Home > Blog

How to Research Science Online

One of the most efficient and popular ways to conduct meta-analysis science research is by researching science online. While this method has some definite pitfalls, such as finding non-peered reviewed articles and articles that are written by unqualified persons, the overall benefits are outstanding. It is quick and easy and offers literally thousands of resources at the touch of a button. Some sites require a fee or membership, but many do not, such as Wikipedia. One can easily find some scholarly journals that are free and open to the public. While researching science online, it is important to look at a few particulars in determining is the research is valid and useful.

The first item one needs to look for is a date. It this research current? Science is not a static field; it is ever changing with new research coming out all the time. With that in mind, it is imperative that one be sure that the research is current, usually within the last five years or so, the last to year being preferable. Researching science online can also lead one to sites that may or may not be scholarly or peer-reviewed. The key word to look for is peer-reviewed. This means that other scholars and professionals in the field have read the researched and have critically analysized it for biases and flaws in the research. This does not mean that the research is significant or superbly done, it only means that it has had an extra filtering process and that it is accepted by the general science community.

Researching science online can also sometimes be a waste of time. A simple google search of any science related topic can bring up seemingly millions of hits, and unless one knows how to filter those done, he or she can waste many hours scouring through the sites provided. That is why one should limit old research, anything five years or older, and always look for peer-reviewed, scholarly articles. This will limit the amount of time in research and also help to insure that the research is solid and the findings are true.

When researching science online, you should also consider online security. Be aware of computer viruses and malware. You should have anti-virus software installed on your computer. When using your laptop doing science research using a public WIFI, avoid accessing bank account etc that requires a password. If you really need to do so, consider using a VPN (even a cheap VPN can help you a lot!) to increase online security. 

Remember, doing research is an important part of studying science and doing online science research has becoming more and more important these days!