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Outreach: Introduction to College Research: Encyclopedias

Reference Books


An encyclopedia is a type of reference book.  Reference books:

  • Are the library's version of Wikipedia.
  • Contain quick facts (e.g., distance to the moon).
  • Are not meant to be read from beginning to end.
  • Could be a dictionary, almanac, maps, test preparation, etc.

Use a reference book to:

  • Define terms.
  • Find a basic overview of your topic (usually just a few pages).
  • Discover related ideas and terms.

Reference Books Online

NOVA Libraries have several databases for reference material.  NOTE: If you are conducting research while off-campus, you will be prompted to login using your Blackboard/MyNOVA username and password.

Credo Reference includes more than 500 reference books on a variety of topics.

To start your search, click on the image below.

Gale Virtual Reference Library consists of many specialized encyclopedias.

To start your search, type your keywords in the box below and click "Search".

Oxford Reference Online contains more than 100 Oxford University Press dictionaries and reference books.

To start your search, click on the image below.