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Introduction to Academic Research

Everything you need to know to begin a research project

Internet Sources

You might have discovered since you've come to ETSU that many professors are leery about allowing students to use web sites in research papers. The truth is that the internet contains a lot of information that is not available elsewhere (e. g. the U.S. government publishes almost exclusively to the internet). How do you find appropriate web sites for your college papers?

Here are two suggestions that should help when you use Google:

1. Use Google Scholar. Google Scholar can help you identify the most relevant research including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, and abstracts and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. 

The easiest ways to find Google Scholar is to google "Scholar" or type the URL, "" into either the search or address box. 

You can make this search more powerful by setting a library link for ETSU. Click on Settings (located in the upper right corner of the page). The library links button is located on the left side of the page under the language link. We recommend that you set a language limit to English unless you can read other languages.

2. Use domain searching. Not all domains are created equal (the domain is the part of the URL that comes after the dot). The three domains that would be most useful for your searches will be: 

.gov (government sites. These sites include local, state, and federal government sites for the United States.) 
.edu (educational sites. This domain includes mostly colleges and universities.)
.org (noncommercial sites. This domain includes nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, philanthropies, charities, religious organizations, educational and cultural institutions, arts organizations, and sports clubs.)

To search within a domain, type in your keyword(s) followed by (or .edu or .org). Do not leave a space between the colon and the dot. Example: racial profiling

The Web