Where do I find information for my papers?
There is lots of information 'out there'. It may be good to
have a quick initial browse through Google or the Wikipedia, but for
academic purposes, this is not the right route. To avoid drowning in an
overload of information, you need to formulate specific questions. Know what
you are looking for. Also, you need to make sure your
sources are reliable, so you need to know
how to access the scientific literature.
If you are looking
for scientific sources on your topic,
whether empirical analyses, data, or theoretical resources, here are some good
places to start:
Picarta covers nearly all public libraries in the
Netherlands, including all university libraries. It also provides access to
many electronic journals, provided the university has a subscription.
Access electronic publications through the SFX button, which
will take you to pdf files of scientific articles. (Slow, but effective.)
Loan from other libraries through the Interlibrary Loan
(IBL), for which you need an account.
Only available from campus or a university internet
2. Google Scholar
Google's search engine for scholarly publications. Also
connect to scientific journals through SFX, but only with a university
3. Web of Science
It may not sound grand or scientific, but a quick and useful
way look for information is to find one really perfect source and see what
it links to. You 'snowball' information. It is easy to snowball back in
time: you just look up the interesting sources in the reference list of that
perfect article you found. You can also look forward in time, by using the
Web of Science to see which articles cite the one you have found.
Web of Science also allows you to look with keywords, author names, or
journal names, but the citation indexing is its unique feature. Also only
accessible through university internet connections.
Statistical agencies provide data on many parameters of
interest for public policy. Their web-access generally requires some
practice and they often suggest more data than is actually available. Do not
expect to find statistics on topics of special interest. As a general rule,
they collect statistics that are of priority interest to their biggest