Background reference resources, or often just reference sources, are designed for quick retrieval of specific and authoritative information.
Use reference sources to:
If you need:
|Somewhere to start
|Meaning of a word or concept
|Background information or summary of a topic
|Practical information or comprehensive overview of a topic
|handbook, manual, guide or companion
|Information about a place
|map, atlas or gazetteer
|Data, numbers or facts
|statistics or government information
|Collection of vetted sources on a topic
|Information about a person
Subject specific reference sources are a great way to find specialized information in your discipline.
Try searching the library catalogue by adding a type of reference source to your subject area.
eg: psychology handbook; art dictionary; Shakespeare bibliography
Or check your discipline's Subject Guide for recommended sources