Monday April 14, 2014
It's natural (and absolutely essential) these days to turn to the Web as a source of information. However, when you use the Web as a source, you're never quite sure if what you're coming across is absolutely credible; after all, simply doing a cursory Google search is going to probably net you more results than you know what to do with, and Wikipedia, while ostensibly a good resource, is a community-edited wiki that is not necessarily considered to be a reliable resource.
So what's a student to do? Well, while there is a ton of information available at your favorite search engine, there's even more information - like hundreds of times more information - available by diving into the Deep Web. The Deep, or Invisible, Web includes databases, content, and obscured resources that a general search engine query won't necessarily see; however, you can get in there using some special search skills and a few specialized search engines. Sound interesting? Get started with these five Deep Web search engines, specialized tools you can use to find scholarly research and information on nearly any subject you can possibly think of.
More help with research on the Web
Friday April 11, 2014
You probably already know that you can bookmark your favorite Web sites in your browser. But if you want to go a little bit further and organize your Web searches even better, here are four tools you can use for free:
Clipmarks Save anything - content, videos, messages, etc. - and save them to your Clipmarks. You can share them with others, too, if you want.
Diigo is the prima donna of research tools. You can use it to save your favorites, highlight information, archive, bookmark, annotate, and access your information from anywhere.
Evernote can save anything for you, even screenshots; then it will organize them for you. Couple of ideas you can use Evernote for? Try creating a detailed vacation itinerary with maps, ticket information, and tourist spots, or how about keeping all those notes from that business meeting right where you can find them next time (and you can even take pictures of the whiteboard!).
Zotero is a Firefox extension that you can use to collect, organize, and even cite your Web research sources. You can store PDF files, make detailed notes on a Web page, and make a bibliography.
Are there free tools you use to organize your Web searches? Share them with us in the comments.
More free Web tools
Wednesday April 9, 2014
I really enjoy listening to audio books, especially when I'm on a long car drive or working on something that's somewhat repetitive. However, I don't like paying exorbitant prices for quality audio books, and you probably don't either, right? That's why I put together this article, Free Audio Books: The Top Eight Sites. It features eight websites that offer a huge variety of books to listen to, from classics to romance to science fiction to kids' stories. Check it out and see what you think.
And speaking of books.....
image courtesy sxc.hu
Monday April 7, 2014
School is still in full swing for many K-12 folks and college students. For many people this time of year, the dreaded Research Paper is starting to loom menacingly on the horizon, with something called "proper citation required" tagging right along behind. If you use something you've discovered on the Web as part of your paper, you need to cite it a little bit differently than you would a book, magazine, or encyclopedia. Find out more here: How to Cite an Article from a Website.
Back up a second. Before we start citing anything, you need to make sure that the website is a reputable, credible source. You can do that with this article: How to Evaluate a Website: Is It Worthy of a Citation?
How do you test a website for credibility? Are there certain signs, signals, or informational content that you look for in deciding whether or not you should believe what a particular website is trying to tell you? Let us know in the comments.