Resources for Researchers and PhD Students
As a researcher you can get overwhelmed by the volume of information that is easily reachable through the Internet. The problem is trying to maintain academic and scientific excellence and efficient working when faced with the tsunami of information. Although modern technology has brought us seemingly infinite information, we can also use technology to filter, organise and efficiently work with all that information. Hopefully, this practical list of resources will be useful to others performing academic, scientific and industrial research, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The resources in this article have a UK bias due to the location of the author. To suggest additions to the lists send an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tip: For University researchers, do not forget to use the resources provided by your academic institute, especially the library. The University wants you to do well as it means they do well. Your academic institute or research organisation are normally very supportive and have programs in place to help researchers, not only through the library, but can include a Doctoral College and a dedicated research office.
List of Resources for Researchers
- Google Scholar, the world's academic literature according to Google.
- Semantic Scholar, originally covered computer science and neuroscience papers, but now covers most fields of science.
- CORE, states it is the world’s largest collection of open access research papers.
- The Lens, connects patents, scholarly documents, technical literature and data in a searchable and annotated manner.
- For a specific discipline see List of academic databases and search engines on Wikipedia.
- How to search on Google, the Refine web searches options can be useful.
- Internet Archive, includes the WayBack Machine, see also time travel.
Long established engineering organisations have easy to search archives. Though membership of the organisation through your academic library or personal membership is usually required to read the articles or PDFs, examples include:
- IEEE Xplore Digital Library
- ACM Digital Library
- SAE MOBILUS for articles and research on transportation
- IET Library
Here are some other sources for finding research papers and articles:
- Scopus, citation searching
- ScienceDirect, science, health and medical journals
- Web of Science, or from the UK use Web of Science Service for UK Education
- Taylor and Francis Online
- dblp, the computer science bibliography
A new web tool that may prove to be very helpful is Connected Papers. This allows you to enter a paper and it produces a graph structure showing related papers, it may greatly improve you efficiency when performing literature reviews.
- Connected Papers, graphing similarity between academic papers.
Likewise, MathDeck is an online service to help understand and find mathematical formulae. You can compose a formula by hand, or using LaTeX, to get help on a mathematical formula and mathematical symbols.
- MathDeck, build and explore mathematical formulae.
In-depth research requires discipline and organisation for efficient results, and reduced stress. Software tools can be a great help. Try a few tools to see which ones seem intuitive to use for your research work.
- Mendeley references and datasets manager, online and computer client app.
- Zotero is a free tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research.
- RefWorks references manager.
- Open Science Framework is a free service to support research.
- figshare citable data respository.
- Zenodo citable storage for research outputs.
- IEEE DataPort for referenceable data storage.
- For publishing software developed as part of a research project try The Journal of Open Source Software.
Access to citable data sets is increasingly important as science addresses the need for reproducibilty of results in published research.
- Overleaf for online LaTeX editing, document creation and collaboration. There is a list of advantages to using LaTeX instead of a wordprocessor, such as Microsoft Word, in this article.
- Grammarly writing assistant does a lot more than a normal spelling and grammar checker.
- Use PaperRater to spot grammatical errors prior to submission and publishing.
Low Cost Open Access Journals for Paper Publishing
This list of resources is for mainly for STEM researchers looking for low cost Open Access publishing routes. Appearance in this list is not an endorsement, please satisfy yourself that the publication is of sufficient quality for your paper (see the section on Assessing for Research Impact).
- PeerJ provides low cost Open Access publishing with PeerJ for Computer Science and for Life, Bio, Environment and Health Sciences.
- Frontiers has many journals for Open Access publishing, with varying publishing charges.
- Theory of Computing is an online Open Access journal "dedicated to free global dissemination of research in theoretical computer science".
- The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics (E-JC) is a "fully-refereed electronic journal with very high standards, publishing papers of substantial content and interest in all branches of discrete mathematics, including combinatorics, graph theory, and algorithms for combinatorial problems". E-JC is free for authors and readers.
- The Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications (SDIWC) publishes journals that have no APC and are free to view.
- Ledger is a journal publishing research articles on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
- If you present a good paper at an IARIA conference they will publish it in one of their freely available IARIA Journals.
Many institutions and early career researchers cannot afford to pay the high Article Processing Charges (APC) of a journal. In some cases paying an APC allows for a paper to be published Open Access, therefore available for free to everyone. Open Access publishing is increasingly required for higher research ratings, as it is seen to be helping spread scientific knowledge, especially to impoverished countries.
Some of the more wealthy institutions have programs available to help pay the APC. Some research projects will allow the research funds to be used for an APC. There are many considerations, MDPI AG have a useful page on Funding of APCs. If you cannot afford to pay the APC then try and find a sponsor who will (e.g. a company associated with the research project). The alternative is to publish without Open Access so that the journal recovers costs by charging for access to the article. See Inderscience as an example of an organisation that provides free publishing for restricted access or Open Access for an APC.
If you do not publish under Open Access at least ensure that the terms and conditions allow you to host a version of the paper in your University's online repository, or on your personal website or blog. Most publishers are moving to this model as they realise that the movement to open up research to a larger audience needs this requirement. To help determine if that option is supported by the paper publisher try the RoMEO service.
Warning: There are publishing organisations that do not adhere to high academic standards, make sure you avoid predatory open access publishing.
To help find a Journal to publish your research as Open Access try:
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
- Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (known as ROAD)
- Open Science Directory
- Genamics JournalSeek
- World of Journals or Journals Master List at ICI
To learn more about Open Access:
- open-access.net website
- UNESCO Global Open Access Portal (GOAP)
- Science Europe have a document titled Principles on Open Access to Research Publications
General Article Publishing
Your work may also benefit from writing general articles and blog posts. Also try:
Don't forget how easy it is to publish on your own blog or website. If you do, ensure that the article meta-data is suitable for academic indexing according to the Google Scholar Inclusion Guidelines for Webmasters.
Publicising Research, Networking and Collaborating
- ORCiD - A persistent digital identifier for researchers.
- Twitter - Published something? Tweet about it.
- Google Scholar, set up your Google Scholar profile.
- ResearchGate, publish your science and collaborate.
- Academia.edu, a platform for academics to share research papers.
- Elsevier allows an author profile in Scopus.
- Linkedin, the world leading business networking social media site.
- Stack Overflow, answer questions to build up a score to display your knowledge.
- The Stack Overflow Developer Story is a good way to record your work and project milestones and summarise your achievements.
- Use the konfer service to find research collaboration partners.
- UK researchers can engage with the UK Government through the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).
- Facebook, a popular walled social network.
- Ello, the creatives social network.
Accessing Expensive Test Equipment and Facilities
Research may require the use of costly facilities and equipment that are not available within your institution. Accessing other equipment and facilities is another advantage of building up a network of research contacts. Your network may be able to help you overcome hurdles in finding facilities and equipment.
Other resources for facilities and equipment are available:
Assessing for Research Impact
- Guide2Research ranks journals and scientists in computer science and related fields
- Publish or Perish software by Harzing
- The Journal Quality List at Harzing
- Scimago Journal and Country Rank
- CiteScore provided by Scopus: CiteScore is a simple way of measuring the citation impact of sources, such as journals.
- Citation Analysis and Impact Factors by the University of British Columbia
- Your institute may have access to Web of Science, inquire at your institute's library
Expanding Your Knowledge
- Developing as a researcher, support from Vitae
- MIT OpenCourseWare, need to brush up on a new knowledge area
- Khan Academy, another source of useful courses to expand your knowledge, e.g. improving English grammar or your knowledge on statistics
- Duolingo, learn another language
- The Programming Historian has useful articles for non-programmers who need to process data with digital tools
- Wikibooks have free online books on various topics
Presenting Your Work and Research Achievements
- Coping with Presentation Nerves
- Some TED talks on presenting - How to avoid death By PowerPoint and Giving Presentations Worth Listening To
- 10 Tips for Conference Presentations
- Scienceposters, posters printed on fabric can be carried in hand luggage
- Redcliffe Imaging, another printer of fabric posters
Other Useful Links
- Doing a Systematic quantitative literature review
- patter, Pat Thomson offers useful advice
- Retraction Watch
- Chairing a Conference
- Crowd.Science, get your research projects funded
- Need some industrial grade equipment for your research? Try equipment.data to find facilities.
- Sort out common mistakes in writing - The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White
- Tips on Thesis Writing
- To find free peer reviewed Open Access books try the Directory of Open Access Books, plus unglue.it has some books by academics.
- Industry Resources at the Society for Scholarly Publishing
- Finding a new position at jobs.ac.uk, the leading international job board for careers in academic, research, science and related professions.
- The 10 most common mistakes when choosing a title for your paper
- An interesting article on archiving the Internet at The New Yorker, The Cobweb, Can the Internet be archived?
- Computer Programming Tools - Free Software Downloads
- For a full list of the articles on Tek Eye see the full site Index
Author:Daniel S. Fowler Published: Updated: