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Recommended Websites  

This guide contains credible websites that FSW librarians recommend when searching for scholarly information on the free web. SCROLL DOWN to view the contents of all 14 boxed categories of reliable free web sources.
Last Updated: Jan 7, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Advanced Search Tools

  • Advanced Google
    Google's Advanced Search allows users to narrow their search in many useful ways, e.g., limiting by language, usage rights, last update, and domain, such as .gov and .edu.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar provides free access to scholarly literature – from journal articles, theses, books, and abstracts to court opinions – across a variety of disciplines.
  • provides access to ca. 200 million pages of reliable science information from several databases and over 2000 websites from 15 U.S. Federal Government agencies.
  • is the U.S. Government's official web portal, which links to every federal agency and every state, local, and tribal government.

America's National Collections

  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
    The DPLA is a discovery tool that provides free access to digitized primary and secondary sources from U.S. archives, libraries, museums, and other American cultural institutions.
  • Library of Congress (LOC)
    As America's national research library, the Library of Congress houses several million books, sound recordings, photos, maps, manuscripts, and other materials to support the research needs of Congress and the American people.
  • National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)
    As America's official record keeper, NARA acquires, preserves, secures, and provides access to the nation's ca. 10 billion historical documents.
  • Smithsonian Institution (SI)
    The Smithsonian is world's largest educational museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and 9 research facilities.

Art Resources

  • Art Museum Network
    The Art Museum Network provides a platform for opinions about, and collaboration among major art museums.
  • ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas
    ArtsJournal is a digest of journalism about the arts and culture culled from newspapers, magazines, and other publications in the English-speaking world.
  • National Endowment for the Arts
    The National Endowment for the Arts is a U.S. federal agency that both funds and promotes excellence, creativity, and innovation in the arts.

Career Resources

  • CareerOneStop
    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop provides a wide range of employment assistance including training referrals, career counseling, and job listings.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
    Provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, OOH provides detailed information about what workers do, work environment, required education and training, pay, job outlook, and more for over 300 occupational profiles in the U.S.

Dictionaries, Thesauri, & Quotations

  • Merriam-Webster Online
    Based on the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary provides both a dictionary and a thesaurus.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
    With over 600,000 words, the OED has served as the definitive English language dictionary since 1857.
  • Bartlbey Quotations
    Bartlbey Quotations online is comprised of quotation collections, including Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, published between the late 19th and late 20th centuries.

Education Resources

  • Child Trends
    Child Trends is a research center that provides reliable information on the well-being of children and youth.
  • Florida Department of Education (FLDOE)
    As the state education agency of Florida, the FLDOE website provides information about public education policies and operations in the Sunshine State.
  • FTCE/FELE Test Information Guides
    This site provides test descriptions, a list of tested competencies and skills, sample test items, and applicable reference sheets for every test in the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and Florida Educational Leadership Examinations (FTCE/FELE) program.
  • National Education Association (NEA)
    This site provides information that supports the mission of the NEA: advancing the cause of public education.
  • U.S. Department of Education
    This site provides information in support of the mission of the U.S. Department of ED: "to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access."

Florida Resources-Local

Florida Resources-State

Legal Resources

  • is the official online resource for federal legislative information.
    This U.S. Government database provides access to the 7,407 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions made between 1937 and 1975 in full text.
  • FindLaw
    FindLaw provides free legal information aimed at consumers and small businesses.
  • GPO Access
    GPO Access is the Federal Government's online source for preserving and providing access to information produced by the U.S. Government, including legal resources and congressional publications. GPO stands for Government Printing Office.
  • Law Library of Congress
    Established in 1832, the Law Library of Congress is the world's largest law library, with over 2.5 million volumes of legal materials covering most international jurisdictions.

Medical Resources

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the mission of the CDC is to protect the U.S. from health, safety, and security threats; to prevent and control disease; and to promote the well-being of, and health education among Americans.
  • Mayo Clinic
    The largest integrated nonprofit medical practice worldwide, Mayo Clinic is a medical practice and research group comprised of several hundred physicians and scientists who specialize in treating difficult cases, with ca. $500 million spent annually on research.
  • Medline Plus
    Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and produced by the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the mission of NIH, the nation's official medical research agency, is to support scientific research that will enhance Americans' health and reduce illness.
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM)
    Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine has housed and provided access to a vast collection of resources in the fields of biomedicine and health since its founding in 1836.
  • PubMed Central (PMC)
    Sponsored by multiple federal government agencies, PubMed Central provides full text access to numerous scholarly journal articles in the biomedical and life sciences.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
    HHS is the federal government agency charged with protecting the health of Americans and providing essential human services, especially for citizens who are least able to help themselves, including millions of American children, families, and seniors.

Open Access Journals

Open access journals are online scholarly journals that users can read, download, print, and distribute without authenticating or paying a fee. 

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
    DOAJ provides free access to several peer-reviewed journal articles in disparate fields.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar provides full text access to scholarly articles in a wide array of disciplines.
  • OAIster  
    OAIster is a digital repository with access to over 30 million bibliographic records for resources from over 1500 cultural institutions throughout the world. Use OAIster to Interlibrary loan (ILL) what FSW does not own.
  • Public Library of Science (PLOS)
    PLOS provides access to peer reviewed science journals and other scientific sources.
  • PubMed Central (PMC)
    Sponsored by multiple federal government agencies, PubMed Central provides full text access to numerous scholarly journal articles in the biomedical and life sciences.

Science Resources

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    An agency of the federal government established in 1970, the mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    Established in 1958, NASA develops technology and conducts scientific research and exploration to advance aeronautics and space science.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
    An independent federal agency created in 1950, the NSF funds and supports research in all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for the medical sciences.
  • Public Library of Science (PLOS)
    PLOS provides access to peer reviewed science journals and other scientific sources.
  • provides access to ca. 200 million pages of reliable science information from several databases and over 2000 websites from 15 U.S. Federal Government agencies.
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
    The USGS provides information on U.S. ecosystems and environment, natural hazards and resources, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and core science systems.

Social Sciences Resources

  • Library of Congress Country Studies
    The Library of Congress Country Studies provides detailed histories of many nations and territories throughout the world.
  • The National Map
    The National Map provides topographic information – from orthoimagery (aerial photographs), geographic names, and boundaries to hydrography (the science of mapping the earth's surface waters) – for the U.S.
  • The World Factbook
    The World Factbook, sponsored by the CIA and updated on a weekly basis, provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, military, communications, and transportation for 267 nations and territories across the globe.

Statistical Information

  • American Factfinder
    Sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder provides a wide variety of data from numerous censuses and surveys about the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    Sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau and first published in 1878, the Statistical Abstract *was* the authoritative source for U.S. statistics until the Census Bureau ended the collection of data for this rich resource on October 1, 2011. Information gathered and published for the Abstract before this date remains on site.
  • Statistical Sites on the World Wide Web
    Sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this page provides links to federal statistical agencies, international statistical organizations, and the national statistical agencies of other countries.
  • United States Census Bureau
    The main statistical agency of the U.S. Government, the Census Bureau is responsible for gathering and providing access to data about the American people via the decennial census, and other censuses and surveys, as well as for apportioning seats of the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 U.S. states based on population.

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