Thursday, September 11, 2008

Freelance Writing Research 101

Last week I wrestled around with a writing project that just about had me pulling my hair out. I was creating web content for an industrial manufacturer of thermostats. And silly me – I gave the client my normal deadline without really thinking about how much research was involved (the client supplied NO resource material, by the way).

I have worked as a journalist before, so I'm pretty good at researching topics. But finding in-depth information about industrial thermal measuring devices proved to be a big fat challenge. Most of the information I found online was product information. Even my local library failed me miserably on this one. After doing some online research I found High Beam Research, an online library reference site for just under $200 a year. I was pleased with what I found, but I didn't quite want to part with $200. They're offering a one week free trial for anyone wanting to try out their service.

Thank goodness for freelance writing forums. I desperately reached out for help on a writer's forum and help did arrive. I was asking other writers to share their experiences with High Beam Research so that I could make a decision. Another writer suggested a FREE online library resource site called Galileo. Boy do I love free stuff – especially when it does the exact same thing as a service you could pay for. The link I've provided is for the state of Georgia, but I'm told that most library systems include a link on their website for visitors as a courtesy. The many magazine, newspaper and journal articles I accessed provided exactly what I needed to complete my project with my sanity intact. Yaay!


Diana said...

Awesome link. I'm bookmarking that bad boy. I think that many university libraries also offer their online library services to alumni, so for anyone who has a degree, that could be a great free resource too. I haven't used mine in a while, but I know I had access for at least a year after I graduated.

Avid Writer said...

diana, I'm glad you found it helpful. I wish I'd known about it much sooner!:)

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