Websites on the Internet can provide a sometimes overwhelming amount of information for researchers. The websites listed in this section have been identified as some of the best places to start your Internet research.
Professional Organizations/Government Agency Websites
In this section, you'll find links to professional organization or government agency websites. These websites can be very useful for finding authoritative and current information on a particular topic. Be sure to look through these sites for links to publications, bibliographies, and lists of websites. Most of these sites will include contact information if you'd like to call or email an "expert" for any questions you may have.
This section includes a variety of websites that are relevant to the subject guide topic. You might find links for sites that give you many more links to look at, as well as sites that are dedicated to a particular subject, and have very useful information. Be sure to evaluate websites for currency, authority, and relevancy – check with a librarian or your instructor if you are unsure.
Free Online Journals
There can be several free online journals available for many different topics, which is what you'll find in this section. Before using these in your research, you may want to check to see if they are peer-reviewed (read and evaluated by experts in the field). You might also want to check with your instructor to see if the online journal meets his/her approval.
"Blog" is actually a shortened version of "web log." Blogs are a popular type of website where journal entries are made and displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs can provide information on a particular subject, or just be personal diaries. There are many excellent blogs on the Internet, but it is wise to carefully evaluate these before using them in research.
RSS feeds provide web content or summaries of web content together with links to the full versions of the content. Web feeds allow a website's frequent readers to track updates on the site using an aggregator. An aggregator (or feed reader) can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. Web-based feed readers and news aggregators require no software installation and make the user's "feeds" available on any computer with Web access. Bloglines.com and Google Reader are examples of free feed readers. Simply set up an account for yourself, and then add the URLs for the feeds in which you're interested. For more information, take a look at this article (apologies for all the ads – the article content and addition links are useful).
While many of the feeds you'll find in this section of the subject guide are for blogs or news sites, you'll also see feeds for particular searches in one or more APU databases. When you subscribe to one of these feeds, you will see a list of article citations in your feed reader. To access these articles (if full-text is available), simply click on the article title and enter your APU username and password when prompted. If there is no full-text available for the article of interest, be sure to use Periodical Finder to see if the article is available in full-text in a different database.
Written by Michelle Spomer, May 23, 2007