Pin Me

Top 5 Online Research Tools

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 12/1/2009

It is possible to learn millions of new things online, provided you have access to the best online research tools. Of course, you’ve the power of Google Search at your fingertips, but it is not the only option at your disposal. This article covers some of the best online research tools.

  • slide 1 of 7


    Online research isn’t about researching info about particular things when you badly need them, but more about keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest inventions and technology updates.

    If you try to research on some of the topics, you may find very little help right away, but some of the powerful online research tools can simplify the process to a great extent. So, here are the top 5 online research tools.

  • slide 2 of 7

    1. Questia

    If you're looking for a 24/7 online library containing a plethora of ebooks and journal collections, then Questia can be a superb selection.

    You can find magazine and newspaper articles, over 72,000 full-text books, reputable materials on most research topics, and about 2 million articles in total.

    Questia also provides several online tools such as advanced search, writing and note-taking tools, making your life a lot easier. You can perform searches based on subject, keyword phrase, or specific page, and bookmark whatever you find handy.

  • slide 3 of 7

    2. Internet Public Library (IPL)

    When you're researching something online, the Internet Public Library, (often referred to as IPL) can be one of the most handy options, originally created by collegiate-level students of University of Michigan's School of Information.

    It is a highly informative website/online library that offers information on respective subject area along with all the helpful links over the World Wide Web pertaining to anything that you may be researching on. Not only do you find good amount of information, but also 45,000+ relevant links to work with.

  • slide 4 of 7

    3. ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)

    You’ll definitely find this educational database extremely handy for searching anything from its Resources in Education (RIE) file of document citations. What’s more, there are about 1000 professional journals also included too. So, you can compile a whole lot of information from these, and prepare project reports or even white papers on the concerned topic.

    ERIC can be of great aid, when you're looking for generic information on common research topics, rather than something too specific. The information provided on ERIC is considered quite reliable and extremely useful for the collegiate-level researchers.

  • slide 5 of 7

    4. Britannica Online Academic Edition

    For the collegiate students, Encyclopedia Britannica may not be enough alone, because they’ll often come across strange tech jargons that they’ve never heard of. So, the Britannica Online Academic Edition features combination of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Encyclopedia Britannica, Thesaurus, periodicals, magazines, and a number of research tools.

    This is perhaps one of the best online research tools for collegiate students to conduct research, that too from a single database.

  • slide 6 of 7

    5. Google, Google Scholar and Google Advanced Scholar Search

    Google is indeed the most popular online research tool for anyone and everyone, whether you consider the students, scholars, IT pros, housewives or those who love to research things just as a hobby or past time. Information found on Google has been becoming better and better just as the number of users keep increasing.

    But, when it comes down to some serious research work, Google Scholar turns out to be one of the better bets. It allows you to find scholarly literature across various disciplines and informative sources. These include books, articles, abstracts and even theses.

    When you need to perform advanced level research on specific topics, you may also consider Google Advanced Scholar Search too.

  • slide 7 of 7

    Other Resources

    Wikipedia is one of the biggest and the richest online open-source encyclopedias. However, Wiki entries can be edited by anyone and everyone, so you may be better off putting your money on Britannica or some other paid encyclopedia to wrap off your projects, or collect info on sensitive topics.

    But, at the same time, since Wikipedia is open source, you’ll find at least 5 times the info, which you may find elsewhere. More so, you may not find details about subjects such as 1960s underground press in Britannica and other similar online research tools. Wikipedia may be your starting point to carry out research on literally any topic in this world, but definitely not a great choice to carry out collegiate level research work.

    When you need specific answers, Yahoo Answers can be quite handy, though they may not be too informative. On the other hand, social bookmarking services like and have been growing in popularity and they can be a great asset to research something specific over the internet. You never know when you may come cross some useful information on these place, which may be extremely useful for your next collegiate level project, or to complete your assignment.

    Additionally is also known to be good for collecting specific data rather than generic information, while Bing (MSN search) is known to be the best online research tool to collect images about anything and everything. These two sources can be of good use when you need to collect a number of images on a particular topic of interest, or collecting information, which isn't available otherwise.

    These online research tools can greatly help you collect all the info that you may require on a specific topic or a broad subject to write a white paper or project report. If you need help to research internet effectively, click here

    You can also check out another handy compilation of University Libraries Online here