The Most Useful Resources for Students, Researchers and Writers [UPDATED FOR 2022]

A writer’s work has never been an easy fit. Whether you are writing an essay, a research paper, a dissertation proposal or an article, finding top quality resources can be a challenge. As a student, you have to submit essays, assignments, and dissertations relying on hundreds of reliable academic sources. Researchers and professional writers have to constantly explore new spheres of interest to gain expertise and make their publications critical and relevant to the readers. All this hard work is impossible to complete without reliable instruments supporting your research efforts. Professionals in this sphere use all time-saving tips and tricks that are available ranging from touch typing to specialised search engines allowing them to input the time span, article topics and keywords, and desired source types such as books or peer-reviewed magazines. The use of these instruments allows them to avoid the unnecessary routine and focus on the most important parts such as the development of own vision of the topic and your academic argument.


Below, we have put together a list of the most useful online resources for students, researchers and writers, to help you with whatever you may be writing.


Free Databases

In most research situations, you need a lot of high-quality books and peer-reviewed articles to learn more about the subject and form the main body of your Literature Review or theoretical discussion. Buying an expensive paid subscription may not be an option for all students while working from a university library can be time-consuming and inconvenient. The following databases provide a lot of free resources that you can use as well as specialised search engines allowing you to focus on relevant data from recent years, which is important for receiving a high grade.


 Resource  Link  Description
FRED Database This free database of macroeconomic and social data is included in the 1% of the most reliable and recognised research departments in the world.
CORE This database is an aggregator of open-access articles across multiple disciplines. The total number of publications available at the moment exceeds 219 million, which makes it a perfect starting point for your review of secondary literature.
 Google Scholar Google Scholar allows you to search for free and subscription-based research papers. This resource also provides searching by the author to find all works of a specific expert in your field of interest.
 Google Books This popular resource grants access to millions of academic textbooks with a free preview offered for most popular titles.
IMF Database The International Monetary Fund (IMF) database is invaluable for analysing the macroeconomic and social data of many developing economies, which is convenient for students in the world economy and world finance.
OECD Data Another valuable resource created by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is focused on social projects and transformational projects in world economies providing invaluable data for social scientists and managers.
OECD Statistics This supporting platform from OECD is focused on statistical data about demography, finance, globalisation, industrial development, trade figures, and many other indicators of economic development.
Penn World Table If you are specifically interested in economic development indicators, the Penn World Table database allows you to compare multiple indicators such as productivity or income levels between 182 countries. The data presently covers the period from 1950 to 2017, which may be valuable for longitudinal analyses.
Public Library of Science Public Library of Science (PLoS) is another provider of open-access publications. While its range of published sources presently amounts to 12 journals, all of them are peer-reviewed and strictly adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity.
Social Science Research Network Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is specifically focused on social science publications in 67 areas. It presently offers 600,000+ fully available articles that can be accessed for free.
World Bank Database More recent data is usually available from the World Bank Database that is especially useful for exploring global debt statistics, poverty levels, and income levels. Some statistical information refers to large regions such as North Africa or the Middle East, which may be more convenient for macro-economic analyses of economic development.
Yahoo Finance This database provides the most recent news related to major financial, social or economic issues on a global level. While its scope may be more limited than those provided by the previously mentioned professional resources, it may be highly effective for understanding the current trends in a certain market segment or geographical area and proceeding with more in-depth research afterwards.


Subscription-Based Databases

If your searches are more specialised or you are willing to explore a new area of knowledge that has not been extensively researched yet, you may want to focus on professional subscription-based databases. They usually offer the most recent information about many subjects and may even provide access to the most recent research studies of cooperating authors even before their official publication in the printed press. The following list includes a review of the most popular databases with the provision of their specialisation and knowledge segment to make your searches more convenient.


 Resource  Link  Description
Bloomberg This resource is one of the global leaders in financial and market news. A subscription unlocks access to real-time data that is relevant, reliable, and verified.
BoardEx BoardEx has unique data about most global businesses including the lists of key senior managers and other corporate governance data. This makes it invaluable for both business analysts and academic writers.
Emerald Insight This resource is another subscription-based database providing access to academic journals with a focus on business, marketing and management.
Jstor This website provides subscription-based access to academic journals. Many older articles are available for free.
Lexis Nexis LexisNexis is a subscription-based resource granting access to legal papers and risk-related analytics. It provides highly interesting insights regarding corporate risks based on big data analytics.
Mintel Mintel is a globally operating company offering high-quality marketing research. Specific offerings include industry reports, consumer trend analyses, and market statistics. With many universities offering a free subscription to this database, there is no reason to not use it for your assignments.
Questia Questia offers subscription-based access to academic journals and books with a focus on social sciences.
Research Gate This platform is a social network for scientists and researchers where you can access multiple papers and contact their authors. It includes multiple free articles and allows you to ask some writers to grant you access to their limited-view articles if you want to cite them in your own publications.
ScienceDirect This resource provides subscription-based access to academic journals with a focus on science, economics and medicine. Some articles have a free access option, which may be convenient for adding new secondary sources to your work free of charge.
Statista A major paid-access database with social, economic, market and government data.
Thomson One Banker This resource is a subscription-based database with a focus on financial, accounting, corporate governance and market data.
Trading Economics Trading Economics provides macroeconomic statistics related to recent trends with real-time updates.
Wharton Research Data Services This subscription-based database is focused on financial, accounting and economic data collected from multiple sources that is assembled into convenient datasets by professional experts.
Wiley Online Library Subscription-based access to academic journals and books with a focus on social and physical sciences.



It is almost impossible to write a high-grade dissertation based on quantitative data without using specialised software tools such as SPSS or Matlab. However, professional products in this sphere can assist any type of data analysis and research writing by allowing you to process qualitative information more efficiently or improve your writing style. The following table offers the most popular software used by researchers in various spheres.

 Resource  Link  Description
Eviews (Software) Statistical Software
Grammarly This software can be used as a Microsoft Word plugin to check your articles, essays, and other documents for grammatical errors before submission. While its recommendations are not correct in 100% of all cases, it is invaluable for getting rid of most typos.
Hemingway App The Hemingway App is another life-saving tool for beginning writers that can boost the quality of their writing manifold within the first several days of use. Effectively, it analyses your papers for readability issues and suggests better phrasing options.
Matlab (Software) Statistical Software
Mendeley Mendeley is a software package originally designed in 2008 that is presently owned by Elsevier. It is one of the most powerful solutions for managing references that also has Android and Apple apps offering a seamless experience across all writing platforms.
Nvivo Software for qualitative research
R (Software) Statistical Software
SPSS (Software) Statistical Software
Stata (Software) Statistical Software
Statista A major paid-access database with social, economic, market and government data.
Wolfram Mathematica Statistical Software


Student Forums

No one knows the hardships of academic writing as well as university students and postgraduates. The following resources allow you to contact thousands of your fellow learners and ask for specific recommendations regarding your educational challenges.

 Resource  Link  Description
International Student This platform connects hundreds of students undergoing their academic courses in many countries of the world. This makes it one of the first go-to resources for learners willing to study internationally. On this platform, you can also find personal blogs of students from your destination of choice including the persons who relocated there several years before you.
MarkedbyTeachers This community offers multiple examples of real student works criticised by UK teachers and other students. This review is highly beneficial for understanding university ranking systems and learning how you can achieve top grades by meeting the expectations of real academic professionals.
Reddit This community is visited by students helping each other to fill survey forms and collect primary data samples. It may be optimal for pilot testing your questionnaires or getting advice from fellow academic writers.
The Student Room This is the largest online community of UK students that is reportedly visited by 75% of all young learners below the age of 25. Here, you can discuss your writing or academic challenges with your peers and ask for guidance and recommendations on overcoming them.
Writing Forums This forum dates back to 2006 and unites writes in all genres including academic writers. On this resource, you can learn a lot of professional tricks from experienced blog authors and users sharing their accumulated knowledge in this sphere.



Academic Phrasebanks

Academic writing is characterised by its unique style involving a choice of words and grammatical constructions. It may be difficult to get used to if you are just starting your career or if English is not your first language. The best solution to this challenge is the use of academic phrasebanks offering examples of specific phrases, constructions, and words used in academic writing. The list below offers some of the most comprehensive resources in this field that will get your style up to speed in no time.

 Resource  Link  Description
Manchester Phrasebank This website offers phraseological examples for academic writers that are conveniently grouped in popular categories. This way, you can instantly find the phrases assisting a critical discussion or the ones allowing you to describe past events.
Purdue Owl This platform offers multiple academic writing tips on using different referencing styles, selecting the best phrases used for establishing arguments, separating your ideas into specific paragraphs or writing in a concise manner. It can easily be used as a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution for all your needs in this sphere.
Ref-n-Write This resource offers more categories for writing about your research topic including the optimal phrase choices for Introduction, Literature Review, and Discussion sections in dissertations.



Educational Resources

Finally, some spheres of research may require specialised training or education in order to write with expertise and knowledge. While this approach may be more complex than the one utilised by most writers for copywriting purposes, it also provides better results in the long-term perspective if you are planning to develop professional skills and understanding in your area of interest. The following resources provide educational courses in multiple subjects with many of them offered free of charge.

 Resource  Link  Description
Coursera Being one of the oldest educational websites in the online environment, Coursera offers hundreds of free courses that will allow you to gain expertise in almost any field and get confirming certificates proving it.
Khan Academy Khan Academy was created as a non-profit enterprise right from the start, which means that you can get high-quality knowledge from professional educators completely free of charge. This educational platform is especially beneficial for students and writers studying science, mathematics, and other ‘hard’ scientific fields.
Open Culture This resource offers a large collection of lectures, books, online courses, and free materials in various fields varying from anatomy to advanced computer science. While the list of offerings may be limited in some spheres, it may be a good start for exploring a new area of knowledge.
Open Learn This platform is offered by the Open University and has won multiple rewards for providing high-quality services to 100+ million visitors. With thousands of free programmes in the most popular spheres, you can easily include it in your list of ‘go-to’ solutions for growing as a professional in your selected sphere.
Open Yale Courses Open Yale Courses may look like a controversial offering at first. On the one hand, the list of offered programmes is quite limited and mostly includes the recordings of lectures delivered more than 10 years ago. On the other hand, these materials are provided by one of the top Ivy League universities with an average cost of attendance exceeding $60,000 per year. With its courses rightfully considered some of the best ones available globally, taking a look at its free offerings does not sound like a bad idea.
Project Gutenberg This library offers 60,000+ free electronic books on various subjects. While you may not find the most recent reference materials, it frequently contains valuable sources in popular fields that can provide a good starting point for further search.


We hope that this comprehensive list of resources will assist your writing efforts and will allow you to achieve the results you seek. Some of these instruments may seem more or less convenient to use depending on your research style and preferences. Hence, we would suggest trying multiple tools before beginning your primary work to optimise your writing operations and make informed choices in this sphere.

Your choices may also depend upon your specific task and the required degree of professional expertise. As a beginning writer or an academic student, you can find Google Scholar and similar ‘basic’ resources perfectly sufficient for your needs. However, more complex endeavours such as PhD dissertation usually require more specialised tools for findings secondary sources to support your argumentation.

One of the key paths to success is to start writing early. The more time you have before that final submission, the better you are able to utilise the suggested resources to create a first-class assignment. If you are struggling with any of your University work, why not get in touch? Get professional essay help from expert writers. Protection Status