reference

Not Sure Where to Start? New in Arts & Humanities Reference Overviews from SAGE

Encyclopedias and handbooks provide excellent ways to get an overview and start your research project. (Think of how you use this encyclopedia, probably every day.) To help give context to large research questions, the Library has just purchased a collection of encyclopedias and handbooks from SAGE Reference. You’ll find answers to questions like: You can search or browse the SAGE Reference collection, and find more resources through our Arts and Humanities subject guides. If you have any comments, let us know here or via email.

Test-Drive the Chicago Manual of Style Online!

Many of us are familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and use it as a reference while writing. Now Snell Library is providing online access to the CMOS's 15th and 16th editions in one easy location. New online-only features include:
  • Being able to search the CMOS and specify either the 15th or 16th edition
  • A Q&A section that answers those tricky questions as submitted by users -- including a place to submit your own questions
The 16th edition, published in 2010, is updated for the digital age. All of us have run across one of those pesky hard-to-answer citation questions. "How do I reference a Twitter post? What about a blog entry? Or a podcast?" For those of you who are editors or writers, there is now an electronic editing checklist to help you in your online editing ventures. Don’t forget to check out Northeastern University Libraries' access to the AMA Manual of Style, and here is a general guide to MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE styles.

Oxford English Dictionary Is a Polished-Up Jewel

The new Oxford English Dictionary Online is now available through the NU Libraries. If you love the OED, don't be alarmed by the word "new"! All the content, the words, pronunciations, etymologies, definitions, and everything else you love and trust is still there, unchanged. But for this new edition, Oxford has added new content, new ways of appreciating the English language, and new technical features. New content From a productivity standpoint, for my money the most important content addition is the integration of a thesaurus. Each definition of the word has a prominent "Thesaurus" link that allows you to see a few alternatives. The dictionary is also integrated with the Historical Thesaurus to the OED, which places your word in an outline form with related words. In fact, overall, Oxford has placed a high value on historical content and there's a lot more word history to explore. For example:

*Links to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography give you more information about the authors of the example quotations. (For full biographies from this resource, see Snell Library's print edition.)

*A list of most-cited authors and texts, updated each quarter, shows you what the OED uses for sources.

*Essays by OED staff historians have also been added on the history of the English language.

*A fun time-killing feature called "Timelines" leverages the incredible amount of information packed into the dictionary by allowing you to analyze it more like a database. Choose a broad topic like "Military" and see when new military words were added to the language. Sort them by region (Ireland, Australia, etc...) to see in what part of the world they originated. Link to lists of those words for browsing.

New functionality An updated design and some great new technical features allow you to navigate the site more easily and appreciate the incredible richness and history of our language.

*When you do a search with many results, the first screen gives you a peek into each word so you know which one you want.

*Once you select a word, a scroll bar along the definition allows you to navigate more easily.

*A text enlargement feature is built into the definition page.

*The pronunciation symbols are explained in a pop-up box for every word.

*You can save instead of just printing and emailing.

*"About this entry" tells you when the word first entered the dictionary, what other words link to this word, and other facts.

*Each word has a "Cite" button that gives you the correct citation for MLA and Chicago for your bibliography, for download to Endnote, ProCite, RefWorks, and Reference Manager software.

*During your session, the dictionary remembers the words you searched so you can go back to them.

*"My Oxford English Dictionary" is a new feature for saving your searches, creating folders to organize your favorite words, and setting preferences such as how much information you want to display on each page.

How did we even tolerate this dictionary before this update? It's hard to imagine! Enjoy the beautiful polish and shine on this online dictionary, a true jewel of the English language.

Oxford Reference Online: Premium Is Now Available!

Oxford Reference Online: Premium is an online collection consisting of over 200 award-winning and scholarly reference titles from Oxford University Press -- and it is now available at NU Libraries. The addition of Oxford Reference Online: Premium to the Library’s online collections is one of numerous, ongoing initiatives being taken by the Library to increase its support for the needs of students and faculty working or studying off campus or enrolled in distance courses. Titles include companion volumes to specific subjects, like the Oxford Companion to the Bible; discipline-specific dictionaries and encyclopedias, for example The Encyclopedia of Mammals; a good number of English and foreign language dictionaries; and grammar and style manuals. These reference works may be searched either individually or as a group in a single, unified search. Titles are arranged either alphabetically or in clear subject categories. Click here to access the online collection. For more information, contact Jamie Dendy at j.dendy@neu.edu. Press Release