Need to select a research topic or find background information?
The Library’s Reference Collection includes subject-focused encyclopedias. Look here to find introductory articles on subject-related topics. The broad perspective offered by such articles often proves helpful for narrowing research topics before pursuing more in-depth information.
The Reference Collection also includes a variety of other sources where you can find definitions, maps, statistics, and a multitude of facts.
Why not use Wikipedia? Since Wikipedia is an open-source resource, anyone (perhaps a subject expert, a non-expert, or even someone playing a prank) can create or edit a Wikipedia article. On the other hand, reference books go through an editing and often a fact-checking process, which lends a level of trustworthiness to the information provided.
This guide provides some recommendations for encyclopedias and other reference resources that might provide helpful information relating to Chemistry topics.
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The following encyclopedias and dictionaries are recommended for research relating to Chemistry-Physics. Books with a Call Number beginning with the letters "Ref" are shelved in alphanumeric order by call number in the Reference Collection on the second floor of the Nancy Thompson Library Learning Commons (NTLC). Books with the designation "Electronic Resource" are e-books, which are accessible by clicking the hyperlinked title.
Shirley Horbatt is the original author of this guide, which she updated through March 2016.
Listed below are options available for you to contact a reference librarian and ask for help with your research.