Tag Archives: research

Best Product Review Sites

control-3312776_1280We polled our librarians and library staff for their best product review sites. Although many of us are familiar with Consumer Reports and Amazon, there are often other sites you only hear about through word of mouth.  So from our mouths to yours…

Consumer Reports: This old standby still stands the test of time. You can get to the full text free through the library here (search Consumer Reports), with lots of back issues to explore. Here are two places below you can see years back to the 1980s.

Angie’s List: This review site focuses on the product of SERVICES provided by a company. A great place to see local information if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Good Housekeeping Product Reviews: Go here for beauty, clothing, fitness, appliances, garden, and more. See if your favorite gets the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!

Amazon: Anyone can write reviews of products, and some are pretty fun (and tongue-in- cheek) to read. You can see their review policies here.

Wirecutter: This site’s “recommendations are made through vigorous reporting, interviewing, and testing by teams of veteran journalists, scientists, and researchers.” More rigorous than some sites, it’s a great place to try for electronics and gadgets, but has so much more.

Top Ten Reviews: Per their site, “for over 14 years, we’ve been one of the largest and most comprehensive product review sites on the web, with tens of thousands of reviews and rankings in categories” that include services, software, business, electronics, and more.

BestReviews: Another good site that does testing and doesn’t accept free products.  They compare the top products in thousands of categories to give you reliable purchasing advice.

Cnet.com: A great place to go for tech reviews (oldie but still a goodie!).

Both Edmunds.com and Consumerguide.com are stellar for a car search and give pros, cons, and specs.

There are many review sites available, from the general to specific. For example, here is an article discussing the Top 28 Product Review sites for Online Marketers.  Consumersearch.com aggregates reviews from many different review sites (so you can find what Wirecutter and Good Housekeeping both say about salad spinners!)

As with all information, it is important to do your homework before committing to a decision! Try out some of these sites to make yourself a savvy consumer!

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, with contributions by ECC Librarians & Staff

Resource Spotlight: Primary Resources

Primary and secondary resources are both important parts of the research process. Primary resources can provide you with a first-hand account of an event as it happened and give you immediate reaction uncolored by distance from the event.

This video explains primary and secondary resources:

The ECC Library subscribes to many resources that have a primary resource focus. To this end, we have created a Primary Sources Research Guide which will walk you through books, databases, newspapers, and more available to you free.

Some to check out:

Librarians are happy to help you navigate or explore these resources; contact us!
–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Resource Spotlight: PsycArticles & PsycInfo

When students have research to do for psychology class and they need high quality, credible, academic information, they turn to PsycArticles & PsycInfo. But have you considered other aspects of your topic that may have a psychological component?

For example:

  • You may be doing business research on marketing to certain segments of the population. PsycArticles may have research on buying habits and the psychological basis for them.
  • Maybe you are working on a paper on coaching in sports. If you are taking an approach that discusses the role of coach and parents, PsycInfo may have some good information on how that dynamic plays a role in the success of the athlete.

The difference between the two is that PsycArticles contains full text professional psychology journals, whereas PsycInfo has a more comprehensive overview of psychology research and may be full text, abstracts, or just citations.

To use these databases, go to the Article Databases link on the library’s webpage. The databases are in alphabetical order, or you can click on the “P” to jump to those databases.

You will need your Student ID activated as your library card to use these databases from off campus. If you need assistance using the database, please contact the library.

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

For faculty (and your students!) Interlibrary Loan


Image courtesy of  mememaker.net

What is Interlibrary Loan:

Interlibrary Loan is the process by which the library will request materials not available in our own collection. Items are delivered to the library and you can pick them up and check them out just like any other library item. Items are usually free.

Why you should care:
This means that you can get just about any item you want, from any library, without having to try to find it yourself, for free.

The service includes books, journal articles, DVDs, videos, and other materials.

Plan ahead–sometimes items  can come quickly, but giving a week to 10 days for the item is a good rule of thumb.

Need to use it?
You can find the policies and form here.

For questions, contact Armando Trejo, Archives/Interlibrary Loan Librarian at (847) 214-7141.

Resource Spotlight: Research Guides

Research Guides are online guides that provide quick access to databases, websites, books, ebooks and other resources on a given topic or for a specific class or assignment. Research Guides are a great starting point for your research, and have been created in consultation with your instructor.

It does what it says: it “guides your research” to the best sources to begin with on that topic. Guides are set up with tabs that lead you to subtopics within that guide, such as article databases, websites, books/ ebooks, citing, choosing a topic, search strategies, and more.


To get started, click on Research Guides on the main library webpage.

Research Guide1

Find your topic on the alphabetical list. Then explore the guides either by the subject area or the guide created for your particular class. It’s that easy!

Research Guide2

To use resources off campus, you will need to activate your student ID with the Circulation Desk (847-214-7337 or circdesk@elgin.edu.)

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Resource Spotlight: Ethnic News Watch

proquestEthnic News Watch is a database that covers both current and past newspapers, magazines, and journals from ethnic, minority, and native presses. The complete collection also includes the module Ethnic NewsWatch: A History™, which provides historical coverage of Native American, African American, and Hispanic American periodicals from 1959-1989.

This full-text collection covers more than 2.5 million articles from over 340 publications. It is a great place to research on topics related to:

    • Ethnic groups
    • Minorities
    • Multi-cultural
    • Human rights
    • Activism
    • …and individual ethnicities from around the globe
–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian




Resource Spotlight: Nexis Uni

SocialBanner nexisReplacing Lexis Nexis is a new, academic based database from Lexis called Nexis Uni.

This database provides a wide variety of authoritative sources, including: newspapers, broadcast transcripts from the major television and radio networks; wire services; non-English language news sources, and legal sources such as law reviews and case law.

Nexis Uni is currently available to on-campus users only.

To learn more about Nexis Uni, check out this video:

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian