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Research Online: A Practical Guide 
Choose a Section:
Intro | Web Basics | Searching | Links | Citing Sources | Conclusion

But I Already Know How to Surf the Web
Learn to Search Smarter
panacea: a remedy for all ills or difficulties
What the Library Offers
What the Internet Offers

What the Library Offers:

Books, journals, and newspapers in their entirety

Need an article from the May 1968 edition of Life magazine? Need a thorough biography on the life of an obscure artist? Chances are you're only going to find these resources in the library. While many Web sites offer full-text articles and full-length works of literature and nonfiction, more often you'll find only selected articles, excerpts, tables of contents, or perhaps an abstract of an article. Because of copyright and permissions issues, there will probably never be a time when you'll find everything in print on the Web.

Indexes, Abstracts, Directories, Catalogs

Unfortunately, some of the most detailed, reliable, and complete information online is available only through fee-based information providers (such as Lexis-Nexis) or password-protected Web sites. Few things in life are free! Don't forget the value of all the free resources available to you in the public library!

Archives, Special Collections, Rare Books and Documents

In the past, original documents like centuries-old manuscripts, historical records, and preserved maps were only found in libraries and special collections. Now the Internet offers the technology to share many such gems online. See the Library of Congress American Memory project.

Knowledgeable Reference Librarians

Knowing how and where to locate all the resources available in the library is a science (you can earn a graduate degree in Library and Information Science). Why not enlist the aid of a reference librarian who is trained to help you track down reliable information?

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