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Useful Links: Reference

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The following are suggestions for links to sites outside Alliant. We are not responsible for the content. Not all links may offer free access.

Reference | Dictionaries | Encyclopedias and Almanacs | Statistics  | Search Engines | Style Guides | Free Databases



Internet Public Library: Reference
Has links to almanacs, associations, biographies, calendars, demographics, dictionaries, encyclopedias, periodicals directories, quotations, and style & writing guides.
Legal Information Services to the Public - Legal guide for non-lawyers
This guide is intended to help a person with a legal problem find legal rules that can resolve or prevent conflict. It is most useful to work through the steps and sources in the order given.
Extensive list of links to news, reference resources, facts-at-a-glance (area code finders, calculators, calendars), weather, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and links grouped into subjects like business/career, education, environment, health, language, literature, arts & culture.


Cambridge Dictionaries Online Includes American English, British English, Business English and foreign language translations.  Dictionary with links to a Thesaurus,Quotes and 

Merriam-Webster Publishing dictionaries since 1847. Includes Thesaurus, Medical and Scrabble® Dictionaries and "Spanish Central." 

Onelook Dictionary Search Can search over 100 dictionaries of various languages or browse through dictionaries by topics, which include business and medicine. Home of A.Word.A.Day, Internet Anagram Server, Wordsmith Books and more.

Yourdictionary Dictionaries of many different languages; glossaries of over 50 topics, including business, education, and psychology; grammar guides; thesaurus; and translation help.

Encyclopedias and Almanacs
Search various encyclopedias, books of quotations, and anthologies of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. 

Encyclopedia Britannica Search through Popular TopicsGalleriesLists or specific categories. Almanacs, biographies, dictionary, encyclopedia. Information on the world, U.S., history, biography, business, culture, health and science.

The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.


Offers links to statistics from over 100 United States federal agencies. Can access by topic, agency, or geography.

National Center for Education Statistics
NCES is the major U.S. agency for collecting education statistics. Covers elementary, secondary, postsecondary, early childhood and international education.

National Survey of Families and Households
Includes data from initial 1987-88 surveys of 13,007 households with follow-up interviews with original respondents in 1992-94 and with eligible focal child in 2001-02.

Scroll down to Data Documentation Availability and click on "here". You will see a screen of pdf files. Scroll to the one labeled NSFHFILE.LIS. Open file. The notation in the left-hand margin is the name of the file. Exit the directory and choose needed file.

Using SPSS to Understand Data Analysis, by David Arkkelin, Valparaiso University.

U.S. Census Bureau
From the U.S. Department of Commerce. Has information and statistics on demographics, business, economics, foreign trade, and geography. Also has quick facts by state and county. 

U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor is the major fact-finding agency of the US government for labor economics and statistics. Links to information on inflation, wages, productivity, international statistics, occupations, demographics, industries, geographical information and more.

Search Engines

Here's a list of some popular and obscure search engines, and a few tips for getting the most out of any of them. To find many more search engines, as well as reviews and comparisons of search engines, and anything else you might want to know, Search Engine Watch 

This is at the top of almost everyone's list of favorite search engines. In addition to a general web search, you can click on buttons and limit your search to image files, or information from newsgroups, or information from a directory where information from the web is organized into subject categories.
Uses a technology that ranks a site based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it. In theory, this will enable you to retrieve more relevant results.

Bing  Microsoft owned search engine. 

blekko Organizes content results into categories.

Dogpile A very useful search engine that queries many other search engines. Also known as a "metasearch engine."

DuckDuckGo From basic to customized search features, producing relevant results. Clean look, relatively clutter free.

National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal Information on over 56,000 drugs.

Wolfram Alpha A "computational knowledge engine" designed to answer all things mathematical, from equations and conversions to historical dates and beyond. 



Style Guides
  • APA Style
  • APA Formatting and Style Guide
  • MLA Style
  • The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI® names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change.

Free Databases

 Librarians' Index to the Internet

A project of the Library of California, this is a searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 11,000 Internet resources selected and evaluated by more than 100 volunteer librarians.

Links last checked on March 10, 2015 by RES

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Scott Zimmer