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How to Search Academic Sources in Spanish

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Often times one has to look for academic sources for a particular project which just 10 years ago meant to dive in a public library, but today, as information is quickly accessibly online, one just has to type in what they need to investigate. Still, it is surely not as easy as it seems. Just because adding information on the internet most frequently than not is not edited, neither is selective in terms of who adds the information, many “academic” sources are not trustworthy. Another point is that, English, being lingua franca, is the language we most probably will find the necessary sources the easiest. Spanish on the other hand, even though 400 million people speak is as a native language, has more limited amount of sources. Therefore, this post will investigate some of the features necessary when searching for academically reliable articles, and as well provide you with trustworthy webpages about where to search academic sources in Spanish.

Identify a good website for academic research

Initially, before searching for content, one should first recognize if a website is credible. Several pieces of information that would make your search easier are: author, domain, updates, sources, language etc. When opening a webpage, you should first notice the author standing behind the information presented, as well as, many times, his contact information. When talking about the domain, many domains can be used by any individual. Still, it is a general knowledge that .com is used by commercial organizations, .gov used by government organizations etc. What might be suspicious are the .org websites, hosted by non-profit organizations, which are not necessarily unreliable. Update is one of the most important features, as constant updates of a webpage are a sign of improving in the pace of time. If the information is of an academic character, sources indicated in detail are compulsory for credibility of the information stated. Lastly, poor and incorrect language proves for a website not to have been professionally edited.

If you have all checked from the previously stated, it is time to move on and share some examples of good academic sources online, particularly in Spanish.

Where to find academic sources in Spanish.

The first one is google scholar, a searching database of academic articles, journals, thesis, abstracts etc. What is best about it is that it lists the findings in terms of relevance rather than chronological order. As well, upon opening a page, it provides you with all the necessary information listed as trustworthy in the previous paragraph. You can enable your own library, citations and look through it for free. If you would like to search for information just in Spanish, you can regulate that in the Settings menu, under Languages.

Now, narrowing down to Spanish websites, I will provide you with a .org domain that IS reliable, which proves there is discrepancy of the previously stated, as I have mentioned before. SCIELO is a scientific electronic library online, offered in Portuguese, English and Spanish. It is highly user-friendly, as you can search by field, alphabetic list or journals. It offers a tremendous variety of journals, issues, articles and citations. In addition, you can also search by geographical region, and almost all results are able to be downloaded in a pdf file.

Another similar source that offers many languages amongst which is Spanish, is Dialnet, a website coordinated by the Univeristy de la Rioja. Registration to the webpage is free, and you could, if you wish, allow them to send you constant updates about a particular field of your interest. As SCIELO, this is an academic source of journals, thesis and congresses. If you register, you could sort out your searches, save information you need, subscribe to alerts etc.

Surely enough, you could also decide to search university databases or individual academic sources, but knowing of the existence of google scholar, SCIELO and Dialnet makes your life easier and happier.

If you want to do it the old-school way as I prefer, you can always go to the good-old university libraries which nowadays have an online database including information of the title, author, year of publication and publisher, and once you find the book online, it indicates which exact shelf to find it in the library. The good thing about this is that you personally link to the source you’re reading, as you can touch it, smell it, and read it knowing it has been through many smart hands before J Now you’re more than ready to go out and investigate the world. And don’t forget, as the secretary of United Nations Kofi Annan says, knowledge is power and information is liberating.

And once you have finished your work, you can send it to me for proofreading and I will be happy to review your grammar, spelling and even the reference list.