Hidden Database Gems: Credo Reference

Today I’d like to tell you about another database that, like Chilton Auto Repair, used to be represented in the library by shelves of big heavy books: encyclopedias. For the record, we do still have some encyclopedias in our library branches, but they’ve also gone digital. There are a number of encyclopedias online, of course, from the controversial Wikipedia, to the generic Encyclopedia.com, to Britannica.com (the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica), and all have their good points. But with your library card, you have access to Credo Reference, a database with a unique functionality and power beyond the others I’ve mentioned. It’s a great place to start if you’re working on an assignment and need some background information, or if you’re just curious and want to learn more about something!

In Credo Reference, you can search a word or name and see full-text results from a huge variety of books, encyclopedias, and websites. You can find definitions and historical accounts and contextual details from a variety of sources, as well as concept maps which link your search term to related ideas and topics. Specific articles also come with a ready-made citation of that source in APA, Chicago, Harvard, or MLA formats. Here are some screenshots to show you how it works.

First, get to Credo Reference from the library website’s Online Resources page, under Research Tools.

Then scroll down the list to the C’s to find “Credo Reference“. Click on it, and you may be asked to enter your library card number.

Enter your search term in the search box (or scroll down through popular topics and research tips).

Your search will result in a page like this one: various sources are listed on one side, and a concept map appears on the other. You can use the options at the top to view articles or images, and to filter results by type, collection, subjects, and media. Beneath the concept map, you can use links to other library resources to find even more information.

Once you select an entry to read, you can save, print, or cite that resource, or do a new search for related topics.

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