skip to page content | skip to main navigation
 SOCRATES  E-JOURNALS  Site Search  ASK US  Text-Only SULAIR HOME  SU HOME

Types of Sources

Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are collections of short, factual entries, often written by different contributors who are knowledgeable about the topic. There are two types of encyclopedias: general and subject.

General encyclopedias provide concise overviews on a wide variety of topics. Subject encyclopedias contain in-depth entries focusing on one field of study.

Stanford has many print and on-line encyclopedias. See the Reference Shelf for a listing of on-line encyclopedias, such as Britannica or Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.

Use an Encyclopedia
  • when looking for background information on a topic
  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts
Examples
  • Encyclopedia Americana (general encyclopedia)
  • African-American Encyclopedia (subject encyclopedia)
  • International Encyclopedia of Women Scientists (subject encyclopedia)
© The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.
Help and Contact Information SKIL's Table of Contents Glossary of Terms used on SKIL