Off Campus Access
Off-campus access to online databases and e-books is available to current Montgomery College students, faculty, & staff. You will be asked to log in with your M number.
Why use an Encyclopedia?
Encyclopedias are great places to start your research, especially when you are unfamiliar with a topic. Encyclopedias can:
- provide a succinct overview of a topic written by experts
- identify and define terms used in the field
- help in narrowing a topic
- guide you to other closely related topics
- provide references to other works on the topic that can be used to supplement your research
Wikipedia vs Encyclopedias
In 2005, the journal Nature reported the results of a study saying that Wikipedia was nearly as accurate as Encyclopaedia Britannica when it came to articles on science topics. Nevertheless, "Nature said its reviewers found that Wikipedia entries were often poorly structured and confused" (BBC News).
So, what does this mean for researchers? It may be useful to turn to Wikipedia for quick lookups but be aware that information may be incorrect. It is never a good idea to rely solely on one source for information, whether in print or online or freely available on the Web.