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Research Services: Credible Internet Links

  1. Usually, in academic writing, the internet is not considered to be a good source of information. Most of the time, students use scholarly journal articles and books to find information and cite in their class papers.

  2. Some websites do offer useful information that is credible. These tend to be sites that have been created by educational institutions (URL: .edu), government agencies (URL: .gov), and organizations, especially non-profits (URL: .org).  On this page is a list of the most useful websites we have selected. 

Selected Reference Resources

Library of Congress: Virtual Reference Shelf provides access to a variety of reference resources like almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, statistics, directories, and much more.

Digital Collections: Images, Text, Manuscripts, Maps, eBooks and Multimedia Materials

Boise State University: Digital Collections provides access to institutional archives and manuscript collections that are digitized on a variety of topics including regional and historical information.

Digital Public Library of America provides digital full text access to photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and more. The materials include cultural and historical significance to the United States.

Free Library of Philadelphia provides online access to digitized and multimedia resources that include historical primary sources such as manuscripts, images, and letters. Also included are interactive maps and atlases, posters, audiobooks, and web only exhibitions.

HathiTrust Digital Library offers a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world that includes books in full-text, journals, articles and more. Many items are available in full text due to expired copyrights or open access donations.

ibiblio is an online library and digital archive collaboration of the School of Information and Library Science and Information Technology Services of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Use the "Browse by Categorized Tags" link to a list of topics.

Idaho Commission for Libraries: Digital Collections called "stacks" is a cooperative project of the Idaho Commission for Libraries and all state agencies that are created by state agencies for the purpose of public information.

ISU Libraries: Digital Collections is facilitated by the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Idaho State University.  Select works are available in digital versions of materials from its manuscript and archive collections, including scanned photographs and text.

Library of Congress: Digital Collections provide online digital and multimedia collections about America on just about every topic you can imagine.

Open Parks Network is a collaboration between the National Park Service and the Clemson University Libraries, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and scanning technology from the Internet Archive that provides access to gray literature and more the 300,000 digitized text, cultural items, images, and maps.

Smithsonian Libraries: Online Resources include full-text books, manuscript and image collections, and digital exhibitions on just about any topic you can imagine.

University of Idaho Library: Digital Initiatives provides online access to digitized collections that are focused on university and scholarly materials, and regional and local resources in a wide range topics and areas of study.

University Libraries, University of Washington: Digital Collections illuminate unique and rare primary source materials that are digitized as well as newspapers, images, posters, reports, and more from the library, the special collection department and participating faculty, university departments and organizations.

University Libraries, Utah State University: Digital Collections are created by the digital initiative team in the library's archives, these collections feature historical sources, exhibits, and scholarship by university affiliates.

World Digital Library is a subset of the U.S. Library of Congress that is supported by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization and other collection entities around the world to make available a voluminous library of multimedia materials, including books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, articles, photographs, audio recordings, and films.

Archives Online

Amistad Research Center Digital Projects has developed and houses documents of the modern Civil Rights Movement. This project is hosted largely by the Tulane University Digital Library and focuses on America's ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, human relations, and civil rights.

Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America by the University of Texas houses linguistic data from Anthropologists, video and audio files included. Must register and login to view, stream, or download media files.

Center for Immigration Studies, whose associates study the impact of immigration on the US, is a self-described non-partisan research organization has developed into a sophisticated collection of digital content produced by highly qualified researchers and analysts.

Florence Nightingale Project is a superb resource for primary source materials for researchers, faculty professionals, practitioners in the Health Sciences. This website is a collaborate work of the Florence Nightingale Museum, The Royal College of Nursing, and the Wellcome Library. 

Internet Archive, also known as the Wayback Machine is an archive of internet websites. So far this internet archive as over twenty years of web history and is continually working to grow a global historical collection of internet content. 

Interviews: An Oral History of Television is an archive of in-depth video conversations of television actors and significant individuals of the television industry. Browse or search almost 900 oral history interviews.

Persuasive Geography: the PJ Mode Collection is an archive of maps designed to influence the user with the idea that maps are a subjective tool of communication and psychology. This website is hosted by Cornell University Library. 

Sanborn Maps is a historical digital collection from the Library of Congress in collaboration with the firm Historical Information Gatherers that houses the fire insurance maps published by the Sanborn Map Company.

SNAC: Social Networks and Archival Context  helps patrons discover biographical and historical information about persons, families, and organizations. Locate archival collections and related resources held at cultural heritage institutions around the world from more than 3.7 million records shared by over 4,000 public and private archives.

Web Cultures Web Archive is a project initiated by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to document emerging practices that provide insight into digital culture.

Free eBooks Online

eBooks at ISU: Free eBooks is a subject guide through ISU Libraries that provides hyperlinks to free eBook sites on various topics. It also includes information from our local public libraries about their eBook collections available for checkout.

Google Books provides full-text access to books if they are no longer restricted by copyright or the publisher has given open access permission. Otherwise, there are web links that provide options to borrow or purchase books.

Project Gutenberg does not require a specific app for your device or registration and includes over 59,000 full-text books online for free.

Open Culture provides eBooks, audio books, textbooks, online courses and more! Use the search feature to navigate to specific resources or browse by format.

Open Library is a subset of Internet Archive and houses over one million eBooks. Browse by subject, genre, or use the search feature. Patrons must register for a free account to digitally borrow books.

OpenStax is a non-profit organization that produces and distributes openly licensed textbooks. The goal of this resource is to provide textbooks for introductory college courses. It is based at Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations.

Smithsonian: Books Online has eBooks in full-text online that can be browsed by book collections, by topic, and recently added titles. A site search can be limited by online books. This resource is mainly a collection of historical publications.

Institutional Repository Search Engines

(Browse or search across multiple organizations)

BASE is a constantly growing index of academic web resources, articles, repositories and digital collections that includes a robust search engine facilitated by Bielefeld University Library in Germany.

CORE currently contains over 135 million open access articles from providers around the world and concentrates on indexing open access research. CORE is a not-for-profit service hosted by The Open University, UK, and Jisc, a digital systems company.

GRAFT is a Google beta search engine that searches across full-text and record information in 4,680 repositories.

OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records that represent open access resources. OAIster includes more than 50 million records that represent digital resources from more than 2,000 contributors.

OpenDOER is a global Directory of Open Access Repositories.

Selected Institutional Repositories  provides open access to over 1.5 million articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. It is funded by Cornell University in cooperation with the Simons Foundations and member institutions.

eScholarship: Open Access Publications from the University of California is a comprehensive open access repository for the scholarly publishing of journals with their articles, monographs, dissertations, conference proceedings, and more. The program is subsidized by the University of California system and managed by the California Digital Library.

Idaho State University Electronic Dissertation & Theses are available online from 2014 to present and are searchable by department. To access earlier dissertations and theses in print, please search for them using our library catalog tab from ISU Libraries' homepage.

Scholar Works is a collection of services designed to capture and showcase all scholarly output by the Boise State University community.

VIVO - University of Idaho Research & Expertise provides access to research from all fields of study at the University of Idaho, which includes publications with either institutional or open access.

International Information

African Online Digital Library (AODL) is an open access digital library of African cultural heritage materials created by Michigan State University in collaboration with museums, archives, scholars, and communities around the world, which currently provides access to 24 unique collections of full-text and full-image primary sources.

Country Profiles by BBC News provides informational profiles for countries, territories and international organizations. It also includes reports and videos created by BBC News about relevant topics. 

Human Rights Watch is a comprehensive website providing users with global information that explore topics either through the lens of identified countries or ideas/concepts inherent to human rights, by means of video and photography, impact, and reports.

World Fact Book provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. This source includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as flags of the world, a physical map of the world, a political map of the world, a world oceans map, and a standard time zones of the world map.

UNSD United Nations Statistic Division (UNdata) is a search engine that provides access to 32 databases and over 60 million records about countries and regions worldwide.

United Nations: Geospatial Information includes national and regional maps, mission maps, peacekeeping and peace building maps, and more thematic maps.

Museums Online

British Museum: Collection Online is one of the earliest and most extensive online museum search platforms in the world.

Field Museum, located in Chicago, has digitized many of its collections in the process of its active research and conservation mission.

Google Arts & Culture allows users to explore collections from around the world. Created by the Google Cultural Institute.

Guggenheim Collection Online features over 1,700 artworks by more than 625 artists, including a searchable database of the permanent collection of more than 7,000 artworks. This collection has holdings from the late 19th century through the present day. 

Museums is an international online directory of digital museum collections that are organized by country.

National Women's History Museum tell the stories of women who transformed our nation through a growing online presence to educate, inspire, empower, shape the future, and provide a complete view of American history.

Science Museum Group Collection cares for a diverse and internationally significant collection of 7.3 million items from science, technology, engineering, medicine, transport and Media.

Smithsonian Museums, Galleries, and Zoo include eleven museums on the National Mall, six other museums, and the National Zoo in the greater National Capital Area.

The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art), located in New York, has a collection that represents more than 5,000 years of art from across the globe.

News Online

BBC News website is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation and seeks to offer a news service that is "independent, impartial, and honest" as written in the BBC's 2017 mission and values statement.

Evaluating Information is a guide by the American Library Association that helps users determine reliable news sources. Scroll down to "Fact Checking Sites" for a list of the best websites that are used to identify fake news.

Newspapers: Websites is a subject guide through ISU Libraries that provides hyperlinked lists for national, regional, and local news.

Pulitzer Center is a non-profit news organization that partners with journalists and newsrooms to support in-depth reporting on critical global issues to educate the public, promote solutions, and improve lives.

Reuters: Business & Financial News, U.S. & International Breaking News is a renowned news source for its lack of media bias and high quality of factual reporting. Reuters employs over 2,500 journalists, 600 photojournalists in over 200 locations around the world

TV News Archive is a subsidiary collection of the Internet Archive that has recorded and captioned news programs from over twenty networks and dozens of television channels dating from 2009 through the present.

UN News is a website of the United Nations that offers a significant, reputable global perspective on various topics. This resource functions well as an educational resource and current awareness tool.

Medical Consumer Information Online

Mayo Clinic: Patient Care and Health Information is a good starting point for consumers with health questions. The website includes information about diseases and conditions, symptoms, tests and procedures, drugs and supplements, and helpful questions to ask your healthcare provider.

Medical Library Association for Health Consumers and Patients is a helpful resource about patient information and content evaluation guidelines. Use the "Top Health Websites" tab for a list of additional consumer healthcare websites.

MedlinePlus is a website maintained by the National Institutes of Health for public education about illness and wellness issues.


Common Sense Media is a nonprofit organization to help educators and parents review a wide range of online scholastic and entertainment technology. This resource provides ratings and reviews based on developmental needs for children about online learning systems, digital citizenship, digital privacy, movies, games, TV shows and much more.

MERLOT is a directory of online learning and support resources for educators. Merlot also includes content creation tools and discipline specific learning materials and exercises. Membership is free but required in order to access all the information that Merlot has to offer.

SBDCNet this is a comprehensive resource that helps both new and experienced business owners with research about small business prospects. It is produced by the Small Business Development Center Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Visualizing Data is a list of resources for creating data representations and is managed and edited by UK-based data-visualization expert Andy Kirk. It provides both theoretical discourse and practical tools. The list of resources are referenced, and it provides over 300 tools for designing data graphics.

Selected Subject Guides

Library Research

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism informs students of ISU policy and expected academic practices. 

Academic Integrity Tutorial consists of three multimedia tutorials that cover academic integrity, plagiarism and citing sources.

College Level Research provides information about conducting research from choosing a topic to citing sources.

Information Literacy at Idaho State University defines information literacy and leads students to useful resources about research processes.

Publishing Your Research Article: Health and Social Sciences  helps researchers from finding the best journals in which to publish to assessing the impact of published research articles.

Special Collections and Archives discusses and links to the various types of resources available for primary source research.

Library Services

3D Printing provides information about obtaining and designing files, and then submitting a print request.

Instructional Services instructors can schedule a variety of seminars, workshops, tours and classes that educate students about library navigation, search strategies and information literacy.

Interlibrary Loan supports the research activities of Idaho State University faculty, students, and staff by providing access to materials not owned by University Libraries.

Multimedia provides information about the use of specialized hardware and software available for patrons at Oboler Library.

Mobile/Wireless Printing explains how to set up a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to print to the library printers from any location.

Library Resources by Format/Media

Audiobooks helps patrons locate titles online and in various formats, including CD and cassettes.

eBooks is a resource that aggregates all the eBook collections housed by ISU Libraries.

Maps and GIS includes information about finding maps and resources for GIS through the library in print and online. 

Newspapers is about library newspapers available in print, online, or microfilm and search strategies to find specific titles.

Streaming Video provides links to library-owned and open access sources for individual or classroom use.

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