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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac


A guide to research resources for psychology

Why Use a Reference Source?

See scholarly reference sources like dictionaries, directories, and encyclopedias before books or articles to give yourself a solid background in your subject. They'll contextualize your topic and synthesize a vast amount of information that would otherwise take you a long time to amass. Entries in reference sources usually contain a list of respected sources to launch your research.  They're also helpful for brainstorming and learning the vocabulary of the field: you'll get better database search results if you use search terms appropriate for the era.

Types of Scholarly Sources

The sources below differ from a monograph, which what you think of when you picture a book that presents scholarly research on one particular subject.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Specialized encyclopedias offer short (usually 1-2 page) articles on various persons, topics, events, and concepts. Arranged alphabetically, they offer concise introductions to key topics in a discipline, and bibliography of the most important works for further study. Many are now online; see examples on this page.

Handbooks and Companions

Handbooks and companions are anthologies of articles that summarize the history and current state of research in academic fields and sub-disciplines. The articles are written by top scholars to offer quick introductions to learners, as well as comprehensive bibliographies to aid in further research. Unlike encyclopedias and dictionaries, these works offer longer articles (often 20-25 pages) and are arranged thematically. Find these in HoyaSearch with a keyword search like this one: (companion or handbook) AND Hegel.

Selected Reference Sources

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