Reference/Background Information

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You may also find similar resources in the University Libraries's Reference Resources guide.

Two-Minute Tutorial: Starting Your Search with Wikipedia and Reference Sources


  • 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.

Encyclopedias and Reference Sources

  • Wikipedia : "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit."
  • Oxford Research Encyclopedias : Written by world-class experts to provide subject overviews that can be understood in half an hour of reading or less.
  • Oxford Very Short Introductions : Offer concise introductions to a diverse range of 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 : Find information on your subject in online reference books and scholarly publications.
  • World Book Online : 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

Science and Health

  • Visible Body Human Anatomy Atlas : The premier 3D anatomical atlas used for research and training in medical, health, and related fields. It includes interactive and maneuverable 3D computer graphics views of over 6,000 human anatomy structures and systems with near cadaver-like accuracy.
  • 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.
  • Census Reporter : Locate U.S. Census data more easily on various topics.
  • DataPlanet : "A tool for data download and visualization with social science data about U.S. states, counties, cities, and metropolitan statistical areas from more than 150 different government and non-government sources."