How and where to Find the Best Resources for Your Research?
by Sumona How to Guides 14 December 2021
Behind every successful research (or research paper) stands a backlog of dozens of sources from every corner of the web. There’s no way to come to a satisfying conclusion of any question without the proper citations.
More than half the work of the researcher, writer, or marketer is knowing where to find the sources necessary for a fruitful outcome. One of the challenges has to do with the sheer scope of what’s out there. The Internet can sometimes feel like a deep blue ocean. You stare at it and can’t even see the bottom and there’s water to the horizons on all sides.
You definitely need a strategy.
Why is it important to find the best resources out there?
As with everything, if it’s important then it deserves to be done right.
Credibility is a guarantee your text carries weight and cuts to the heart of the issue. Poor research and questionable sources are the root causes of misinformation that runs rampant through society. You’ve probably noticed how journalism tends to represent scientific articles and studies – they cherry pick a point or two, strip it of its context and language, and then sensationalize it.
You probably remember time and time again how wine has been hailed as a balm for the body as well as a harmful substance to the body in the long run. Relying solely on what’s been written in the media online is not going to lead to any real writing on your part.
How to find them?
That’s why I am here. The actual research portion is quite tricky. Yes, you need to know where to point your attention, but also you need to understand what you’re researching. Create a list with the research terms and phrases that will get you the best results. You can even try them out online to see whether they’ll direct you to academic texts and books.
Although I don’t advise using Wikipedia as a source per se, I would say it’s a better jumping point than simply diving into Google search results. Now as soon as you do find an academic source, I urge you to search for any tags that match up with your search terms. These breadcrumbs lead you down the research rabbit hole.
Where to find the best resources you can use for your research?
Perhaps you’re not necessarily writing a scientific research paper, but are digging into some good old-fashioned marketing research or are writing a low-level paper for school. Then the bar for the quality of the sources you cite is not quite as high. You don’t need to go all out and read scientific journals or make a trip to an academic library.
What you need is an RSS feed reader and the most suited option for the researcher is Inoreader. I particularly love Inoreader, because it has very broad support for different types of media ranging from online newspapers and blogs to Reddit to Twitter to podcasts to YouTube. It’s useful to cite as many different formats and media as possible to write a well-rounded piece.
Inoreader has a powerful discovery tool available to its users on all subscription plans. Another fine perk is the Chrome extension, which is useful when you want to subscribe to different feeds. If you care to invest a little bit, then you can unlock Inoreader’s next-level search features and have the reader’s entire database open in front of you.
Government websites are rich in statistical data. Rather than hunt down news articles or studies just go to the source. Government agencies and other institutions carefully keep statistics on every aspect related to their responsibilities and jurisdiction, and they update them frequently.
Take, for instance, the European Central Bank. It regularly compiles reports and statistics on all things financial such as investment fund statistics and monetary developments in the Euro area. That’s only scratching the surface. Gain access to the entire data warehouse and find what you need. There’s no financial barrier. Just a good Internet connection is required. Nothing else.
Plus, it always looks good to have a report from a government institution in your citations.
Academic libraries are your best bet when writing a demanding research paper. In general, I would also turn to the library in your city. This depends on your city and the state of your local library, but as a whole, libraries are your best starting point in terms of finding what you want. All libraries are in conversation with each other, so this means even if what you need is not there, it can be ordered and delivered.
Libraries also provide much more than books, but also visual materials and films as well as audiobooks. They’re really the best. Plus, you have a powerful ally in the librarian. There’s a reason that library science is its own degree. Librarians are search engine personified. A lot friendlier and highly invested in helping you locate the best sources for your paper.
The library is your first stop and compass. The treasure you’re looking for is academic journals. Yes, articles, books, and media files are good sources of information, but it’s the journals that build your research paper’s backbone. They’re highly credible and provide readers with evidence to go with their claims.
You also have the additional criterion for quality is whether it’s peer-reviewed or not. Often, professors will demand peer-reviewed papers in the citations and academic journals where to find them.
Another reason academic journals are so critical is the full access to quantitative and qualitative research. You have the full picture in statistical data, opinions, verbal data. These are the building blocks to creating a plausible argument. Academic journals offer clarity, case studies, and a richer list of additional sources to follow. One way to discover academic journals is to sign up for J-Gate, the platform with over 71 million articles indexed to date.