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Learn why you should use reference sources and which ones to use when starting your search.

Encyclopedias and Reference Sources

  • Reference Resources: Encyclopedias : A selection of Miami University Libraries' online encyclopedias covering many subject areas.
  • Salem Press : Search reference titles in Literature, History, Science, Health, and Careers.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library : Search hundreds of reference books individually or as a single source.
  • OhioLINK Electronic Book Center : Search the "Scholarly & Reference E-Book Collection" to find information on your subject in online reference books and scholarly publications.
  • World Book Advanced : Articles from the World Book Encyclopedia, an atlas and a dictionary, articles from earlier encyclopedia editions, magazine articles from EBSCO, animations, videos, sound clips, and Web links.

Multiple Perspectives on Current Issues


  • Biography In Context : Research people from throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas.
  • Biography Reference Bank : Find biographical information on people from around the world, throughout the centuries.

Language Learning

  • Mango Languages : Mango is an online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more.

Science and Health

  • Science Online : Explore science subjects, science in the news, diagrams, experiments, biographies, timelines, videos, and animations.
  • Science Reference Center : Find the full text of hundreds of science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, and other sources.
  • Consumer Health Complete : Written for patients or for those interested in health-related topics, from mainstream medicine to complementary, holistic and integrated medicine. See Health Source - Nursing/Academic Edition for more scholarly resources on nursing and allied health topics.
  • Human Diseases and Conditions, 2017 : Presents information on numerous diseases and conditions. Articles include a definition of the disease or condition, an explanation of how it works in the body, information on causes, symptoms and diagnosis, treatment or cure, and lifestyles.


  • Statista : an innovative and intuitive tool for researching quantitative data, statistics and related information.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States : a comprehensive collection of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States.
  • Census Reporter : Locate U.S. Census data more easily on various topics.
  • Find Statistics Here : Find general data and statistical resources for several subject areas.