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Why Use Reference Sources?
Reference sources include encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries. They are a great place to begin your research, since they can help with the following:
Offer ideas for possible research topics
Give you background information on your topic
Define unfamiliar terms
Suggest keywords to use when searching for books and articles
Point you to books and articles on your topic, via " works cited" lists
Browse topic ideas and get background information:
General Search Tips
These search tips work in our library databases and Library Catalog:
Combine keywords using AND and OR.
Use AND for searching different ideas within your topic. E.g. parental leave AND policy
Use OR for searching with synonyms of your keywords. E.g. (parental leave OR family leave) AND policy
Abbreviate words with multiple endings using an asterisk (*). E.g. polic* to search both policy and policies
Search specific phrases using quotation marks. E.g. "Family and Medical Leave Act"
Change your search terms around to get different results.
Selected E-Reference Sources
Ask a Librarian!
Contact the Geisel Library Reference Desk
Fall Reference Hours
We're here to respond during...
M-Tu: noon - 10:00 p.m.
W-Th: noon - 4:30 p.m.
F: noon - 3:00 p.m.
Sa: noon - 5:00 p.m.
Search across multiple encyclopedias at once:
eBooks [GALE] This link opens in a new window
Core electronic reference collection, this collection of online subject encyclopedias provides in-depth articles on a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on the social sciences.
Credo Reference [INFOBASE] This link opens in a new window
Online reference database enables simultaneous searching of 100 scholarly reference works, across all areas of study.
Oxford Reference [OXFORD] This link opens in a new window
Reference database that provides background information on a wide range of topics, particularly in the humanities.