Oxford Research Encyclopedias

http://oxfordre.com/

If you are researching an unfamiliar topic and seek peer-reviewed material, the Oxford Research Encyclopedias may be a good resource.  From the site:

“The OREs offer long-form overview articles written and edited by leading scholars and researchers, addressing both foundational and cutting-edge topics across the major disciplines. Oxford University Press is developing this program in response to a growing need for reliable information to be used at the start of serious research on an unfamiliar topic.

Designed to inform academic research at all levels, the Oxford Research Encyclopedias will be a constantly growing and evolving reference source. Each subject goes beyond the basic facts to contextualize topics within existing scholarship and help pave the way to deeper engagement and inquiry.”

Several different subject areas are covered, from African History to Religion, and from the link above you search the topic on the right hand side of the site.  Once you choose a link you are directed to an entire site dedicated in great detail to the topic.  One drawback to the site is that some of the information may only be accessed via subscription, though there is some free content as well.

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Infotopia

http://www.infotopia.info/

From the site, “Infotopia is an academic search engine designed for “students, teachers, and especially homeschoolers.” Created by Dr. Michael Bell (former chair of the Texas Association of School Librarians) and Carole Bell (former middle school librarian and director of libraries), Infotopia uses a Google custom search to provide access to previously vetted websites selected by librarians, teachers, and educational professionals.” Infotopia provides tabs to different subject areas. These include: Arts, Biography, Games, Health, History, Images, Languages, Literature, Math, News, Reference, Sci/Tech, and Social Sciences. Under each tab, a topic can be selected from different websites, besides the Google-like search that can be done. Citation sources and search tips are also shown on the site.

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture

http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/about.php

The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture’s on-line edition is an updated version of the the book that was originally published in 1998.  Students, teachers, and researchers can use this website to find information about Tennessee.  Topics are broken down into user friendly categories.  Popular subjects include the Civil War, Davy Crockett, Andrew Jackson and Daniel Boone.  This on-line version has updated and new entries, over 500 images, and also video and audio files.

Science, Industry and Business Library Research Guides

http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/65/research_guides

The Science, Industry and Business Library of the New York Public Library has created research guides on a variety of topics.  Although we may not own some of the reference materials mentioned, these are still extremely good resources to help initiate a search on a particular topic.  Some of the topics covered include: acoustical engineering, business plans, green building, industry surveys, international trade, market research, patents and trademarks, and tsunamis.

A link has been added in the Blogroll on the right-hand side of the page to provide quick access to this very useful site.