In the early days of the Internet, the availability of academic resources online was not at the top of anyone’s agenda. However, as the Internet began to reach a wider audience and its uses grew so did the types of information available. At first, many persons doubted the quality of information available online. Students were not encouraged to use it for research purposes. In fact, most of what was found online was not viewed as valid academic resources.
These days the ability to access academic resources online is fundamental to many areas of study. Just about anyone doing research will turn to the Internet as the first source of information. Serious scholars and researchers mainly used online academic resources for simple searches like definitions. Those days are now well behind them. Quality academic resources can now be found online and many are free while others require a subscription.
Why Online Availability Makes Sense
There are many valid reasons why having access to academic resources such as books, journals, papers, newspapers and documents online is useful. Some of these reasons are:
•Convenience: This is very important as it makes it possible to find needed information quickly regardless of time of day. Online resources can be accessed whenever the user needs them as long as there is Internet access.
•Cost: Some books and journals are extremely expensive. Often when such material is available online it is free of cost. Plus, with online access it is possible to buy just a portion of a journal rather than take out a subscription.
•Wider reach/accessibility: Many academic resources when available online can be accessed by users all over the world. This makes it possible for distance learning to work even better than it previously did via snail mail correspondence courses.
The availability of academic resources online has helped changed the education landscape. Even persons who just love reading can find academic material online to read for informational purposes.