8 Best Online Research Resources for College Students

Last Updated on May 31, 2023

A smiling female student is laying on the sofa conducting online research for a college paper.

The internet can't entirely replace a good research library for every project, but it does provide a wealth of information to get any good research paper off the ground. Aside from your own university library's online catalog, the list of good quality online research resources are better than ever before.

Here is our list of top online research resources:


Questia claims to have the world's largest collection of online titles, including books, magazines, and periodicals. Every publication is completely searchable down to a single word. The site offers tools for highlighting, bookmarking, footnotes and bibliography citations for each entry. Publications range from non-fiction to peer reviewed scholarly texts.

Digital History

This site provides access to documents and publications related to American history. It includes multimedia files as well as access to primary sources such as newspapers or court documents.

University of California Riverside Library

This site is a search portal that links into scholarly online research resources in several different disciplines. You have access to library resources from several different locations through this single portal, which is hosted and maintained by librarians associated with the California University system.


Once you create an account with Highbeam, you will have access to hundreds of journals and other publications related to many different disciplines. You can save your searches so that it is easy to stop and start again at any time. The reference materials include current publications as well as an archive of older articles.

Project Muse

This site is geared specifically toward students working on humanities research projects. It provides access to journals and e-books from several different universities and scholarly societies. All of the online research content is fully searchable by keyword or topic.


BioMedCentral is an open access publisher that focuses on medical and science articles. Students can find information about the latest research findings, and sign up for e-mail notifications when a new article is posted in a field that they are interested in.

Project Gutenberg

This site currently contains 39,000 published titles that have been digitized for online reading and research. Access to the books is completely free, and they can be downloaded to any computer or e-reader. All of the books on this site are old enough that their copyright has expired, which makes it best for dealing with classical literature but not current events.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress houses an extensive digital collection of books and periodicals. The site allows you to search by topic or by type of publication and includes multimedia resources as well as print resources. The library has access to many primary sources, particularly government documents and historically important literature. The “ask a librarian” feature can be helpful for someone looking for a particular document.

A Research Guide for Students

This site is very straightforward information regarding the preparation and presentation of a research paper. It contains clear and detailed instructions for different types of research style guides, as well as links to information about updates to the style guides. This guide is a wonderful resource for anyone who has a question about how to put together a high-quality research paper.

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