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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.

Gale Virtual Reference Library 
Sage Knowledge 

Other Guides & Resources

More:

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Library databases require user authentication.

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

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What's New!

July 14: The Library is looking for Student Research Fellows in SHHS, SOEC, and SOBM. Learn more and apply on the NU Jobs page (search for Research Fellow).

June 30: We will have modified hours for summer break. Enjoy your time off!

June 23: If you haven't watched our short tutorial on Using Citations to Find Books and Articles, we highly recommend it. We just recently refreshed it for 2018.