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Date Added: May 24, 2007 11:52:51 AM

Gone were the days when one has to go to the nearest library to spend long hours among books and piles of other resources just to get the right information for your research.  Today, just about everything can be found on the Internet.  With just a few words typed on your favorite search engine and the click of a mouse, information is instantly waiting to be unveiled right before your very own eyes.  Internet technology so rapidly improves that mobile research is also made possible.  With your mobile phone you can now surf the net while waiting for your doctor’s appointment, or read the newspapers or listen to live stream broadcast on your laptop.  

While getting reference material on the Internet is the most natural thing to do nowadays, when one wants to get the latest data on just about anything, knowing how to make an organized research is not given much importance.  Owing largely to the convenience of using search engines, we have overlooked the fact that we can actually target on specific materials for as long as we know where to look in the first place.  Sure, searching for materials using search engines can generate more leads for you, but imagine what more you can do when you know what type of information you can look out for.

What are the types of available reference materials on the Internet?


Organizational websites  

For example, you are researching information about the advantages and disadvantages of licensed gun possession.  You can narrow down your search and obtain relevant and more focused information on the subject by looking for websites of gun owners’ associations.  More often than not, their websites will be packed with information regarding guns, gun ownership, and other related materials.  Another example is when you are particularly looking for information on diabetes, it would be good to look for websites of local or national organizations or federation for diabetes victims.  For sure, tons of information about their organization as well as data for diabetes definition, symptoms and treatment are made available for its members.  This way, you are more assured of credible information because the source of information is specially targeted to its members and regular readers.

Government websites

You are on the lookout for information on copyright and infringement issues.  A quick search on the Internet will give you a good number of leads to content which is more than likely to be rehashed from one website to another.  But if you want to get more precise and accurate legal information on how to proceed with your copyright, you can go look it up in the appropriate government agency’s website that deals with copyright and trademarks.  Or if you need to get data on population growth, go directly to the website of the government agency that deals with census and population.

Online Magazines and Ezines

Online magazines or e-zines are gaining popularity nowadays among those whose work and lifestyle revolves around the Internet.  It has become one of the more popular source of information targeted at a particular segment of Internet users.  As such, it is also a reliable reference material for more recent and relevant information.  Most of these Ezines are accessible by regular subscription, either free or with charge, and more targeted on special niche subjects.  For example, there are now hundreds of freelancing websites offering online magazines dealing with how to subjects, tips, and even reference materials for freelancers.

Online libraries  

Imagine the wide array of references offered by the libraries of universities, public, government, medical, and other academic libraries from all over the world, accessible through the Internet.  Aside from that, there are also some websites offering services as an online library, a repository of endless catalogs of reference materials and even digital versions of reference in some websites.

Online academic journals

Various institutions all over the world conduct studies and researches, whether medical, scientific, or academic.  It goes without saying that by the minute, research findings are published and made available to its intended community and even the public in general.  Gone were the days when research findings are exclusively published through academic and other segmentized publications.  You can now have access to countless lists of online study journals from which you can derive data backed up by actual research or study.

Online books

From the bookshelves to download sites, books have consistently remained as well-loved reading materials for people from all walks of life.  Proof to that is the popularity of download sites for free or paid e-books all over the Internet.  What’s good about these materials is that you can just save it to any software compatible portable device, and voila, you can now read its contents to your heart’s delight.  No need anymore to lug around heavy duty books or large bags to carry your books around for reading.  You can just settle yourself in a quiet corner in a coffee shop, open your portable reader and get down to reading.  Online books are popular among free books-seeking students who can very well save money with the cheaper electronic versions of books ranging from fiction, non-fiction to tutorials.

Getting yourself acquainted with information available on the Internet is a must if you want to pursue a more extensive list of references for whatever use it may be.  Do not just limit yourself to doing search results turned up by search engines.  Get yourself off from such mechanical manner of finding information by employing other means of getting information from the Internet.  Explore websites.  Target specific websites and get more reliable information from authorities on the subject.  Explore the Internet and its seemingly bottomless wealth of resources with the same excitement and eagerness you felt when you first set foot in a library.  Get acquainted with the latest publications on your subject matter of interest to keep tabs with updates for your research.  Last but not the least, treat cyberspace as your very own library, and you will be amazed at how learning and research can actually be fun and exciting.

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