Research in the Age of Search Engines

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I’ll be 40 years old in August. One of the things I find so mesmerizingly awesome about the time in which i have lived is the fact that people have access to so much information now! I’m a nerd, plain and simple, which means that I love to learn (as I define it). So, the fact that I can get on the internet and find answers to questions so rapidly is like a dream come true for me.

When I was finishing my undergrad degree (92-97), the internet was still growing and search engines/online research were not nearly as wide and robust as they are today. Now, fast forward to 2012 when I finish my PhD. While it was still very challenging to finish my research and dissertation for my doctorate, I couldn’t help but think back to the days of my undergrad research papers when I had to go to the library, find books, journals, and other resources, then photocopy or check out what I needed to take back to my dorm room with me so that I could write the paper. It was a laborious and sometimes very disorganized process.

But, today I can go on the Web and find just about anything I need. That said, I still recommend the best resources for academic research like EBSCO, ERIC, and ProQuest. But, for simple research for a novel, Wikipedia will often suffice. Or if you’re a code monkey (like me), you can find all kinds of good stuff in places like Rose India.

Basically, the resources are endless and all you have to do is look. Happy hunting, brothers and sisters!

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