At the time of writing, 49 out of our 315 questions are tagged with reference-request, and at least 10 of these are still unanswered. (We have 20 unanswered questions in total.) In addition, I think that the number of questions tagged will probably increase. For this reason, I think it's a good idea to create a community wiki that lists resources for answering questions that ask for scientific evidence.

When someone answers a question without citing references, we can refer them to this community wiki.

Update 07.09.2017: 14 out of 40 unanswered questions are tagged with .

Update 24.10.2021: We currently have 30 unanswered questions tagged reference-request out of a total of 182 questions without an answer.


1 Answer 1


Using search engines more effectively:

Specialised search engines and catalogues:

  • Bielefeld Academic Search Engine / BASE: a search engine specifically for academic web resources.
  • Paperity: an aggregator of Open Access journals and papers.
  • CORE: another aggregator of open access research outputs.
  • Zetoc: search engine that indexes over 30,000 journals.
  • WorldCat is "the world's largest library catalog". WorldCat helps you locate books in a large number of libraries, so you can find out whether a specific book is available in a (university) library near you.
  • COPAC: online catalogue for specialised libraries in the UK and Ireland.
  • Europeana: meta-catalogue of cultural heritage collections in Europe.

Sites with public access:

  • ERIC indexes research papers related to education, including research on second language acquisition. ERIC always provides an abstract but does not always store the paper itself.
  • Google Scholar: search engine that indexes academic literature.

Sites with both free and paid resources:

  • JSTOR: archive of academic publications. There is a free registration option that allows you to read up to 3 articles every 2 weeks.
  • Springer Link: Springer is an academic publisher; some of the papers on its website are available as Open Access documents.
  • Elsevier's SciencDirect: Elsevier is another big academic publisher. Some of the papers available on SciencDirect are available as Open Access publications.

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