The most common font types in a research article
To learn more about the topic you decided to pursue in your research work, a good review of the literature will help you narrow it down and point out gaps in knowledge. The Internet offers a wealth of free information that saves you the added bonus of spending too much on paid subscriptions to access articles in a scientific journal.
Here are common types of online sources that both novice and veteran researchers use to strengthen the arguments for their research work.
1. Government websites
Government websites provide information for the benefit of the general public. Therefore, those charged with posting information on government websites ensure that the information is truthful to avoid misleading the public. Government sites are good sources of information on demographics, legal issues, business, and more.
2. Academic sites
Websites with .edu attached means these are college or university websites. Since schools are meant to educate, various checks are carried out to ensure that the information provided to the public is reliable.
Large university websites often publish newsletters highlighting new research findings and current research trends. These are good leads that will show you which areas have yet to be explored.
3. Free scientific journals
There are many free scientific journals online. Make the most of them. You can start with open access journals found in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
Just type your keyword in the doaj.org search box and voila, you have a list of articles or magazines at your fingertips to choose from. Abstracts or full research papers can be downloaded to enhance your reference collection.
4. Websites of non-governmental organizations
Nonprofits or nongovernmental organizations are also good sources of information. A good way to assess the quality of the information on these sites is to see how long they have been around. You can also discern the quality of the posts by reading articles on the website and checking the sources. If it’s full of grammatical errors and there are unsubstantiated claims, those sites are likely not legitimate or poor sources of information. Choose those that are well edited and apolitical in nature.
5. Free online courses
Enrolling in free online courses will give you the opportunity to review the literature, especially when the topic touches on theories or research findings that support best practices. For example, an online course on physical activity for health recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This recommendation is supported by a critical review of studies by many authors on the health benefits of exercise.
6. Use encyclopedic sources like Wikipedia.
There are researchers who avoid citing Wikipedia because it is largely user-generated and therefore generally unreliable. While there may be wisdom in this statement, the references provided on Wikipedia can be good clues to reliable information. You can always verify the information with other references.
7. Blogs of researchers
Researcher blogs can provide useful information as recognized experts in their field. Recognized researchers generally respond positively when students request supplemental copies of their research work published in reputable scientific journals.
While online sources are good sources of information, exploring your area of study, making critical observations, or talking to people can provide valuable information. There is no substitute for personal encounter or interaction.