When conducting research online it can be hard to determine which sources are reliable ones and which are not. Particularly when writing a paper or a dissertation for a university degree, it is very important to use factual sources. Sites such as blogs, commercial sites, and Wikipedia are generally frowned upon, but government sites, newspapers or scientific journals are all considered to be of top quality.
Of course, there is also the old fashioned way of going to the library and looking through books! And even that doesn’t necessarily require the researcher to leave their house, as a vast number of books are now available online. It is important to note that even with using reliable websites as sources, it is important to check that it is up-to-date and that all sources are correctly cited.
Finding a Book
As previously mentioned books are a highly reputable source for any subject, and fortunately they can be found online. There are a number of sites that can aid with reading good portions of books such as Google Books. Many books will be uploaded in their entirety here. However, not all will be but there will still be a significant portion of the book available which can help the reader determine whether it is relevant or not. If the book is needed then a trip to a library may be in order, or alternatively hitting up one of the online book vendors such as Amazon and purchasing a copy could do just as well.
Using Journal Sites
Published journals and other scholarly articles can be found in a multitude of places online. These include sites such as Elsevier or Google Scholar. Each specific subject will have its own set of journal sites that are more relevant so it can be pertinent for the researcher to investigate these options as well. Users should note however that whilst many of these journals and articles can be downloaded, there is a significant portion that requires either a University login or purchase of an account. Of course, there are a large number of sites that are completely free and may hold the same article so it is worth searching.
Bearing all this in mind, it is still important that users search for sites and articles correctly using specific keywords to narrow down their search.