This is the second part of a short series on how to get out of the Google Bubble and ramp up your research practices. You can read Part 1 here.
So you’re ready to leave Google for a bit, and see what the deep web has to offer. But where do you start? Try this list for some ideas.
If it’s online, there’s a good chance it’s been captured and catalogued by the Internet Archive – a massively ambitious project to digitise, record, index, and make available the total sum of human knowledge. The Archive works with a range of partners to achieve this, and provides access to billions of web pages, as well as millions of books, ebooks, audio files, videos, TV shows, images, and software.
Open Library is the catalogue arm of the Internet Archive, and aims to “get you as close to the actual document you’re looking for as we can”.
#OpenAccess is all the rage at the moment, with a growing shift amongst researchers, academics, and publishers to make research freely available. This is a counter movement to the current system of big privately-owned publishers making a lot of money off the backs of universities, researchers and, ultimately, the public purse. The DOAJ indexes and provides access to a heap of open access articles and whole journals from a wide variety of different subjects, from all over the world. Use the filters on the left side of the directory to narrow down your search.
PLoS began life in 2001 as an open access publisher of scientific research. They now have seven journals that cover different aspects of physical and life sciences, as well as curated collections of articles, all freely available to anyone.
If you’re looking for health, medicine, or veterinary research, PubMed is a great place to start! This enormous repository of citations is run by the US National Library of Medicine, and provides access to free, full-text articles by using the Free Full Text filter once you’ve done a search.
Another book catalogue, this one focusing on works that are out of copyright (ie. published in the USA before 1923). There will be some overlap between the Internet Archive and Gutenberg, but not 100%. If you can’t find something on the Internet Archive, then it might be on Gutenberg, and vice versa.
Do you know of any great, free, online research tools? Let me know in the comments!
Part 3 of this post is going to explore using library systems to extend your research even further.