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Library Guide for Education Graduate Students

Basic information on using Purdue Libraries for new Education graduate students.

Specialized Reference Sources

Reference sources are great places to get started when researching a new topic. Specialized reference sources can be especially helpful for gathering background information on various topics in educational research.

Encyclopedias are great for providing brief overviews, while handbooks and companions provide more detailed information. In both types of reference works, the articles are authored by field experts. As well as getting to know your topic, these sources are also great ways to build search vocabulary that you can use when finding books, journal articles, and dissertations or theses.

Purdue Libraries subscribes to several large online reference collections that include specialized reference sources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and companions.

  • Credo Reference - Online reference library provides advanced searching and full-text of hundreds of dictionaries and encyclopedias in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Cross-reference links and interactive concept maps provide answers and enable further exploration of topics. Images include 17,000 works of art from the Bridgemann Art Library Archive.
  • Gale eBooks - Database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources. Fully searchable across all files by single or multiple titles, by keyword, ISBN, or full text.
  • Oxford Reference Online - Searchable full-text of more than 150 reference books published by Oxford University Press on many subjects in the arts, history, and sciences. Includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, and several of the Oxford Companion series.