Reference Universe Content

Reference Universe is the only library database which includes links to both electronic Major Reference Works, as well as deep, back-of-the-book index level access to your library's collection of specialized encyclopedia and major introductory works.


What’s in Reference Universe?

Reference Universe includes index-level metadata to 50,000 English-language specialized reference works. Titles included in the Reference Universe Bibliography are tertiary sources — authoritative introductions designed to give the non-specialist a solid grounding in the established themes and terms of any topic(s).

The genre included are:

  • Specialized Subject Encyclopedias (e.g., Encyclopedia of Life Sciences)
  • Scholarly Handbooks
  • Scholarly Compendia

The service excludes scholarly monographs; scholarly journals; gazetteers; almanacs or what is regarded as “ready reference.” In this way, Reference Universe is designed to get researchers off on their path with confidence as well as saving time in their search for monographs and supporting journal literature.



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Find the Unique Data

within Special Encyclopedias


Reference Universe contains millions of back-of-the-book index terms to specialized subject encyclopedias. This kind of detail is available in no other service.

This means your prized Major Reference collection can be seen and used in a way never possible.

This vast dataset, in concert with the millions of article-level links to electronic Major Reference titles, gives both a granular and collection-level view of your library’s finest introductory materials.


Browse Your Virtual Shelf


With the icon feature, users can “walk the shelves” of your library’s online and print reference collection, organized via Library of Congress Classification.

Another benefit of this browse view is to refine your LC classification requests or scroll through adjacent titles. These browse features increase the discovery of proximate titles that might better suit the researcher’s needs.

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Improve Your Collection with

Non-Local Results


Non-Local Results benefits both library administrators and the researcher.

The Non-Local Results tab produces a list of titles relevant to the search query but that your library does not own. This utility, when combined with the research trend statistics found in Collection Analysis, can influence your library’s reference collection development.

Additionally, the Non-Local Results option serves the researcher looking to take advantage of your local Interlibrary Loan Service.


Imprints Represented in Reference Universe

  • A Cappella Books
  • Abbeville Press
  • ABC-CLIO
  • Abingdon Press
  • Ablex
  • Abrams
  • Academic International Press
  • Academic Press
  • Adams Publishing
  • Addison-Wesley
  • Elsevier
  • Elsevier Science
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Encyclopedia Society
  • Environmental Frontlines
  • eSchool News
  • Euromonitor
  • Europa Publications
  • European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation
  • F & W Publications
  • Longman Group
  • Louisiana State U.P.
  • Lowell House
  • Lucent Books
  • Lynne Rienner Publishers
  • Lyons Press
  • M. Evans
  • M.E. Sharpe
  • Macmillan
  • Madison Books
  • Rough Guides
  • Routledge
  • Rowman & Littlefield
  • Rutgers U.P.
  • S.G. Phillips
  • Sage Publications
  • Salem Press
  • Scarecrow
  • Schirmer Books
  • Schirmer Books/Simon & Schuster Macmillan
  • Adler and Adler
  • Aegis
  • AFB Press
  • Alfred A. Knopf/Random House
  • Alive Books
  • Allworth Press
  • Allyn & Bacon
  • AltaMira
  • AMACOM
  • Amadeus Press
  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Library Association
  • American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries
  • American Management Association
  • American Photographic Book Publishing
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • AMS Press
  • Ancestry
  • Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Antique Collectors’ Club
  • Antique Trader Books
  • Applause Theater Book Publishers
  • Archaeological Institute of America
  • Arkansas
  • Artech House
  • Arthur H. Clark
  • Ashgate Publishing
  • Aslib Publications
  • ASM International
  • Aspen
  • Association for Geographic Information
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Avery Publishing
  • AVI
  • B H B Distribution
  • Backbeat Books
  • Baker Book House
  • Baker Books
  • Ballantine Books
  • Bankers Publishing
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Barron’s
  • Basic Books
  • Basic Civitas
  • Basil Blackwell
  • Battelle Press
  • Belknap Press
  • Berkley
  • Berkley Publishing Group
  • Berkshire Publishing
  • Bernan
  • Biblio Distribution
  • Billboard Books
  • Black Dog & Leventhal
  • Blackbirch Press
  • Blackwell
  • Blackwell Publishing
  • BNA Books
  • Book Hunter Press
  • Book Sales
  • Borgo Press
  • Bowker
  • Bowker-Saur
  • Brassey’s
  • Brassey’s Defence Publishers
  • BRB
  • Brill
  • British Film Institute
  • British Library
  • Broadway Books
  • Bureau of National Affairs
  • Burgess Publishing
  • Butterworth
  • Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Cambridge U.P.
  • Career Press
  • Carlson Publishing
  • Carlton
  • Carol Publishing Group
  • Carolina Academic
  • Carroll & Graf
  • Cassell
  • Cassell & Co
  • Celestial Arts
  • Center for Civil Society International/Washington
  • Center for Mobility Resources, The
  • Center for the Study of Services
  • Centerwatch Inc
  • Chapman & Hall
  • Charles C. Thomas
  • Charles Scribner’s Sons
  • Checkmark Books
  • Chelsea Green
  • Chelsea House Publishing
  • Chicago Review Press
  • Chilton
  • Chronicle Books
  • Clio
  • Collector Books
  • Columbia Books
  • Columbia U.P.
  • Congressional Quarterly
  • Contemporary Books
  • Continuum
  • Cornell U.P.
  • Corwin Press
  • Council of State Governments
  • CQ Press
  • Crane Russak
  • CRC Press
  • CRC Publishing
  • Crossroad
  • Crown House Publishing Ltd.
  • Crown Publishers
  • Cultural Librera Americana
  • CyberTech Publishing
  • D.C. Heath
  • Da Capo Press
  • Dekker
  • Delacorte Press
  • Delmar
  • Digitalia
  • DK Publishing
  • Dorling Kindersley
  • Dorsey
  • Doubleday
  • Dover
  • Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross
  • Dufour
  • Duke U.P.
  • E. Elgar
  • E. Mellen
  • E.P. Dutton
  • Earthscan
  • ECW Press
  • Edgepress
  • Editorial Alfil, S.A. de C.V.
  • Edward Elgar
  • Edwin Mellen Press
  • Eerdmans
  • Element Books
  • Facts on Demand Press
  • Facts on File
  • Family Process Press
  • Fawcett Columbine
  • Feminist Press at the City University of New York
  • Ferguson Pub. Co.
  • Fernwood Press in association with the National Botanical Institute
  • Firefly Books
  • Fitzroy Dearborn
  • Food Products Press
  • Fortress
  • Foundation Center
  • Frank Cass Publishers
  • Fraser Institute
  • Fred B. Rothman
  • Frederick Ungar Publishing
  • Free Association
  • Free Press
  • Friar’s Lantern
  • Fulcrum
  • G.K. Hall
  • Garland
  • Garton & Co.
  • Gemstone Press
  • Genealogical Publishing
  • George Braziller
  • Georgetown U.P.
  • Getty Research
  • Glenlake Publishing/AMACOM
  • Globe Pequot Press
  • Goodheart-Willcox Co.
  • Gordon Breach
  • Gorham and Lamont
  • Government Institutes
  • Gower
  • Graduate School of Library and Information Science/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Greenhaven Press
  • Greenwood Press
  • Grey House
  • Grolier
  • Grosset and Dunlop
  • Grove’s Dictionaries
  • Grove’s Dictionaries of Music
  • Guilford
  • Gulf Publishing
  • H S Stuttman Company
  • H. Holt
  • H.M.S.O.
  • H.W. Wilson
  • Hamlyn
  • Hammond
  • Harbour
  • Harcourt
  • Harmonie Park Press
  • Harmony Books
  • HarperCollins
  • Harry N. Abrams
  • Harvard U.P.
  • Harwood Academic
  • Haworth Press
  • Haworth Social Work Practice Press
  • Hawthorne Books
  • Hearst Books
  • Heinemann
  • Hendrickson
  • Henry Holt
  • Hermes House
  • Heuris Tech Press
  • Highsmith
  • Hippocrene Books
  • Holmes & Meier Publishers
  • Honeybear Press
  • Hoover’s
  • Houghton Mifflin
  • Howell Book House
  • Human Kinetics
  • Humana Press
  • Hunter House
  • Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company
  • Hyperion
  • I.B. Tauris
  • Idea Group Publishing
  • Idea Group Reference
  • igi glob
  • IGI Global
  • IGI Publishing
  • Impact Publications
  • Independent Publishers Group
  • Indiana U.P.
  • Informa Healthcare
  • Information Science Publishing
  • Information Science Reference
  • Information Today
  • Inner Traditions International
  • Institute of Physics
  • Intercultural Press
  • International Labor Organization
  • International Specialized Book Services
  • InterVarsity Press
  • Iowa State U.P.
  • IRD Editions/Silkworm
  • IRM Press
  • Island Press
  • Isle Botanica
  • J. Wiley
  • JAI Press
  • Jason Aronson
  • Jewish Publication Society
  • JIST Works
  • John Wiley
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Jones & Bartlett Publishing
  • Joseph Henry Press
  • Jossey-Bass
  • K.G. Saur
  • Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Kent State U.P.
  • Kluwer Academic
  • Kodansha
  • Krause Publications
  • KSB Promotions
  • L. Erlbaum
  • Langenscheidt Publishers
  • Larousse
  • Lawrence Erlbaum
  • Lea & Febiger
  • Lewis Publishers
  • Lexus Editores S.A.
  • LFB Scholarly Publising
  • Libraries Unlimited
  • Libraries Unlimited/Greenwood Publishing Group
  • Library Association
  • Library Professional Publications
  • Limelight Editions
  • Linnet Books
  • Linworth
  • Little, Brown
  • Liturgical Press
  • Locust Hill Press
  • Lone Eagle
  • Longman
  • Manchester U.P.
  • Mansell
  • Marcel Dekker
  • Marquis Academic Media
  • Marshall Cavendish
  • Martinus Nijhoff
  • Massada Publishers
  • Masson Publishing
  • Masters Press
  • Mayflower
  • McDonald & Woodward
  • McFarland
  • McGill-Queen’s
  • McGraw-Hill
  • Meckler
  • Mecklermedia
  • Medical Economics
  • Medical Economics Data
  • Medical Information Science Reference
  • Mercer U.P.
  • Meredith Books
  • Meridith Corp
  • Merriam-Webster
  • Metro Books
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Metuchen
  • Miller Freeman
  • Mint Publishing
  • MIT Press
  • Modern Language Association of America
  • Morgan Kaufmann
  • Morgan Quitno
  • Morrow
  • Motorbooks International
  • Mountaineers
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Mustang Pub.
  • NASW Press
  • National Academy Press
  • National Book Network
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • National Geographic Society
  • National Textbook
  • Naval Historical Foundation/Hugh Lauter Levin
  • Naval Institute Press
  • Neal-Schuman
  • New American Library
  • New Press
  • New Society Publishers
  • New Strategist
  • New York U.P.
  • Newnes-Butterworths
  • Nolo
  • North American Press
  • Northwestern U.P.
  • Norton Professional Books
  • Nova Publishing
  • Nova Science
  • Noyes
  • Noyes Publications
  • Oak Knoll
  • Octopus
  • Odonian
  • OECD
  • Ohio U.P.
  • Oklahoma
  • Omnigraphics
  • Oneworld
  • Orbis Books
  • Oryx Press
  • Osborne/McGraw-Hill
  • Osprey Publishing
  • Otago
  • Our Sunday Visitor
  • Overlook Press
  • Oxford U.P.
  • Paladin Press
  • Palgrave
  • Palgrave Macmillan
  • Pan American Health Organization
  • Parthenon
  • Partners Publishing Group
  • Patter
  • Paul & Company Publishers
  • Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Peachpit Press
  • Pearson
  • Pelican Publishing
  • Pemberton Press
  • Pendragon Press
  • Penguin Books
  • Penguin Reference
  • Pennsylvania State U.P.
  • PennWell Publishing
  • Pergamon Press
  • Perigee Books
  • Perseus Books
  • Peter Bedrick Books
  • Peter Lang
  • Peterson’s Guides
  • Philosophy Documentation Center
  • Pierian Press
  • Pine Forge Press
  • PJD Publications
  • Placeholder
  • Plenum Medical Book Co.
  • Plenum Press
  • Plunkett Research
  • Pluto Press
  • Policy Press
  • Politico’s Publishing
  • Polynesian Press
  • Poolbeg
  • Porter Sargent Publishers
  • Practice Management Information
  • Praeger
  • Praeger/Greenwood Press
  • Prentice Hall
  • Preservation Press
  • Princeton Review/Random House
  • Princeton U.P.
  • Prometheus Books
  • ProQuest
  • Publications International
  • Published for the Journal of the History of Philosophy, Inc. [by] Southern Illinois U.P.
  • Publishers Group West
  • R.E. Krieger
  • R.R. Bowker
  • Rand McNally
  • Random House
  • Rebus
  • Reference and Research Services
  • Reference Publications
  • Reference Service Press
  • Reference Universe
  • Regina Books
  • Research Publishing
  • Riverhead Books
  • Rizzoli
  • Rodale Press
  • Ronin Publishing
  • Rosen Publishing
  • Schirmer Reference
  • Schocken Books
  • Scholarly Resources
  • Scholars Press
  • Scholastic
  • Schreiber Publishing
  • Second Line Search
  • Shambhala
  • Sharpe Reference
  • Sheridan House
  • Shoe String Press
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Sinauer Associates
  • Slack
  • Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • Somerset Publishers, Inc.
  • Source Book Publications
  • Sports Publishing
  • Springer
  • Springer-Verlag
  • Springhouse Publishing
  • St. James Press
  • St. Martin’s Press
  • Stackpole Books
  • Stanford U.P.
  • Sterling Publishing
  • Stipes Publishing
  • Stonehill Publishing
  • Storey Communications
  • Summertown
  • Susquehanna University
  • Sutton
  • Swets & Zeitlinger
  • Syracuse U.P.
  • T. Y. Crowell
  • Taft Group/Gale
  • Taschen America LLC
  • Taylor & Francis
  • Teacher Ideas Press
  • Teachers College Press
  • Technomic Publishing
  • Temple U.P.
  • Tempus
  • Texas A&M U.P.
  • Texas State Historical Association
  • Thames & Hudson
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat/J. Currey/D. Philip/Heinemann
  • The Society for American Baseball Research
  • Theatre Communications Group
  • Theatre Directories
  • Thoemmes Continuum
  • Thomas Nelson
  • Thomson
  • Thomson Gale
  • Thomson Learning
  • Thorndike Press
  • Three Rivers Press
  • Timber Press
  • Todd Publications
  • Toronto
  • Total Sports Publishing
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Transaction Books
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Triad
  • Trifolium Books
  • Twayne Publishers
  • U S Games Systems
  • U. of Texas Press
  • U.P. of America
  • U.P. of Colorado
  • U.P. of Florida
  • U.P. of Kansas
  • U.P. of Kentucky
  • U.P. of Mississippi
  • U.P. of New England
  • U.P. of Virginia
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • UBC Press
  • UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Center for Japanese Studies/Japanese American National Museum
  • Ungar
  • UNIPUB
  • United Nations
  • University of Alabama Press
  • University of Alberta Press
  • University of Arkansas Press
  • University of Calgary Press
  • University of California Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • University of Hawaii Press
  • University of Massachusetts Press
  • University of Michigan Press
  • University of Nebraska Press
  • University of New Mexico Press
  • University of North Carolina Press
  • University of Notre Dame Press
  • University of Oklahoma Press
  • University of Pennsylvania Press
  • University of South Carolina Press
  • University of Tennessee Press
  • University of Texas Press
  • University of Toronto Press
  • University of Wales Press
  • University of Washington Press
  • University of Wisconsin Press
  • University Park Press
  • Urban Institute Press
  • UXL
  • Van Nostrand Reinhold
  • VCH
  • Visible Ink Press
  • Voyageur Press
  • W.B. Saunders
  • W.W. Norton
  • Wadsworth Publishing
  • Warner Books
  • Watson-Guptill
  • Wayne State U.P.
  • Weatherhill
  • West Pub. Co.
  • Westminster Press
  • Westminster/John Knox Press
  • Westview Press
  • Whitston Publishing
  • Wiley
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • Wiley-Interscience
  • William B. Eerdmans
  • William S. Hein
  • Williams & Wilkins
  • Windcrest
  • Wine Appreciation Guild Ltd.
  • Woodbine House
  • Word Books
  • Workman Publishing
  • World Bank
  • World Scientific
  • World Trade Press
  • Writer’s Digest Books
  • Yale U.P.
  • Yorkin Publications
  • Zed Books
  • Zondervan