For years, pundits have written about the Web's great potential as a research tool. But that's remained more potential than reality, as anybody who's spent hours slogging through the thousands of irrelevant Web sites that turn up among search engine findings can tell you.
Where can you go for help? A carefully selected wealth of research materials--full text articles from more than 800 newspapers and magazines, with a strong emphasis on business-related materials--has long been maintained on CompuServe by Information Access Co. (IAC). IAC (http://www.encarta.msn.com/library/intro.asp) recently forged an alliance with Microsoft, and the upshot is the Encarta Online Library, a slick site that delivers data smoothly and quickly. Unlimited access costs $6.95 per month, putting more than 900,000 articles within your reach. Sign up at the Web site for a free trial.