Academic resources on the web are living a pretty schizophrenic lifestyle. A lot of them are freely available, and show up in plain-vanilla web searches. When they do, you can click on them for easy access…or not. Increasingly, the search results are just teasers to articles that you can only read if you’re willing to pay for them.

But a lot of scholarly resources aren’t pulled up in a simple search, even they they reside somewhere in the vast reaches of cyber-academia. They are invisible to Google and other search engines. For these, you need some specialty resources like:

Google Scholar, of course.

Microsoft has a similar, though oddly named, tool at Windows Live Search Academic .

Much more cleverly named is the University of Michigan’s OIAster, which doubtless stands for something…it’s a good collection of scholarly materials that include video, audio, databases and images along with text.

Want to search for a thesis? Canada’s done a nice job of making full-text thesis search available on an amazingly wide variety of topics. There’s also the NDLTD (who names these things?), with a rich, albeit ungainly, collection of searchable theses.

And, for that late-at-night-paper-due-tomorrow-morning, there’s Questia, the college student’s favorite (next to the papers-for-sale sites, anyway). Unlike the others I mentioned, Questia is fee-based, but you can still search its large and impressive collection at no cost, and at least see some snippets of results, before deciding whether to ante up or not.

Have fun.

pafalafaga Dave Sarokin

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