General Information Sources

General information sources are an easy way to get started on a topic, gather statistics and find a definition.  You know these sources as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks
  • Almanacs
  • Factbooks

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Credo is an example of a discovery tool for general information sources.  With one search, you will get results across all types of sources.

There are two types of encyclopedias -- general and subject specific.  General encyclopedias provide overviews on a wide variety of topics. Subject encyclopedias contain entries focusing on one field of study.

Use general information sources when

  • Looking for background information on a topic
  • Trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts