Choosing
Research Resources

transcript version
pdf version

  1. First Things
  2. What is Research?
  3. Start on the Web?
  4. Encyclopedias
  5. Books
  6. Magazines & Journals
  7. Audio-Visual
  8. Web Resources
  9. Review
  10. Quiz
    [requires Free Flash Player download]
Back to Library Instruction Online
Back to DMC Library Home

Created by Reference &
Automation Services Librarians
,
for Del Mar College Library.
Last revised 2/8/06

 

    Choosing Research Resources

    Encyclopedias

    • Encyclopedias are collections of information, generally organized alphabetically by heading or article title.

      • Remember that most encyclopedias have an index, usually the last volume. The index will give you references to all occurences of your topic in addition to the main article.
    • Encyclopedias are good places to start when you are seeking an overview or know little about the research topic.

      • If your instructor says not to cite encyclopedias in your research, they're still good places to start. Use the information you learn from the encyclopedia to make your searches of other resources more efficient.

    • Encyclopedias have authenticated information.

      • Articles in an encyclopedia have been written by experts in every field. Information contained in an encylopedia is accepted as being accurate.

    • Encyclopedias can be good sources of statistical information.

    • There are two main types of encyclopedias

      • General encyclopedias, like Encyclopaedia Britannica and Encyclopedia Americana, try to cover everything.
      • Subject encyclopedias, like Encyclopedia of Surfing and Encyclopedia of Terrorism, give comprehensive overview of a particular subject area. There are subject encyclopedias for almost every interest.

    • Encyclopedias are available in different formats.

      • Encyclopedias in book format are located in the Reference Area. Some older editions are available for check-out from the regular book collection on the 3rd Floor of the William F. White, Jr. Library on the Del Mar College East Campus.

        • Search for encyclopedias by using the DMCnet Library Catalog. Try both spellings: Encyclopedia and Encyclopaedia.
      • Microsoft Encarta is a digital encyclopedia available on the computers in the Reference Area and Student Technology Center.
      • Online general and subject encyclopedias are available through this link.
        • Eight-nine subject encyclopedias are available full-text online through NetLibrary.

          • Search on the word "encyclopedia" to find all 89.
          • NetLibrary ebooks can also be searched in the DMCnet Library Catalog.
        • Oxford Reference Online also has a large number of subject encyclopedias.