Welcome to the online research guide.
Before you start delving into wealth of resources available on the internet, here are five easy tips to help you refine your research and ensure that you find relevant, reliable information.
1. Think about who would publish this information, and why
Often business information is proprietary; however, by taking the time to think of who might publish the information you are looking for, you can narrow your search significantly. For example, professional associations, not-for-profit boards, government, and educational institutions are some of the most likely to provide freely available information. Once you have located the information, think about the motivation that the publisher might have for making it available and try to take into account any bias you think it may have (see also Point 4, below).
2. Use a range of search engines
As no search engine indexes the entire Web, your results will improve if you use multiple resources and different search engines to locate information.
3. Search effectively
Whether using a search engine or searching within a site, take advantage of the advance search options. The advance search options may include the ability to search by: date, exact phrase, synonyms, geographical location, title, author etc.
4. Use credible websites
When deciding to use a website be sure to think about the accuracy, scope, objectivity, authority, and currency.
5. Make the most of your affiliations!
You may well be part of an organization that gives you access to fee-based material. Your academic library, for example, probably subscribes to commercial databases and journals that will provide a wealth of information, especially when looking for scholarly material. Public libraries can also be a great source of online information.