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IDS 101: Why We Are Afraid of the Wrong Things: Constructing Social Problems in America: Reference Materials

Authoritative Reference Sources vs Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great resource for getting general info about something, but because anyone can contribute or change its content it is considered unreliable.  College faculty typically do not consider Wikipedia a credible information source. 

Instead, use the library's print or electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, or other reference books to backup the basic information of your research paper. These resources have gone through an editorial process to check for accuracy. To the right and below are some resources that may be of use.

Online Encyclopedias and More

Reference Books

Below are key reference books that provide a general overview of a topic or help identify synonyms, related terms, or basic data. These sources often include references and lists of further readings.

Subject Librarian

Joni Roberts's picture
Joni Roberts
Contact:
Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
503-370-6741

What librarians can do for you...

Subject librarians are here to help with your research!

You can set up an individual research consultation with a subject librarian for research help. Here are a few other things that we can do for you:

  • Show you the best places to begin your research.
  • Help you develop effective search strategies.
  • Locate the information you need within our library.
  • Obtain books, articles, cds, etc. from other libraries.
  • Find additional information from citation lists/bibliographies.
  • Judge the quality & reliability of information.
  • Use information ethically (e.g. plagiarism).
  • Cite information correctly (e.g. APA style).
  • Demonstrate how to use citation resources.
  • Tell the difference between various literature types.
  • Determine whether something is peer-reviewed.