Research-based search engines can help you speed up the research process. Learn how Google Scholar, Cuil, Zotero, and Connotea are making research easier.
Time, as always, is a key factor when doing research. It’s a boon when technology can speed up that process. Once you learn about and start using the following technologies, the process of finding, saving, and organizing research materials will flow much smoother.
Find it: Research-based Search Engines
Not all search engines are made equal. Results in Google are based on popularity metrics. However, by using Google Scholar and Cuil (pronounced cool), search results will come from scholarly literature and academic disciplines.
Google Scholar helps you to search through scholarly literature: peer-reviewed papers, theses, abstracts, articles, and books. It connects to academic publishers, professional societies, universities, and other scholarly organizations. It does not rank search results by popularity criteria as a normal Google search would. It ranks them according to the content of the material, who the author is, which publication the article appears in, and how often the article has been cited in other scholarly research.
Google Scholar Features
- Searches scholarly sources
- Locates scholarly papers, abstracts, and citations
- Discovers key papers in any area of research
- Locates online libraries for electronic copies of the information or brick and mortar libraries that have physical copies of the work.
More Helpful Links
- Click here to read general information about Google Scholar and to understand your search results.
- Click here to read about advanced search tips.
Save it. Share it: Managing Research References
Once your Internet searches have produced useful information, you will need to have a system to save and organize your references. You might need to share your references with colleagues or other researchers. Zotero and Connotea are two great methods for saving and sharing.
Zotero is a Firefox extension that helps you to collect, manage, and cite any research material you find on the Internet.
- Automatically captures citation information from Web pages
- Stores images, links, PDFs, and whole Web pages
- Provides note taking capabilities
- Integrates with Microsoft Word
- Integrates with blogging software
- Has advanced search and data mining tools
- Offers tagging capabilities
What Professors Say About Zotero
Professor Charles Graham, IT
“I like Zotero because it is an open source tool that is free for students and faculty to use. I use it in a foundations class in our department where students are building bibliographies and learning the basics of APA formatting.
“Another reason that I like Zotero is that I can go to Google Scholar, or Web of Science, or Ebsco or any other bibliographic database and easily download all the reference information for papers. Then I can easily format the citations and references for inclusion in a research paper. It is as easy as drag and drop with the MS Word Zotero plugin.
“I was an Endnote user previously and I hadn’t used RefWorks because you have to be online to use that tool. Zotero is integrated right into the Firefox browser and the reference library can be used anytime whether I am online or offline. It’s a powerful tool that is useful to me and my students and it’s free.”
More Helpful Links
Connotea is a Web site, so you do not have to download and install anything on your computer. Your Connotea library is held on the Web and is easily accessible from any computer that has Internet access. This also allows you to easily share your Connotea library with colleagues.
- Saves and organizes links to various Web sites
- Saves references with just one click
- Allows references to be public to everyone, private, or shared with a selected group of colleagues
- Searches other Connotea users’ libraries
More Helpful Links
We would like to hear from you! Please share your experiences with any of these technologies. Send your comments to email@example.com. Thanks so much!