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*Chemistry: Start Your Research

Why Use Encyclopedias?

Background sources like encyclopedias can provide context for your topic, or even help you choose one. They are great places to start because:

  • they explain topics in simpler language than scholarly articles
  • they are much shorter (often just a just a page or two, instead of the 20 pages or more found in a scholarly article or the hundreds of pages found in a book)
  • they highlight important issues, figures, dates, and/or events that you may want to focus on in your paper or project
  • they give you suggested sources for further research in the form of bibliographies or works cited

Online Encyclopedias

The following are recommended encyclopedias in your field. You can read them online 24/7.

Print Encyclopedias

Hutchins Library also has a large collection of print enyclopedias that you can access in person in the Reference area on the main floor. Here are a few that we recommend: