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PolyU Library

Find Reference Works

A guide to introduce reference work resources, including handbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries

What are Reference Works & Why do they matter

Reference Works generally refer to handbooks, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. They provide a broad overview and background information of a topic. They help you understand the key issues, history, and sometimes, latest debates on a topic without going through dozens of books, journal articles, and other materials. They can also help you develop a mind map on a topic and learn keywords and terminologies for further research.

Where to Find Reference Works

Besides Wikipedia, a free source, you can also explore several reference work databases subscribed by the library. These databases provide short articles from authoritative reference works and allow you to search and refine by subjects or topics

Not sure where to get started? Navigate to side pages to browse some latest reference works in your subject. 

Check the full list of databases for dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.