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Ecology and Environment

Ecology and environment

How to use Reference Sources

Image of an open volume of the Annual CyclopaediaReference sources, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, are great for gathering general information a topic.  If you need definitions of words or concepts, statistical information, or background information, reference sources are a good place to start.  

While most dictionaries and encyclopedias are credible sources of information, they only summarize topics, and should not be used as a substitute for scholarly research.  Some professors will not allow you to cite encyclopedias in research papers, so be sure that you understand the expectations of an assignment beforehand.  Finally, be sure to choose reference sources wisely!  Encyclopedias and dictionaries should be published by a credible source, such as a major university.  (Wikipedia is NOT considered a credible reference source, so don't use it!)  For more information about reference sources, follow the links below.

Image Credit: Early Wikipedia

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Cover image of Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates     Cover image of Encyclopedia of Environmental Biology     Cover image of Encyclopedia of life sciences      Cover image of Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: Evolution

Cover image of Habitats and Ecosystems     Cover image of Handbook of Bird Biology     Cover image of Macmillan Encyclopedia of the Environment     Cover image of North of Mexico

  • Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates | Call Number: QL365.4.A1 E36 2001 | ISBN: 0126906475
  • Encyclopedia of Environmental Biology | Call Number: QH540.4 .E52 1995 | ISBN: 0122267303
  • Encyclopedia of life sciences | Call Number: QH302.5 .E54 2002 | ISBN: 0333726219
  • Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: Evolution | Call Number: QH360.2 .G65 2011 | ISBN: 9781414486697
  • Habitats and Ecosystems | Call Number: QH76 .C73 1999 | ISBN: 0874369975
  • Handbook of Bird Biology | Call Number: QL673 .H263 2004 | ISBN: 093802762X
  • Macmillan Encyclopedia of the Environment | Call Number: GE10 .M33 1997 | ISBN: 002897381X
  • North of Mexico | Call Number: QK110 .F55 | ISBN: 0195057139

*The reference books listed above are available in print through the Stratton Taylor Library. 

Topic Overviews


Need some good background information on your research topic?  Search multiple reference sources at once in

Salem Press Online,