• Reference Sources: Start Here

    What are the library reference sources? Let's find out!

    What are reference sources?

    Reference sources are things where you can find quick facts or overview about any topic. It is basically the background information, which can help you determine which types of information you will need. 

    This is usually the first step of the research process. Complete your reference research before you use EBSCO or any of the library's databases for finding more detailed sources like books and journal articles. And always come back to this step as you learn more about your topic.

    Use reference sources to:

    • Find keywords for more efficient database searching
    • Read an overview of any topic
    • Locate key facts and background information
    • Identify definitions of words and concepts
    • Find suggestions for other sources on any topic

    Examples of Reference Sources

    Examples of references source include, but not limited to,

    What kind of reference source do I need?

    It depends on what you need! You can also click on the links to be redirected to resources available through our library.

    What do you need? Look here
    A starting point A multipurpose source (i.e. CREDO)
    Background information Encyclopedia
    A definition Dictionary
    Information on a person or group of people Biographies or other biographical sources
    Data, numbers, or facts Almanacs, Yearbooks, Other statistics
    Information on a place Atlases, Maps, Gazetters (geographical indices)
    Practical information or an overview Handbooks, Manuals, Guides, etc.
    Suggestions? Bibliographies, Other references sources

    Based on the Background Reference Sources LibGuide from Simon Fraser University.

    Reference Librarian

    Profile Photo
    Gregory Blair
    "Assistant's Office" behind the Circulation Desk
    (270) 384-8249