Reference resources such as almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopediae and thesauri etc. are a quick and easy way to:
They can be really useful resources as you begin your background research into a topic, before you move on to more in depth research via your Subject databases.
The availability of these resources in online format has made discovery a much quicker and easier process.
You can search online to discover the material you need, instead of wading through printed indexes and multi volume printed works. Printed reference works were traditionally for use within the library online. Online reference works are available to you 24/7 from wherever you login.
Oxford Reference Online contains works spanning these subject areas / categories
The Library Search services will help you discover books, journals, articles, audio visual material and more on your chosen topic. This is a good place to start when you are beginning to research a topic as you can draw on content from a variety of different sources.
Just add dictionary or encyclopedia and your topic to see what is available. For example; language dictionary, french dictionary, legal encyclopedia, quotation dictionary
Online support is available for Library Search.
Search for energy encyclopedia in Library Search and view the results.
A mix of print and online titles are available.
Cambridge Dictionary: A mixture of free and subscription resources. Various language dictionaries are freely available.
Collins dictionary: Free online resource. Includes dictionaries for Enfgish or bilingual word reference for various languages plus thesauri.
Dictionary.com: Free online dictionary. Thesaurus also available as well as a free mobile app. The Random House unabridged dictionary is the foundation of this resource.
Merriam-Webster dictionary online: Free access to longstanding US dictionary and thesaurus service
You may come across references to key people/names in your research.
If these names are unfamiliar you can use the online biographical resources to find out more about their life and works and their contribution to history and society
You may need to explore key facts and figures about a country. For example you may want to look at a country's or region's:
You can use Library Search to discover online and print legal dictionary titles available you you.
The majority of the print legal dictionaries are shelved at KL 40 in the Law Library Reference Section - Bay 1 in the Law Library.
As well as general reference works you will reference works which focus on particular legal topics or disciplines. Examples include the following. There are many more! Library Search will help you to find these
The encyclopedia is arranged alphabetically by topic and provides up to date commentary and links to relevant caselaw and legislation.
The online version via Lexis makes it easy for you to follow through references to relevant case law, legislation and commentary.
It also makes it easy to search for topics that straddle a range of legal areas.
The multi volume print version is also available for quick reference in Bay 1 of the Law Library.
The books in the Very Short Introductions series act as a bridge between reference works and higher academic work, providing easy-to-read introductions to a diverse range of subject areas. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a huge range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable.
Wikipedia is a free online collaborative encyclopedia.
Launched in 2001, it has grown in popularity and become one of the most visited websites on the internet, with millions of visitors every month.
To find out more about this resource, including discussion of its value as a research resource, take a look at the Wikipedia LibGuide.
Contact Us or Give Feedback