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Encylopedias, etc.: Getting Started

A guide for background information to form a solid research base for your topic.

Research Foundations

Why use Encyclopedias and Handbooks?

Your time is valuable.

If you're struggling for a research topic, subject-specific encyclopedias are a huge catalog of them. They condense the most important parts of a topic into an introductory entry. Names of important researchers and significant works are often listed. They also often provide an overview of research trends or historical events integral to the evolution of the topic or issue.

If you've already chosen a topic and struggling for search terms to refine it, encyclopedias will help find them.

Find Reference E-Books

Use these databases to access online reference materials. Get started by clicking a logo below.

Literati Academic by Credo Reference
Oxford Reference
Gale Virtual Reference Library 
Sage Knowledge 

Other Guides & Resources

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  • ID: 9-digit NU ID Number
  • Password: 6-digit birth date  (MMDDYY)

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What's New!

Aug. 19: We just brought on a new librarian this month, and we're really excited to have her aboard. Learn more about her in our latest Staff Spotlight!

Aug. 12: CRCnetBASE is a great database for science, technology, and medical e-books. We recently added the Computer Science & Engineering collection, which includes almost 900 new titles. Take a look!

Aug. 2: Summer is the perfect time to escape and dive into a good book. Check out some NU Library staff picks as part of our Summer Reading Series!