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What is a Reference Database?

A reference source is background information on a topic. A reference database contains reference sources. Researchers use reference sources to: 

  • find an overview of a topic
  • locate keywords to help with further research
  • learn important concepts or definitions 

Reference sources can be found in many places like: 

  • Multipurpose reference sources like Credo or CQ Researcher
  • Encyclopedias like Britannica Academic
  • Dictionaries
  • Biographies
  • Maps or atlases
  • Bibliographies
  • Handbooks, manuals, or guides
  • Statistics, almanacs, or government reports

Multipurpose Reference Databases

Encyclopedia Databases

Biography Reference Database