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Ohio University Libraries

Linguistics

What are "reference materials"?

"Reference materials" typically refer to encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, atlases, maps and other related works. They can be very useful to the researcher. At the same time, they tend to serve a very specific, limited function in the research process. To cite a few examples:

  •  they are designed to be consulted, rather than being read straight through
  •  they may provide facts and figures in an easy-to-find format
  •  they may provide concise information to frequently asked questions
  •  they may contain valuable information for particular subject areas
  •  they may serve as guides to information

Source: Bolner, Myrtle S. The Research Process: Books and Beyond. Dubuque, Iowa : Kendall/Hunt Pub. co., 2001.