Use Recommended Web Sites or Web Search Tools

Virtually all types of publications are distributed through the World Wide Web: books, academic journals, trade journals, newspapers, magazines, and so on. Some publications, like academic journals, are more likely to be online than other publications, like academic books.

Among those items that are on the web, some are available for no charge and some are available only for a fee. Some publishers offer only selected material for free. For example, some trade journals offer the latest week or two of articles for no charge and then charge ("monetize") some fee per article for older material.

Rod Library purchases business and economics materials in print format in some cases and subscribes to online resources in other cases that are not free on the web.

The Basic Research Steps page discusses using databases to find articles, books, and other reference sources. For the most part, these databases lead to publications that have gone through a review process before being published. Web sites in general may not have gone through a review process, and special care should be taken to be sure they are appropriate for a given assignment. Since web sites may be critical sources of information for some business and economics research projects, they should be evaluated using factors discussed in documents listed on the Basic Research Steps page: authority, objectivity, quality, coverage, currency, and so on.

Recommended Web Sites

Recommendations of particular web sites may come from sources such as the following:

  • Professor, syllabus, other course materials
  • Reference source bibliographies. For example, Standard & Poor's Industry Survey chapters recommend specific web sites of trade associations, trade journals, governmental regulatory bodies, and market research firms.
  • Library User Guides and other Rod Library documents. CBA-related Library User Guides recommend print, subscription databases, and free web sites.

Web Search Tools

Some tools search huge collections of web pages. Other tools are compilations of scholarly or specialized sources and aim to include "invisible" web pages not retrieved by the large search tools. Especially in the case of large web search tools, results must be carefully evaluated, considering factors cited by other Basic Research Steps documents such as Critical Evaluation of Information Resources.


Last updated: October 15, 2013