information or analysis about your topic – for example, to learn about a historical event or a scientific discovery – the movie is a secondary source.

Whether it’s primary or secondary, always properly cite the movie in the citation style you are using. Learn how to create an MLA movie citation or an APA movie citation .

To determine if a source is primary or secondary, ask yourself:

  • Was the source created by someone directly involved in the events you’re studying (primary), or by another researcher (secondary)?
  • Does the source provide original information (primary), or does it summarize information from other sources (secondary)?
  • Are you directly analyzing the source itself (primary), or only using it for background information (secondary)?

Some types of source are nearly always primary: works of art and literature, raw statistical data, official documents and records, and personal communications (e.g. letters, interviews ). If you use one of these in your research, it is probably a primary source.

Primary sources are often considered the most credible in terms of providing evidence for your argument, as they give you direct evidence of what you are researching. However, it’s up to you to ensure the information they provide is reliable and accurate.

Always make sure to properly cite your sources to avoid plagiarism .

Common examples of secondary sources include academic books, journal articles , reviews, essays , and textbooks.

Anything that summarizes, evaluates or interprets primary sources can be a secondary source. If a source gives you an overview of background information or presents another researcher’s ideas on your topic, it is probably a secondary source.

Common examples of primary sources include interview transcripts , photographs, novels, paintings, films, historical documents, and official statistics.

Anything you directly analyze or use as first-hand evidence can be a primary source, including qualitative or quantitative data that you collected yourself.

The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js . It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.

You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github .

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IMAGES

  1. How to Find that Research Paper Online (5 free strategies)

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  2. A Guide on How to Find Sources For a Research Paper

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  3. How to Get Free Research Papers

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  4. Top 3 tools to find research papers || Where to find research articles

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  5. How to Search & Download Research Paper from Google Scholar

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  6. How to Write a Research Paper in English

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VIDEO

  1. Download Paid Research Paper

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  5. How to access and download paid research papers for free (all steps)?

  6. Complete guide on how to find research paper

COMMENTS

  1. Google Scholar Search Help

    Search Help. Get the most out of Google Scholar with some helpful tips on searches, email alerts, citation export, and more. Your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not by date. To find newer articles, try the following options in the left sidebar: click the envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.

  2. Eight Ways (and More) To Find and Access Research Papers

    Google Scholar is a free search engine that provides access to research in multiple disciplines. The sources include academic publishers, universities, online repositories, books, and even judicial opinions from court cases. Based on its indexing, Google Scholar provides citation counts to allow authors and others to track the impact of their work.

  3. How to Find Sources

    Research databases. You can search for scholarly sources online using databases and search engines like Google Scholar. These provide a range of search functions that can help you to find the most relevant sources. If you are searching for a specific article or book, include the title or the author's name. Alternatively, if you're just ...

  4. ResearchGate

    Access 160+ million publications and connect with 25+ million researchers. Join for free and gain visibility by uploading your research.

  5. OATD

    You may also want to consult these sites to search for other theses: Google Scholar; NDLTD, the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.NDLTD provides information and a search engine for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), whether they are open access or not. Proquest Theses and Dissertations (PQDT), a database of dissertations and theses, whether they were published ...

  6. The best academic search engines [Update 2024]

    1. Google Scholar. Google Scholar is the clear number one when it comes to academic search engines. It's the power of Google searches applied to research papers and patents. It not only lets you find research papers for all academic disciplines for free but also often provides links to full-text PDF files. Coverage: approx. 200 million articles.

  7. How to efficiently search online databases for academic research

    Use the campus network to access research databases. 2. Find databases that are specifically related to your topic. 3. Set up the search parameters within a database to be as narrow as possible. 4. Ask a librarian for help. 5. Slowly expand your search to get additional results.

  8. How to find an academic research paper

    Reach out to the journal and the scholar. (The scholar's email is often on the abstract page. Also, scholars generally have an easy-to-find webpage.) One is likely to give you a free copy of the paper, especially if you are a member of the press. In regular Google, search for the study by title and you might find a free version.

  9. Resources for Finding and Accessing Scientific Papers

    Try searching for the full title of the paper in a regular search engine like Google, Yahoo, or MSN. The paper may come up multiple times, and one of those might be a free, downloadable copy. So, if the first link isn't downloadable, try another. Go directly to the online homepage of the journal in which the paper was published.

  10. How to Write a Research Paper

    Choose a research paper topic. Conduct preliminary research. Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft.

  11. What is a DOI?

    A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique and never-changing string assigned to online (journal) articles, books, and other works. DOIs make it easier to retrieve works, which is why citation styles, like APA and MLA Style, recommend including them in citations. You may find DOIs formatted in various ways:

  12. 21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2022

    These databases provide a variety of free sources, from abstracts and citations to full-text, peer-reviewed OA journals. With databases covering specific areas of research and interdisciplinary databases that provide a variety of material, these are some of our favorite free databases, and they're totally legit! 1.

  13. How to Do Online Research

    The search engine allows the user to ask for content meeting specific search criteria and retrieves a list of references that match those criteria. Search engines that work with keywords help you locate Web sites. You type in a keyword and the search engine automatically looks through its giant databases for matches.

  14. Connected Papers

    Get a visual overview of a new academic field. Enter a typical paper and we'll build you a graph of similar papers in the field. Explore and build more graphs for interesting papers that you find - soon you'll have a real, visual understanding of the trends, popular works and dynamics of the field you're interested in.

  15. Evaluating Digital Sources

    Evaluating Digital Sources. Because so much information is now available online, it's important to know how to navigate digital sources versus print sources. Today, almost every print source has a digital edition (e.g., ebooks, online newspapers), and some academic journals only publish digitally. However, despite the many credible digital ...

  16. "I found it online": Citing online works in APA Style

    The term "website" can cause confusion because people use it to refer to both a reference category (see Section 10.16 in the Publication Manual and Section 10.14 in the Concise Guide) and a method of retrieval (i.e., online).. When you are citing something on a website, ensure you are thinking about its reference type and not its method of retrieval.

  17. How To Write A Research Paper (FREE Template

    Step 1: Find a topic and review the literature. As we mentioned earlier, in a research paper, you, as the researcher, will try to answer a question.More specifically, that's called a research question, and it sets the direction of your entire paper. What's important to understand though is that you'll need to answer that research question with the help of high-quality sources - for ...

  18. How to Find Sources For a Research Paper

    Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions. Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources.

  19. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  20. How can I find the questionnaire on the research article?

    Popular answers (1) Saif-ur-Rehman Khan. University of Modern Sciences. For a particular article in which you are interested in, you go into methodology part and see whose questionnaire has been ...

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  26. A Beginner's Guide to Starting the Research Process

    Step 4: Create a research design. The research design is a practical framework for answering your research questions. It involves making decisions about the type of data you need, the methods you'll use to collect and analyze it, and the location and timescale of your research. There are often many possible paths you can take to answering ...

  27. How to change your appearance in Dragon's Dogma 2

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  30. How do I find the DOI of an article?

    It is often listed near the publication date, and includes "doi.org" or "DOI:". If the database has a "cite this article" button, this should also produce a citation with the DOI included. If you can't find the DOI, you can search on Crossref using information like the author, the article title, and the journal name.