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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Encyclopedias are some of the best places to find background information. Like Wikipedia, the Library's encyclopedia collection covers a broad range of topics. They have some clear advantages over Wikipedia:
Online encyclopedias have also been published in print versions.
All of the articles are written by experts in the subject area.
The entries in the encyclopedias cannot be changed.
The bibliographies or additional sources that accompany the articles will provide you with other credible sources you can use.
The online reference collection provides access to encyclopedias, as well other sources of background information.
To find background information:
1. Click on the Gale Virtual Reference Library
2. Type your main subject in the search box and click search.
3. Examine the results for relevant information.
CQ Researcher is published weekly and focuses on current, newsworthy topics. Each issue contains background information, a discussion of the current situation, projections for the future, a list of resources about the topic, and much more.