The Wayback Machine’s inventor, Brewster Kahle, is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist and computer whizz who helped design Mr Hillis’s ground-breaking Connection Machine in the 1980s. In 1996 he founded a non-profit organisation, the Internet Archive, to create a free internet library capable of storing a copy of every web page of every website ever to go online. The Wayback Machine allows users to view the library’s archived web pages as they appeared when published. Today the Internet Archive also includes texts, audio, moving images and software. At the last count, its collection contained more than 150 billion items.
Annual Reviews is a wonderful database that presents bibliographic essays on your academic topic. These essays will explain our current state of understanding the topic as well as listing the important articles and books that you need to read.
These essays provide an effective means of context and deeper understanding of the problem you are researching. You didn’t have to read a sketchy Wikipedia article either!
What if there are two are more common or related words and you want to include both of them in your search? You’ll use parentheses – it works like an algebraic equation.
You enter your search into the database like so:
Example (blue or harvest) moon. You’ll get results that include blue and moon and harvest and moon.
(Soviet or Russia) “Cold War”
You’ll get results that include Soviet and “Cold War” AND Russia and “Cold War.”
If you have been doing searches like blue or harvest moon, you’ll get results back that feature only the word blue together with results that mix harvest and moon. No blue moon exactly, just blue….skies, bells, tooth, etc…
The parentheses make sure (those words go together.)
Here’s how to identify important journals in your field if you are a faculty or graduate student wanting to publish your work. Part one takes you through Web of Science, Journal Citation Reports and Scopus. URLs to the databases are included in the description of the video.
This is one of my go-to sources for in-depth introductions and entries on complex topics. This is much better than Wikipedia or general encyclopedias. When people start doing research they very often need summaries of their pretty intricate topic. How else are you going to understand those complex journal articles?
Don’t forget book reviews! Most databases will allow you to select book reviews as a source type. Reason: find out a book’s reputation, any hidden context, its significance among experts, and any problems with the book. Most authors are pretty persuasive and you need a second opinion.
Be sure to limit results to “review” or “book review,” depending on the interface.
Here’s how to find books and other materials that the Alkek Library doesn’t own.
Use Worldcat to search the world’s libraries at once. Request the item you want through interlibrary loan (for books, expect the process to take a minimum of 6 to 8 days). The tutorial below also shows you how to search area libraries if you want to get the item immediately (if you have a Texshare card).