Depending on your subject, web resources like Google, Google Scholar and Wikipedia can be a good place to START your research, just don't finish there. The following tips can help make your web use more efficient:
- The web can be especially useful for finding information from governments and NGOs, since governments often have a mandate to publish electronically and publications from NGOs may not be indexed in databases.
- Look at the references you get and then use the Library website to access scholarly resources. If you use Google Scholar, make sure to set your Scholar Preferences so that Cornell is listed as your library links and you get the Get it! Cornell links that will let you access articles off campus.
- Google Scholar in particular is also good for verifying scholarly citations.
- Look for portals dedicated to particular subjects and for bibliographies and other lists of resources to add to your research.
- Use web sites to find keywords that can be used to search for books in the Library Catalog or for articles!
Navigating the Information Universe
Where do you get your Information?
But if you are only using Google to find your information, you may not be finding all of the information that is available on your topic, especially for scholarly research.
Three very important facts to remember about information:
1. Search Engines only retrieve a portion of the information available on the web.
A lot of useful information is not freely available on the web. It is proprietary, meaning someone--an author, a publisher, or institution--owns the information.
Useful Web Resources
Not all websites are created equal! Major nongovernmental organizations and various scholarly associations can be rich and authoritative websites, especially for the kind of grey literature not published in mainstream scholarly journals (including white papers, evaluation reports, training materials, and the like). Below are a few useful places to start.