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General Information Sources

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As there are a plethora of general information sources out there, including useful web resources, we have selected for inclusion on this page a list of "Librarian Approved" resources and sites useful for general interest and research purposes. They are alphabetically listed, after the initial Reference Book section.

If you are aware of any that we have overlooked, please send in your suggestions via the Ask-A-Librarian email form.

 

Reference Books

The resources listed below are random, at best, but demonstrate the broad coverage of the Reference Collection, including stats, public opinion polls, and almanacs for the world.

  • Demographic yearbook: Annuaire demographique.
  • United Nations statistical yearbook.
  • The Time almanac.
  • Webster's third new international dictionary of the English language, unabridged.
  • The Gallup poll: public opinion.
  • Encyclopedia of holidays and celebrations: a country-by-country guide.
  • The World almanac and book of facts.
  • Anuario estadistico de America Latina: Statistical yearbook for Latin America.

 

Abbreviations and Acronyms

  • Acronyms
    A searchable index of acronyms and abbreviations.

 

Almanacs

  • The Old Farmers Almanac
    Since 1792, The Old Farmer's Almanac has published useful information: tide tables; sunrise tables and planting charts; recipes; and weather predictions.
  • Information Please Almanac
    This is the online version of the popular almanac, arranged by topic, or can be searched by keyword. It also includes the Random House Webster's College Dictionary and the Columbia Encyclopedia.
  • InfoNation (UN)
    Provides comparative statistics on UN member nations in three-steps: Select a Category of Info; Select Country Groupings; then, Select the Countries you wish to compare. Very basic interface, but fairly easy to use.

 

Biography

  • Biography.com
    This site provides search for more than 20,000 personalities tied to the popular television show.

 

Book Reviews

  • Booklist Online.com
    This is a standard reviewing resource for libraries on a wide variety of subjects. Particularly good for literature for children and young adults.
  • Cannylink
    This is a substantial megasite index of many good book reviewing sites.

 

Calculators

  • myAmortizationChart.com
    Useful in creating an amortization schedule by selecting the amount, interest rate, and loan length.
  • Currency Converter
    Performs quick foreign exchange rate conversion from a wide variety of currencies.
  • Metric / Imperial Converter
    Designed to convert length, area, mass / weight, liquid volume, and temperature from metric into imperial figures and vice-a-versa.
  • Online Conversion
    Provides 50,000 conversions and 5,000 units. While it provides the typical weight, volume, cooking, and currency conversions, it also offers some unique options: women's clothing between countries, light-years, density, torque, horse height, etc. Useful and interesting.

 

Calendars

  • Calendar Zone
    Some of the calendars that are included on this site are: Art, Celestial, Cultural, Daily, Event, Holidays, Religious, Web & Interactive Calendars.
  • Ecclesiastical Calendar
    Provides a form to calculate an Ecclesiastical calendar for any year. Calculates with a good amount of accuracy, but has not been updated since 2001.
  • Time and Date.com
    http://www.timeanddate.com/
    A site that creates a calendar for you. Includes a world clock and time/date information.

 

Careers

  • CareerOneStop
    Created by the U.S. Department of Labor, this site provides career resources and workforce information on a grande scale. "Occupation and industry information, salary data, self-assessment tools, and career exploration assistance" all to help you make informed choices. Links out to many useful resources, as well. 

 

Dictionaries/Thesauri

  • Alpha Dictionary.com
    Recipient of multiple awards, this site is like a one-point support for various dictionaries. The site provides an index of online dictionaries in various languages.
  • Allwords.com
    This web site provides definitions in English and searchable for words in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. Additionally, there is pronunciation file available for each English word.
  • BusinessDictionary.com
    Great tool for quick Business term reference. Covers 20,000 terms and offers a 42-category business term search for easy subject access.
  • InfoPlease's Dictionary
    Access to the site's Infoplease Dictionary, with tabs to the Thesaurus and Encyclopedia, as well.
  • OneLook Dictionary Search
    Simultaneous searching of 973 online dictionaries. Can use wild cards and other forms of searching for multiple forms and versions of a term at once; detailed on the home page.

 

Directories

  • Americom Area Decoder
    Use this page to look up area codes in the United States, Canada, and some additional countries.
  • AnyWho
    A free directory service with residential, business, and government white and yellow pages listings. Includes a Reverse Telephone Search.
  • AT&T Directory
    Good web site to find a person, business, e-mail address, toll free number, and web site etc. It also allows reverse lookup with telephone numbers.
  • Switchboard
    Excellent compendium of business/people/number/address searching.
  • The Ultimate White Pages
    A metasearch website provides capability to search multiple white pages at once. It also includes a reverse directory search in which phone number can be searched instead of by name.
  • A-Z World Yellow Pages
    Links to yellow page directories for more than 100 countries. The directories are listed alphabetically by country name.

 

Encyclopedias

  • Encyclopedia Brittanica
    Online version of the current edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the free service include access to the entire text of the Encyclopaedia Britannica newspapers. Includes multimedia features on topics of current interest and in-depth coverage of 15 major subjects.
  • High Beam Encylopedia
    Encyclopedia.com is a free encyclopedia with more than 49 encyclopedic sources from the Oxford University Press, Britannica, and the Columbia University Press.
  • Encarta Concise Encyclopedia
    This is a free encyclopedia from Microsoft that contains 42,000 articles and more than 2,200 photos, illustrations, maps, charts, and tables. An advanced search option is available.

 

Fact Book

  • World Fact Book
    The CIA World Fact Book includes information about the geography, demographics, government, and economy of countries, territories. Each country entry contains basic statistics with maps.

 

Government Reference Resources

 

Language Translators

  • Lexicool.com
    "Provides a searchable directory to more than 6,000 free online bilingual and multilingual dictionaries and glossaries." More than that, it also offers a "directory of translation and interpreting courses, a listing of translator and interpreter associations worldwide, language resources, freeware to download, and links to sites for currency conversion, text analysis, and language identification."

 

Maps

  • Google Maps
    Search for directions or simply locate an address. All your online map needs - taken care of by Google.
    • Google Earth
      Combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.

 

    • Nationalatlas.gov
      Offers several types of maps--printable, dynamic and interactive, suitable for your home/office wall, and layered ones--to learn about the United States and its various features, people, and places.

 

  • 2007 Census Atlas of the United States
    With about 800 maps, this atlas covers "data from decennial censuses prior to 2000...providing context and an historical perspective for many of the topics presented. A variety of topics are covered in the Census Atlas, ranging from language and ancestry characteristics to housing patterns and the geographic distribution of the population."
  • Worldmapper
    Uses a special algorithm to "create equal area cartograms or density-equalizing maps for over 200 countries in nearly 700 maps...Map Categories include most areas concerning human endeavor, like population, manufacturing and productiion; transportation, movement and communications; health, disease and death; religion and language; and food, housing and education." Easy to use and notes on how to best read the maps. (Choice review)
  • Maps on File. Ref 912 M32
  • Atlases
    The library collects several types of atlases - road and driving atlases for travel, world political atlases, world religion atlases, etc. A few of them are together in the Atlas Stand near the Reference collection. Most others are in the Oversize section. These atlases can be searched in the catalog - by title, subject, etc. If you need help locating one, ask a librarian.

 

Movie Reviews

  • Movie Fanatic
    Features movie reviews, trailers, interviews, streaming short films, video clips, showtimes, and film festival etc.
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
    IMDB has a database with millions of filmographies -- searchable by title, actor, director, producer, character, country, genre, quotes and plot.
  • Rotten Tomatoes
    Movies reviewed from around the United States and world and ranked with Fresh (thumbs up) or Rotten (thumbs down) tomatoes.

 

News Links

  • News Link
    Links to newspapers, broadcasters, and magazines by state, country, continent, etc.
  • Television News Archives (Vanderbilt University)
    The Television News Archive collection is the world's most extensive and complete archive of television news. The Archives holds individual network evening news broadcasts from the major U.S. national broadcast networks since August 5, 1968.

 

Quotations

  • Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
    Provides quotations, definitions, information on authors, and some full-text access, including the 70 volumes of the Harvard Classics and Shelf of Fiction, "the most comprehensive and well-researched anthology of all time".
  • Famous Quotations and Authors
    A site that brings together 25,000 quotations from 6.700 famous people. It provides multiple ways of searching, alphabetically by author or topic, as well as by most authors or quotes.
  • Quoteland.com
    Searchable or browsable by topic. Includes many literary and humorous quotations.

 

Online Research Videos

  • ResearchChannel.org
    Created by a group of prestigious research institutions, this site has become a forum for sharing new and continuing research around the globe. The video programs appeal to a broad audience from the general public to specific tracks of medicine and technology. The site houses more than 3,500 full-length programs.
  • VideoLectures.net
    This is an "open-access educational repository/portal of high-quality, mainly scientific lectures" (although they are starting to boost their videos in the Humanities. As of January 2010, the collection included "300 events, more than 5,300 authors, 6,000+ lectures, and 8,300+ videos." The site won the 2009 World Summit Award, which promotes the best eContent available on the Web.

 

Statistical Sources

  • Fedstats.gov
    FedStats provides easy access to statistics and information produced by more than 100 US Federal Government agencies. You can even find statistical information about Grant County.
  • Census.gov
    Provides electronic, searchable access to the 2000 Census data. Provides a link to the American FactFinder which is the "source for population, housing, economic, and geographic data". Please also check out the 2007 Census Altas of the United States, listed under the Maps section above.
  • Sperling's Best Places
    A site dedicated to providing information on demographics, preferences, and the selection of "Best Places" to live, work, or retire.  Wondering where they glean their information? Check out their Data Sources page on the site.
  • DataPlace
    To find quick stats on people, places, and general populations, check out this web site. Offers maps, data charts, area overviews, fun facts, and rankings. Contains data from the 1990 and 2000 Censuses (demographic, economic, housing, and social characteristics), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (home mortgage applications and loans), Section 8 Expiring Use database (neighborhood- and property-level data on federally assisted housing at risk of loss), and Consolidated Plan special tabulations (data on housing needs by household income level).
  • The World Factbook (CIA)
    A vast collection of country information from around the world, the CIA Factbook is a credible web source for statistical, geographic, political, and a plethora of other details on specific nations around the world. It is updated throughout the year.
  • PolicyMap.com
    Has been collecting "good data and analysis about neighborhoods" to provide the backdrop for this site. It uses "advanced capabilities include availability of large numbers of map layers on tap, display of thousands of markers rather than dozens, and dynamic rendering of shaded thematic maps reflecting thousands of data variables."
  • CountryWatch
    A database that Zondervan subscribes to, CountryWatch provides up-to-date news and information on each of the recognized countries of the world in various formats - reports, reviews, maps, graphs, data, etc.
  • GeoHive: Global Statistics
    Features statistics on historical data, countries, regions, and cities, and a lot of other types of data that could be useful. Brings together this information from several places including the CIA World Factbook (see above), UN World Population Prospects, and other official governmental agencies.
  • Population Reference Bureau
    Collects, collates, and provides information on world population, health, and the environment. Sponsored by various governmental agencies, organizations, and individuals, it is an essential site for finding data on 136 population, health, and evnirontmental variables for mroe than 220 countries, 28 world regions and subregions and the world as a whole. Has a section called DataFinder, which presents the statistics in an easily digestible format, and has lesson plans, rsearch tools and presentation materials to help in using and organizing the data.
  • arXiv
    arXiv is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, quantitative biology and statistics. The contents of arXiv conform to Cornell University academic standards. arXiv is owned, operated and funded by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution. arXiv is also partially funded by the National Science Foundation.

 

Collections of Sites, aka Information Portals

    • Best Information on the Net
      A massive collection of Internet resources organized by major area of study, as well as by "Hot Paper Topics," and an alphabetical index. Because the site is hosted by St. Ambrose University Library, the links in the section below "Student Resources" and "Faculty resources" are not relevant to Taylor University students and faculty. However, the first three links on the page: Resources by Major, Hot Paper Topics, and Alphabetical Index are extremely useful for finding web access to good information.

 

    • INFOMINE
      This is an incredible virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information. It has been constructed by librarians, and is, thus, pretty reliable. Divided up into broad subject categories: Bio, Ag., Med sciences; business & econ; cultural diversity; ejournals; government info; physical sciences, engineering, computer science, and math; social sciences & humanities; and visual & performing arts.

 

    • Virtual Reference Shelf (LoC)
      Hundreds of sites linked here, divided up by general topic area (Art, Business, Education, Statistics, etc.). Also includes general encyclopedias (online versions), consumer information, calculators, and other fun, easy-to-use tools.

 

    • Worldcat.org
      Search a worldwide library catalog for books, journals, and other materials. Worldcat.org will provide you with local libraries that hold the items, and it can show you how to cite particular items in a handful of citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

 

  • Intute
    This British portal to approved research and educational sites is extremely useful in a variety of disciplines.
  • Internet Scout Project
    Publishes new and newly discovered online high-quality resources of interest to researchers, educators. Searchable archive database. Produced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • Drug Information Portal
    The NLM Drug Information Portal gives users a gateway to selected drug information from the National Library of Medicine and other key government agencies. The portal covers drugs from the time they are entered into clinical trials (Clinicaltrials.gov) through their entry in the market place (Drugs@FDA). The PubMed/Medline link provides medical literature describing research, and TOXLINE provides toxicology literature. Resources such as MedlinePlus provide easy to read summaries of the uses and efficacy of a drug. You may search by a drug's trade name or generic name. You can find embedded portions of names by using an asterisk at the beginning and/or end of a search term. For more information, see the Portal's About page.

 

Product descriptions on this page are incorporated from online reviews and site descriptions from various sources.

Ask-A-Librarian for more information

 

Created by Lana Wilson, Research Librarian

Last revised May 09, 2013 - 02:38 PM