In the Week 2 commentary, you’re reading about different types of information, like periodicals and databases, but there are also many different reference sources, like:
- Encyclopedias, which contain informational articles, like Encyclopædia Britannica or Wikipedia.
- Almanacs -reference works, traditionally published annually, filled with brief facts and statistics relating to countries of the world, sports, hobbies, entertainment, etc., like The Old Farmer’s Almanac
UMUC subscribes to a number of online reference tools, including specialized encyclopedias like The Gale Virtual Reference Library. However, many helpful general reference sources are available freely online.
Below I have assembled links to a variety of encyclopedias and almanacs on the Web. In addition to encyclopedias and almanacs, I have added some sites for statistics, since statistics are good primary sources to refer to for research, and primary sources are covered in the reading material this week.
What to do for this discussion: Choose one of the linked sources below. Then report back to us in class about which source you picked and why. Additionally share an interesting fact or specific statistic you learned while exploring it.
- Britannica.com – Nearly boundless research tool.
- How Stuff Works – Find out how just about anything works.
- Infoplease – Encyclopedia and dictionary in one
- Symbols.com – Encyclopedia of graphic symbols.
- Encyclopedia Smithsonian – Explore online resources from the Smithsonian
- Almanac.com – Home of the Old Farmer’s Almanac
- Baseball Almanac – Filled with baseball facts.
- CIA World Factbook – Offers detailed country information
- 50States.com – access to a variety of state specific facts
- Guinness World – Search for world records
- American FactFinder – Data on population, housing and more
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – statistics on the labor market and economy
- Childstats.gov – Forum on Child and Family Statistics
- National Center for Health Statistics – National health stats from the CDC
- WolframAlpha – Enter a search term and receive corresponding stats immediately.