Online Reference Shelf

The following list contains quick online reference sources. Most of these resources are free and available to the public.

Acronyms, Abbreviations & Symbols

Acronyms

Acronym Finder

  • Description: Searches over 3 million acronyms and abbreviations, including: common abbreviations, information technology, military, government, science, medicine, engineering, organizations, schools, colleges, business, finance, accounting, popular culture, slang, chat and many more.
  • Access: Free

Acronym Search

  • Description: Provides access to over 40,000 acronyms and abbreviations in many categories. Updated regularly.
  • Access: Free

Abbreviations

Acronyms and Abbreviations

  • Description: This database consists of more than 12,000 acronyms and abbreviations from various sources. There is a bias towards acronyms used in chemistry.
  • Access: Free

Journal Abbreviation Sources

  • Description: Registry of Web resources that list or provide access to the full title of journal abbreviations.
  • Access: Free

Symbols

Symbols.com

  • Description: Symbols.com contains more than 1,600 articles about 2,500 Western signs, arranged into 54 groups according to their graphic characteristics.
  • Access: Free
Citation Manuals & Style Guides

Citing Sources

  • Description: This is a link to the Duke University site provides examples on both citing sources within your paper and compiling a works cited list. The site covers all the different style guides.
  • Access: Free
Biographical Resources

Biographical Dictionary

  • Description: This dictionary covers more than 28,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day.
  • Access: Free

Contemporary Authors

  • Description: Search for biographical details on approximately 116,000 modern novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction writers, journalists and scriptwriters.
  • Access: Off campus use of the electronic resources is restricted to Ramapo College students, faculty, and staff.
Almanacs & Factbooks

Almanacs

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

  • Description: This is an online version of the Farmer’s Almanac.
  • Access: Free

infoplease

  • Description: On-line dictionary, Internet Encyclopedia, Atlas & Almanac Reference
  • Access: Free

Factbooks

U.S. Census Bureau: American FactFinder

  • Description: A new data access and dissemination system that provides useful facts and information about your community, your economy, and your society.
  • Access: Free

Facts.com

  • Description: The Facts on File World News Digest contains the entire back file of this weekly publication of record, with domestic and world news coverage from 1940 to the present.
  • Access: Off campus use is restricted to Ramapo College students, faculty, and staff.

Country Studies

  • Description: The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.
  • Access: Free
US Government & Legal Resources

Government Documents

FedStats

  • Description: The gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies.
  • Access: Free

Thomas

  • Description: Provides federal information, including bills, resolutions, treaties, congressional activity and more.
  • Access: Free

USA.gov

  • Description: The official U.S. gateway to all government information. Provides links to millions of web pages–from the federal government, local and tribal governments and to foreign nations around the world.
  • Access: Free

GPO Access

  • Description: Maintained by the U.S. Government Printing Office and provides free electronic access to a wealth of important information products produced by the Federal Government.
  • Access: Free

FedWorld

Legal Gateway

FindLaw

  • Description: Provides the most comprehensive set of legal resources on the internet for legal professionals, businesses students, and individuals.
  • Access: Free

Jurist

  • Description: JURIST is the authoritative legal news and real-time legal research website.
  • Access: Free

Supreme Court of the United States

  • Description: This official site includes an historical overview, a listing of members from 1789, access to 1999 term opinions (with more to come), visitors’ guides, links to related sites, and general information. .
  • Access: Free

International Legal Resources

Europa: Gateway to the European Union :

  • Description: Provides up-to-date coverage of European Union affairs and essential information on European integration.
  • Access: Free

United Nations :

  • Description: Information regarding peace keeping, humanitarian affairs, international law and more.
  • Access: Free
Dictionaries & Thesauri

Dictionaries

Oxford English Dictionary

  • Description: An extremely extensive dictionary which includes word origins. Fully searchable.
  • Access: Off campus use is restricted to Ramapo College students, faculty, and staff.

Merriam-Webster Online

  • Description: A list of acronyms gathered from many sources and submitted by users.
  • Access: Free

Oxford Dictionaries

  • Description: In addition to searching a dictionary of words, names or quotations, this site will answer questions on English grammar, spelling, and usage.
  • Access: Free

Dictionary.com

  • Description: This site contains a wide array of reference material including a dictionary, thesaurus, translator, encyclopedia, and language resources.
  • Access: Free

Skeptics Dictionary

  • Description: Featuring nearly 400 definitions, arguments, and essays on occult topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, this dictionary provides detailed information on all things supernatural, paranormal, and pseudoscientific.
  • Access: Free

ArtLex Art Dictionary

  • Description: ArtLex provides definitions for more than 3,600 terms used in discussing art / visual culture, along with thousands of supporting images, pronunciation notes, great quotations and cross-references.
  • Access: Free

Foreign Language Dictionaries

Diccionarios

  • Description: Links to dictionaries and other electronic reference works in Spanish or English.
  • Access: Free

Foreignword.com

  • Description: Use this global dictionary to search in 275 dictionaries on the Internet. Translate from 69 source languages into 73 target languages – 400 language combinations.
  • Access: Free

Multilingual E-Translation Portal

  • Description: A multi-lingual searchable translation service. Input a word in one language and retrieve the equivalent word in various other languages; conjugate verbs; or use other features.
  • Access: Free

Thesauri

Roget’s International Thesaurus

  • Description: Containing 35,000 synonyms and over 250,000 cross-references in an easy-to-use format, this thesaurus features succinct word definitions and an innovative hyperlinked category index. Connect by choosing “Roget’s Int’l Thesaurus” from the Reference drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the page.
  • Access: Free

Roget’s Thesaurus: ARTFL Project

  • Description: This is the largest collection of digitized French resources. Search the headwords or full text of Roget’s Thesaurus, 1911, version 1.02 (supplemented: July 1991) released to the public domain by MICRA, Inc. and the Gutenberg Project.
  • Access: Free
Statistics & Demographics

United States Census Bureau

  • Description: The Census Bureau site is a gateway to information regarding the nation’s people and economy.
  • Access: Free

Historical Census Browser

  • Description: Search for information about the population and economy of US states and counties from 1790 to 1960. Data can be collected in the form of maps or tables.The data and terminology presented are drawn directly from historical volumes of the U.S. Census of Population and Housing.
  • Access: Free

American Factfinder

  • Description: American FactFinder is your source for population, housing, economic and geographic data from Census 2000, the 1990 Decennial Census, the 1997 and 2002.
  • Access: Free

FedStats

  • Description: The gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies.
  • Access: Free

American Communities Project

  • Description: Geographic mapping tools, statistical data, and reports on trends affecting US neighborhoods, cities, and regions regarding population, public schools, public health, crime, elections, economic conditions, and the physical environment. Projects currently include: Map USA, MapNY, MapNY Schools, Census 2000, School Segregation – Brown at 50.
  • Access: Free
Quotations & Speeches

Quotations

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations

  • Description: The complete text of the 10th ed., published in 1919, containing over 11,000 searchable quotations.
  • Access: Free

The Quotations Page

  • Description: Large searchable collection of quotations organized by author and subject.
  • Access: Free

The Columbia World of Quotations

  • Description: The 65,000 essential quotations that constitute this authoritative collection represent the research of 154 experts. Entries from more than 5,000 authors and speakers are multiply classified into 6,500 subjects.
  • Access: Free

Speeches

Great Speeches Collection

  • Description: The History Place provides speeches by famous politicians and activists from around the world.
  • Access: Free
Encyclopedias

Country Studies

  • Description: The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.
  • Access: Free

Arts and Humanities

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature

  • Description: Considered the most important work of literary history and criticism ever published, the Cambridge History contains over 303 chapters and 11,000 pages, with essay topics ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing.
  • Access: Free

Literature Resources from Gale

  • Description: Provided by Literature Resource Center, this encyclopedia contains entries for authors, works, literary landmarks, literary and critical terms, mythological and folkloric figures, fictional characters, literary movements and prizes, and other miscellaneous matters.
  • Access: Off campus use is restricted to Ramapo College students, faculty, and staff.

glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture

  • Description: The most comprehensive, accessible, and authoritative encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (glbtq) culture.
  • Access: Free

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Description: Provides authoritative encyclopedia articles on many areas of philosophy. All entries are refereed by members of an editorial board and are maintained by experts.
  • Access: Free

Business

EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History

  • Description: This site is designed to provide students and laymen with high quality reference articles in the field. Articles for the Online Encyclopedia are written by experts, screened by a group of authorities, and carefully edited.
  • Access: Free

NOLO

  • Description: Provides information about do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses.
  • Access: Free

Social Sciences

Encyclopedia of Psychology

  • Description: The Encyclopedia of Psychology is intended to facilitate browsing in any area of psychology. Original information is generated by respected researchers and practitioners in various fields of psychology. It also provides hierarchical database of links to websites providing information about scientific psychology.
  • Access: Free

Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America

  • Description: Provided through the Gale Virtual Reference Library, this e-book provides readers with basic information about the history of social welfare in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The intent of the encyclopedia is to provide readers with information about how these three nations have dealt with social welfare issues, some similar across borders, others unique, as well as to describe important events, developments, and the lives and work of some key contributors to social welfare developments.
  • Access: Off campus use is restricted to Ramapo College students, faculty, and staff.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  • Description: Provides authoritative encyclopedia articles on many areas of philosophy. All entries are refereed by members of an editorial board and are maintained by experts.
  • Access: Free

Science

Encyclopedia Astronautica

  • Description: The Encyclopedia Astronautica is the single most comprehensive reference for the history of spaceflight.
  • Access: Free

Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology Reader

  • Description: Provided by The Encyclopedia of Earth this site provides information on basic concepts and information regarding the impacts of contaminants on living systems.
  • Access: Free
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