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Environment & Society

A guide to information on sustainability and the environment.

What are reference sources?

Reference sources are resources used to locate basic information and secondary literature.

There are many types of reference sources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, handbooks, guides, and style manuals. 

They are a fantastic places to begin your research, especially if you are exploring a new topic.

Reference sources can help you to:

  • define your topic in general terms
  • find background information, including themes and key points
  • identify keywords and alternative terms for conceptualising your subject, and for database searching.

Dictionaries

Oxford Reference Online Search Box Example
Search Oxford Reference Online

Desktop access to an authoritative and comprehensive reference collection combining access to in-depth scholarly resources offered by titles in the Oxford Companions series, together with quick reference coverage using over 120 key Oxford dictionaries and reference works.

Encyclopaedias

Handbooks and guides

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