So whats missing Why can it be so difficult to do comprehensive research on the

What's not on the Web--at least not for free--are most of the comprehensive reference works you'd find in a library reference room and nonfiction collection. Why? It costs publishers a lot of money to put together that information and they're in business to sell it--they have nothing else to sell. They're not in the same position as an investment company who can author and publish some free information about investing techniques and then make money by selling you a mutual fund. These book publishers are in the business of selling the information they write or compile and they're not about to give it away by posting it on the Web. The exceptions to this are some dictionaries, almanacs and other singlevolume reference works that are easily digitized and where sales of the print product are not seen as threatened by the Web.

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