Research Sites I Use Regularly



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These are the research sources I keep on my bookmarks list.  Some are free, some cost money but allow you to accumulate "points" in place of money, and then some just cost money - but reasonable amounts for the data made available. 


Supreme Court of the United States - 2005 Slip Opinions of the Court

This site contains the "slip", or first officially-printed version, of decisions of the US Supreme Court.  Opinions are generally released on the website in the afternoon of the decision, in Adobe Acrobat format.  Although Mark Twain was of the opinion that "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session", the members of the legislature, unlike US Supreme Court Justices, don't serve for life.  Who knows what will happen while the Court is in session?  At least you can find out at this site what's just become legal or illegal. - Great Books Online

This site allows you to read or search several publications, including:

  •  the American Heritage Dictionary (current edition), the Columbia Encyclopedia, and three collections of quotations;

  • specialized references such as the King James Bible, Gray's Anatomy, and Strunk's Elements of Style;

  • various works such authors as Shakespeare, Aesop, Chesterton, and many others.



FindArticles - Over 10 million articles from over a thousand publications

This site contains indexed, searchable links to articles in publications ranging from newspapers to general circulation magazines to scholarly journals.  One drawback is that some of the articles are only available through premium services; however, that still leaves plenty of articles that don't require those services.


FindLaw - Laws, Court Decisions, and General Legal information

This site contains the US Code (US Federal law), the US Code of Federal Regulations (rules established by Executive Branch departments), the Federal Register (proposed or newly approved Federal Regulations), the laws of the several US States, as well as general legal information and assistance in finding legal representation.


iLoveLanguages - places to find language resources

This site is not a resource in itself; rather, it contains a comprehensive catalog of language-related information.  Generally, easier to use than a general index like Google or Yahoo when looking for specific language-related information.

This site contains about 100,000 poems, browsable and searchable, from both widely recognized authors and from people you likely never heard of. It also has lyrics to 40,000 songs, and a collection of quotations.



Writing your own poems?  Stuck for a rhyme?  Go to this site and your problems may be ended - at least in rhyming.



This site, maintained by George Mason University, researches the statistics presented by news media.


Free with points, or else pay-for-access:

Experts Exchange

OK, just skip this one if you're not a computer geek. ;>  If you are a computer geek, here's your chance both to show off what you know - and get increased access for showing off in the bargain - or to ask those questions that the software providers never seem to be able to answer even for fifty bucks a question.  There is a limited access option, with ads, available for free.  By accumulating points (for being an accurate show-off) - or by taking the shortcut and paying (US$ 99.50 / yr as of Jan 2006) - you get access to premium services such as unlimited questions and no ads.


These sites want money - but look at what you get!


This site is so not kidding.  About the size of the library, I mean.  Over 60,000 books, fully searchable and browsable.  100 magazines, mainly not overlapping with KeepMedia; and over 500 journals, also fully searchable and browsable.  The site also provides a way to quickly organize multiple research projects and to create citations to the source media easily and quickly.

On the yearly plan, questia charges (as of Jan 2006) US$ 100 / yr for the service.



Another item for those who are not computer geeks to skip.

For the rest of you... isn't it a pain when you're sitting there programming, or configuring a network, and you just don't have the proper instructions for what you're trying to do - or you have them somewhere, buried under what seems to be 20 tons of coax cable and those old 300-baud modems the department never threw out?  Safari is the solution to that problem.  Questia (above) doesn't cover computer science books.  Safari only covers those.  Over 1300 of those, including all the O'Reilly books.

The pricing structure is a bit complicated:  when you sign up for the service, you get a "bookshelf".  The prices are set based on how many "slots" you have on your bookshelf.  Most books occupy one slot; some occupy two, and some occupy one-half of a slot.  You can search the entire library at once, but if you need detailed information from a book, you must place it on your bookshelf.  Once you've placed it on your bookshelf, it cannot be removed for 30 days.  Another complication to the pricing structure is "Max" - which gives you the opportunity to download chapters (and costs more) - versus "Basic".

Bookshelves come in 5-slot, 10-slot, 20-slot, and 30-slot sizes, ranging in price (for Basic service) from US$ 110 to US$ 330 / yr.  It may seem a bit pricey... but if you're an alpha geek, just look at how much you spent on computer books in the past year - and just see if you can find them. I personally have found the 10-slot sufficient for my needs.



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Last updated: Wednesday, December 31, 1969