Research: it is one of the things that students dread the most when it comes to writing those damned papers in college. No more will we students have wake long nights digging through old microfiche or ancient tomes whilst guzzling cheap coffee, all in the name of looking for that one chapter, fact, or author that would help build the monstrous thesis we thought we had a hold of when we first chose our topic.

Well, fret no more, fellow scholar, because there are tools on the Internet that are out there now that can help you get find the information you are looking for so you can finish that damn paper about the work ethic of the Swiss in in Calvinist Zurich during the mid-seventeenth century. The first one I’ll be digging my fingers into is jstor.


Jstor is a collection of online, digital archive of over one thousand academic journals and other scholarly content. Growing everyday, this collection of journals and other academic journals helps students and scholars alike look for peer-reviewed, academic material and use them for their own academic or research endeavors. Although this is an amazing tool, it does require a subscription fee. Luckily, most universities allow students free access to jstor as members of the university.


This is simply a digitization of books so that books can be read on the Internet: you don’t need to physically be at the library or have the book in your hand. The site an advanced search engine and multiple languages for all the books digitized in your respective school’s collection. So, although this service also requires a subscription fee and is limited to the books that your particular school has digitized, this is a wonderful site to help for research when it is just not feasible for you to be physically near the book, library, or research institute.


And finally, this program integrates itself into Firefox (and only Firefox) to act as an aid to research, helping you save sites, articles, pictures, and most everything else  that you may use in your research. Also, this add-on can efficiently and correctly cite the sources you’ve used in almost any of the major formats used in research (APA, Chicago, MLA, IEEE, etc.)


  1. ewuepper on 05.26.2010

    I actually used jstor at my high school for certain research assignments. I was very disappointed when I couldn’t access the site through UMW libraries. I would pay for a subscription, but it seems like a waste since I don’t do research papers that often in my major and I can usually find relevant articles somewhere else, but I wonder why our university doesn’t subscribe to it.

  2. ahenson on 05.26.2010

    I should probably bookmark this particular blog posting of yours. It definitely makes knowing which type of reference tools would best fit any of my future academic essays and projects, at least on the occasion for when a simple search engine just isn’t good enough. It would nice though if colleges digitized ALL of their physical library so that would be worth the subscription fee.

  3. ernie on 06.01.2010

    See for information about using Jstor at UMW