My most recent discovery has to do with Google. I know that sounds mundane and uninteresting, and I do feel somewhat silly posting it here for fear of revealing my ignorance. I will post it anyway, however, for the benefit of the small percentage of the population out there that may not know about it: Google Scholar. According to Wikipedia, “Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.” In the Advanced Search features, you can specify particular libraries, subject areas, authors, publication dates, and language among other things.
The most important aspect of this specialized engine is that it allows you to search serious articles on specific topics (the operative word here being serious). That is, it allows you to avoid the generic, non-specialized content that comes up when you do a regular Google search, and to save time you would otherwise spend sorting through useless results.
I can only wonder at all the hours I wasted when the answer was just one search engine away. Oh well.