The Virtual Library

The Virtual Library

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I am 99% sure that everyone who is reading this post right now has, at one time or the other, read an article or book from the internet for academic or scholarly purposes. If you can prove that I am wrong, then I owe you a cone of ice-cream (plus a slap for being a bit backward, lol)

The internet constitutes a vast archive of information on almost every subject of interest and specialization. Within the world-wide-web, is a collection of academic resources – a library.

If you are concerned about medical science, the internet has a host of resources on that. Some of these are credible, others are merely opinion – based. If it is to learn carpentry that matters to you, there are a thousand and one literature, how – to tutorials for dummies as well as for pros, demonstrative videos and probably some music to help you learn carpentry in no time. Are you looking to research new trends in oil and gas processing? Again you will find from the internet, some window opening for project topics, reference materials and motivation. So you see? The internet may be the largest library that you can possibly access and use.

What follows below are a few tips on how best you can exploit this virtual library that is just a click away on your phone, tablet or computer:

  1. FOR NEW UNFAMILIAR TOPICS / TERMS
  • By my personal opinion, it is best to do a quick learning about a new word from Wikipedia. When you meet a term or subject that you have practically no idea about, it will help to have a summarized write – up about it from Wikipedia. Then, armed with that, you may proceed to do a more in – depth research, if you still have a need for that. Trust me, it is easier, it is effective.
  • For instant definition of unfamiliar terms or ambiguous register, simply go to your choice search engine (e.g. Google) and type the word, followed by meaning/definition.

E.g. Ptolemy meaning or Ptolemy definition or Vanadium formula

  1. FOR REFERENCE & BIBLIOGRAPHIC PURPOSES

Scholars and students often need information from materials that they can reference behind their project or research work. In that case, you will need .pdf files; journals and books.

For example, the proper bibliographic format for technical report writing is the American Psychological Association (APA) style. The citation elements are of the order: Author – Publication date – Report title – Report Number – Place of publication – Publisher.

E.g. Eze, F. I. (2011). The Effect of Sugar-cane Juice on Invalids (NLCA Monograph No. 52). Warri: Nigerian Pacesetter Publishers.

The student will want to a resource that has these elements, as well as contain information that can be considered an authority because of the quality of information in it.

  • One way of getting this is sourcing materials with .pdf – portable document format

For instance, you can type on your search engine: The effect of sugar-cane juice on invalids pdf

Simple. That way, the search results will include majorly journals and articles of portable document format which you can save on your device and reference as you will.

  • Another way is to go directly to the scholarly articles on The effect of sugar-cane juice on invalids

That way, you will be led directly to previous works on the said topic. Be careful however, not to copy anyone’s work verbatim (avoid plagiarism) as this is a punishable offense. But the scholarly articles can build up the Literature Review for your own work. All you need to do is to remember to reference them.

  1. FOR STREAMLINED AND CUSTOMIZED RESEARCH

Internet may be used for any flexible kind of research that you may need to do. This ranges from research on African staple food to new trends in science and technology. You will be surprised at the quality of resources that could come up when you search. Chances are that others have also done a work on the same substance and were gracious to upload it on the internet. Try looking for the medicinal benefits of using uziza leaf (of the Igbos in Eastern Nigeria) or nune seed (of Benue State, Nigeria) and you just might be impressed. You may even find the botanical name of one of the historical plants of your locality. The same goes for new research areas.

Two notes of caution on the use of internet for academic and research purposes:

  1. It should not replace the use of real books from physical libraries (hardcopy books) or digital libraries (softcopy textbooks) from trusted authors and professors in a given field. Amoscp has already done a post on Where Is The Library? which emphasizes the need for every excelling student to know and use their school library. Also, every student must have a large archive of books on his course of study in his personal library and on his smartphone/computer. Internet should help to facilitate his/her learning.
  2. Christian scholars should moderate their use of the internet. That stuff can be addictive ooo. Also, because of the large span and variety of information on the internet, it is possible to find materials that are corrupt and unhealthy for a Christian mind’s consumption. Immoral literature and videos, blasphemy and heresy abound. God’s grace however, also abounds and teaches us to say No to all ungodliness (Titus 2:11-12). Like Job of old, we must make a covenant with our eyes not to use it for sin and God will be very much pleased with us.

Did you enjoy this? We hope that you did. Do not hesitate to forward any questions on it to us on excellerblog. God bless you more. Remember, we owe it to our generation and to God to excel. Therefore, we must study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed (II Tim. 2:15). May we all stand before kings and not mean men on account of our diligence (Prov. 22:29).

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