"Whenever I'm doing papers I use it for finding the sources that they've sourced in their article and then looking further", said grad student Bradley Griffith.
"It's either my computer but I also have an app on iPhone so it's one of those things that have become a part of my normal daily activity", said grad student Kyle Kondis.
But they may be reaching for the reference books again over the next 24 hours as Wikipedia goes dark for a day.
Wikipedia is leading a protest with seven thousand other sites including Reddit, Mozilla, and Worldpress.
They're protesting legislation in Washington called the Protect IP act (PIPA) and the Stop On-Line Piracy Act (SOPA).
Both bills are aimed at keeping the sites from linking to foreign sites that contain illegal file sharing content.
Attorney Kelly Kubasta handles copyright infringement cases.
“It's absolutely a problem. It's something that happens every day. Infringing materials are streamed and sent from peer to peer networks and through sites such as YouTube and other media websites", Kubasta said.
Hollywood and the music industry support the bills because piracy cuts into their profits.
Professor Andrew Famiglietti studies Wikipedia at UT Dallas and says this legislation will only hinder Wikipedia ability to do its job.
"I think Wikipedia is already doing a good bit to try to prevent copyright violations. This shifting of the burden of proof off of copyright holders and on to Wikipedia is going to make it impossible for them to sort of keep up with the need to police the site in this way", Famiglietti said.