Internet Tools

This page provides information about web search tools and other web-based resources useful for academic work. For a list of basic search engines available on the web, see Search the Internet.

Finding Scholarly Resources

These tools are designed to primarily search scholarly literature from the Internet. They are not replacements for the Libraries’ periodical indexes, which are often the best tools for searching for scholarly articles on any given academic topic (see Find Articles by Subject on the Library homepage). Some results from these tools will request payment to access full-text articles. York University Libraries may already have subscription-based access to these articles, either electronically or in print. Check with Library holdings first and feel free to contact the reference desk if you require assistance.

Google Scholar

Designed to find scholarly literature for a given keyword search. Content is strongest for sciences but social sciences and humanities content is also present. To obtain online articles to which York University Libraries have access, you must let Google know that you are a member of the York University community:

  1. Go to Google Scholar:
  2. Select Scholar Preferences
  3. Under Library Links, search for York University
  4. Select York University Libraries (Find It @ York (online))
  5. Save Preferences

An alternate tool for linking to full-text at York is the OpenURL Referrer.

It is possible to export citations from Google Scholar to RefWorks.

Google Book Search

Searches contents of books scanned by Google and participating libraries. Full-text access varies depending on copyright restrictions and agreements with publishers. For items of interest not available full-text, select item and choose “Find this item in a library”. Enter your postal code to retrieve a list of libraries near you that own the item (Warning: for new items, York’s holdings may not always appear. Check the library catalogue to confirm). Other resources for full-text access to books include:

Works in tandem with OpenURL Referrer to identify copies held at York.

Searches the collections of thousands of libraries worldwide and identifies local libraries that hold copies of items of interest. Works in tandem with OpenURL Referrer to identify copies held at York.

Live Search Academic

Like Google Scholar, searches for scholarly literature for a given keyword search. Coverage reputedly different than that provided by Google Scholar. For off-campus access to York Libraries’ full-text holdings, search the journal name in the library catalogue to see if York has secured online access.


Searches across and identifies digital resources held in institutional depositories around the world. Resources includes articles, books, images, audio and video and datasets.


A large database that purports to return only scientific information. Search both webpages and scientific journals. York Libraries may have access to some of the journal content. For off-campus access to York Libraries’ full-text holdings, search the journal name in the library catalogue to see if York has secured online access.

Connecting to York Libraries’ Resources

LibX York University Libraries

An extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer that gives quick and easy access to the library’s catalogue and online journals. For an explanation of LibX’s many features, see the following document.

OpenURL Referrer

A Firefox extension that finds bibliographic data (on articles, books, etc.) on websites and connects you to York University Libraries’ electronic resources and online catalogue using the Find It York feature.
Find It @ York

Searching & Organizing Blogs

For more information about using Blogs for research, see Using Blogs for Research (Research Frontiers Series).


Probably the most comprehensive blog search engine available. Allows you to search blogs by keywords, tags, and blog directory category. Ranks hits according to level of authority or currency (freshness).

Google Blog Search

Searches Blogger and other blogs providing an RSS feed in a number of languages based on an entered keyword search.

Global Voices Online

An aggregator of regional “bridge blogs” from around the world (outside North America and Western Europe). A “non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School”, winner of the 2006 Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism.


A tool used for subscribing to and managing RSS feeds to blogs and other news sources. Instruction material on using Bloglines is available at Using Bloglines (or how to keep up with dozens of blogs everyday).

Current Awareness via RSS

Would you prefer to have information on the web delivered to you rather than having to go to it? RSS can deliver information easily to your browser and alert you to what’s new on a particular webpage or in a particular database.

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, a format for sharing information on the web. See RSS: Keeping Up With Research for more information on setting up RSS feeds.

Organization & Citation Tools


RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management tool (citation manager) that allows you to create a database of citations or references to resources (books, journal articles, web sites, etc.). It facilitates the insertion of citations within a research paper as in-text references, footnotes, or endnotes, and the creation of a formatted bibliography using a citation style of choice. All major citation styles are supported (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). York University Libraries have a purchased a campus-wide license for RefWorks. Any current York student, staff or faculty member can access and use this software without individual charge. is a social bookmarking site that collects and shares your own and everyone else’s favourite bookmarks on the web. Useful for exploring bookmarks to resources identified by other users sharing similar interests.


A Firefox extension that allows users to store, manage and cite research for documents or document citations found on the web.

CiteULike | Connotea

Two social bookmarking services aimed at academic users, they allow users to create bookmarks to academic papers and assign tags or descriptors to them. Allows for the easy sharing of citation data with other users.

Media Sharing


A video sharing website that allows users to upload and share video content. Can be a good source for tracking down news clips, video from various parts of the world, and videoblogging.


A photo sharing website that allows users to upload and share photos. In addition, content can be downloaded and, where permissions permit, used for other purposes. To search for content for which re-use may be permitted, see Advanced Search and select the option to only search for Creative Commons content.

Restrictions and permissions on use for results can be accessed by clicking on the Creative Commons logo.
creative commons logo

For more information about finding images on the web, see Searching Images from the Internet.

Internet Archiving

Internet Archives

With intentions of becoming an Internet Library, Internet Archives provides access to ‘born digital’ content that may otherwise disappear. Its Way Back Machine will often provide access to webpages that have been removed from the Internet or have been altered substantially over time. Also provides access to many file types, including moving images and audio.