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Monday, July 13, 2015

Reference Sources: An Overview

Characteristics of Reference Sources
 Non-Circulating: Reference books cannot be checked out of the library
Quick Facts: Reference books are not read straight through, like novels; you usually simply “refer” to them when you need quick, basic information
Overview: Reference books provide a quick introduction to your topic, a brief overview; these overviews are especially helpful when you begin researching a topic you don’t know much about

Bibliographies, Cross References & See-also References: Because discussions on topics in Reference Books are not in-depth, entries include suggestions to review related articles within the book itself (cross and see-also references) and citations to other related, in-depth sources (bibliographies)

Specific Arrangement: Reference books are organized in very specific ways, depending on the type of book. For example, chronologies are arranged by date, dictionaries are arranged in alphabetical order by word and encyclopedias are arranged in alphabetical order by subject.

Example and Explanations of Reference Sources:

usually a one-volume work with statistics and a compilation of specific facts

a book of maps and geographical information

a compilation of sources of information, provides 
literature on a specific subject or by a specific author
Biographical Dictionary
sources of information about the lives of people; short entries

lists the events described in order of the date on which they occurred

an alphabetical listing of keywords or phrases found the in work of an author or work in a collection of writings

defines words and terms; confirms spelling, definition, and pronunciation; used to find out how words are used; helps to locate synonyms and antonyms and to trace the origin of words
lists names and addresses of individuals, companies, organizations, and institutions

covers knowledge or branches of knowledge in a comprehensive, but summary fashion; useful for providing facts and giving a broad survey of a topic; written by specialists

a dictionary of geographical places
provides detailed descriptions of places; intended primarily for the traveler; geographical facts plus maps

treats one broad subject in brief, or gives a brief survey of a subject

lists citations to periodical articles, book, and proceedings, and tells where they can be found
a specific work that tells how to do something, such as how something operates; descriptions of the inner workings of an organization

covers the trends and events of the previous year; may be general in coverage, limited to one subject, 
or restricted to one geographical area

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