Top Research Resources for Students

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Reem Mohamed

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27 January, 2023

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6 mins read

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Writing a research paper can be your worst nightmare or the easiest assignment you get to do throughout your time as a university student. Whichever one it ends up being depends solely on your knowledge of research paper writing. An important aspect of writing a good research paper is knowing how to get information from the right sources. 

Academic resources for students are plentiful and vary according to the type of paper you’re writing and the field you’re writing about. What unites those research resources, however, is how easy to use, helpful, and efficient they are. 

Here’s a scenario: your research paper is due very soon and you don’t know where to find easy, quick, reliable, and accessible sources to cite for said paper. Worry not, we’ve got you covered! Join us as we go through the top research resources for students in this article and pick the one that aligns with your writing style and your field of study!

Top Research Resources for Students

Finding the right research resource can be a bit tricky, especially with unreliable resources like Wikipedia are so famous and accessible on the internet. This is why it’s important to be prepared and have the proper knowledge before delving into the hefty process of writing a research paper. So, without any further ado, here is Casita’s carefully curated list of top research resources for students! 

General Research Resources for Students

The following research resources can be used in all fields of study and by students who are writing papers on different topics. They are general databases that try to cover various topics and be of service to all students, let’s explore some of them!

  1. Google Scholar

Searching for information on Google itself is too broad and you might run into a fair share of unreliable sources and misinformation. Google Scholar, however, makes sure that this is not the case. This resource for students is a comprehensive and reliable research tool which allows students to search for scholarly texts such as books, abstracts, peer-reviewed papers, and articles from academic publishers and professional organizations.

  1. Microsoft Academic

This is one of the top alternatives for Google Scholar. This reliable and comprehensive search engine pulls content from over 120 million publications, including scientific papers, conferences, and journals. You can search directly by topic, or you can search by an extensive list of fields of study. This resource for students utilizes a concept known as Semantic Search to take the actual meaning of words and phrases into account rather than relying on just keywords.

  1. iSeek

Simply ask a question or enter search topics or tools, and iSeek will give you the answer from various scholastic sources and help you find exactly what you are looking for. This research resource is a great help for students as they write their research papers; it pulls its information from trusted resources from universities, governments, and established non-commercial sites.

  1. ResearchGate

This one is a bit different from the rest; this is basically a social networking site for scientists and researchers. Over 11 million researchers submit their work, which adds up to more than 100 million publications on the site for anyone to access. You can search by publication, data, and author, or you can even ask the researchers questions. While it’s not exactly a search engine, and it doesn’t pull from any external sources, this resource’s vast collection of publications helps you find exactly what you need to finish that research paper!

  1. Google Books

This research resource for students has plenty of books to offer; it’s like your own personal online library, but for research purposes! It allows web users to browse an index of thousands of books, from popular titles to old, to find pages that include your search terms. Once you find the book you are looking for, you can look through pages, find online reviews, and learn where you can get a hard copy.

  1. Educational Resources Information Center

ERIC is a great tool for academic research with more than 1.3 million bibliographic records of articles and online material for research. This research resource for students provides access to an extensive collection of education-related literature including journal articles, books, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and so much more.

  1. Wolfram Alpha

This is simply not another research or search engine, Wolfram is more of an answer engine.  Wolfram Alpha uses algorithms, a knowledge base, and artificial intelligence technology to give the user detailed answers to questions and topics. This one is especially popular among maths and physics students as it delivers step-by-step solutions to their questions. However, it is still useful in all aspects of study. 

  1. Semantic Scholar

This AI-driven resource for students pulls information from over 184 million scientific papers. This information is then linked to provide users with comprehensive results on a variety of different topics. Using Semantic Scholar, you get the chance to review key definitions and discover trends in coverage for specific subjects. This is a reliable and dependable source when it comes to writing a decent research paper. 

  1. Internet Public Library

This one is a public, web-based library containing a variety of resources, organised by subject area. This online library catalogue features essays on a variety of subjects that are easily accessible to the general public. You can use this as a resource to gather information while writing your research paper and trust that it’s good and reliable. 

  1. Your University Library

This is the only offline resource for students on our list. You can simply head over to your university library and search for books on your topics of choice. When writing a research paper, your university library acts as both a research resource and a great place to get your work done in a timely, reliable, and precise manner.

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Specific Research Resources for Students

These research resources for students are more on the specific side, meaning they are only used in the event that students are majoring in a certain field or researching a certain, specific topic. Here are some of the research resources used by medical students, humanities students, and art students. 

1. BioMedCentral

If your paper is in the fields of either science, technology, engineering, or medicine, then BioMedCentral is the research resource for you. It has an evolving portfolio of about 300 peer-reviewed journals, sharing discoveries from different research communities. You can search there by topic or view many of the science-related journals by subject. Each journal article typically contains an abstract, a background, a main text, a conclusion, and references. Some articles also contain methodology and results with diagrams, images, and downloadable citations.

2. Artcyclopedia

This is a unique research resource dedicated to artists and works of art. You can search for artists by name, artwork by title, or even search for art museums. The site lists the most popular artists by month and allows you to browse artists by medium, subject, and nationality.  There is also a section devoted to art movements, i.e. Art Deco, Neoclassicism, Cubism, etc. Artcylopedia is great for creatives and art students and acts as a great tool for facilitating their research writing process.

3. Digital History

This is another unique research resource solely dedicated to U.S. History. Digital History categorizes its content into eras, topics, resources, and references. There are exhibitions, multimedia, and a section titled Voices, which contains historical writings and speeches on the website as well. This resource for students is great for history majors in particular as it has everything they need to produce a well-written and properly backed-up research paper. 

4. Science.gov

This search engine and research resource pulls from over 60 databases, around 2,200 websites, and approximately 200 million pages of journals, documents, and scientific data. Search results can be filtered by author, date, topic, and format (text or multimedia). This one is especially useful for STEM students and anyone writing a research paper in a STEM field or topic. Research Resources for Students

5. PubMed Central

This is a medical student’s research haven! This unique search engine is operated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The website’s database contains more than three million full-text journal articles. It’s similar to PubMed Health, which is another research resource for health-related research and studies and includes citations and abstracts to more than 26 million articles.

6. JSTOR

This one is specifically for students enrolled in humanities or social sciences programs. This resource for students ranks among the best online resources containing journal articles, books, images, and even primary sources. This academic research database is not only one of the best, easiest, and most accessible ones around, but it also includes complete runs of over 2,800 journals.

Using this list as your guide when you start writing your next research paper will save you a lot of time and energy. Explore all these options for online and offline resources and pick the one that best fits your topic and field of study. You can also check our tips on writing an A+ research paper while you’re at it. Happy writing! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best resource for research? 

Some of the best resources for research include Google Scholar, JSTOR, Library of Congress, PubMed Central, Google Books, and Science.gov.

What are 5 academic sources?

Scholarly publications (Journals), popular sources (News and Magazines), professional/trade sources, and books/book chapters are among the academic sources for students. 

What are the 3 main types of sources?

The three main types of information or evidence include primary, secondary, and tertiary material.



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