Reference Universe helps you find the right article--the authoritative article--to begin your research, whether itis on your shelves in a reference work or in an online reference database.


Simply type your term or phrase of interest in the search box and and click Search.

The Reference Universe software presumes exact words or phrases unless you select other qualifiers, e.g., "any of the words." "word variants," etc.

While you are free to limit your search to terms in article titles or index terms only, it is recommend that you select the default "Keyword" search to facilitate the broadest search parameters.

What about wildcard searching?

Reference Universe supports wildcards, * [asterisk] for multiple characters and ? for single characters, e.g. automat* or Rom?

What happens then?

Reference Universe lists those print and electronic titles held by your library. You will see clearly which are in electronic form via the "e-book" icon on the left marge of the list of results.

Within this framework, the results are listed are displayed in the following order:

  • The Search term in the title of a Reference Work itself.
  • The search term in the article titles or back of the book index of a work in descending order based on the number of hits.

The radio buttons to the right of the Search Box (E-books or Print) permit you to see only one format at a time. They system defaults to search both formats, unless you choose another specific format in a subsequent search.

Sorting Data

The SORT button permits you to sort the data by Electronic Resources first; Classification Number; Name of Reference Work; Year of Publication; Relevance (the main search default.)

How do I see an article titles or index terms for each work?

One the second line of each results you'll see links to view articles or index terms for both print and e-books. In the case of e-books, many will have links themselves to the online service your library subscribes to. Clicking on the index term or article title will take you directly to those articles subscribed to by your library.

Saving, Exporting and Downloading Data

The most effective means of exporting data is first to check the box on the right margin to identify which titles you wish to save. Then choose Save Checked Items, followed by Display Checked Items.

At this point, you can Email or Print the displayed items. Download permits you to export the data to your computer in Brief Format, RefWorks or Endnotes format.

Browsing Reference Universe:

If you are uncertain of a search term, or wish to simply scan the contents in a more detailed way, use the Browse feature. This permits you to explore Reference Universe by:

  • Publisher
  • Title
  • Subject Headings
  • Index or Article Terms

For Library Staff

If your library has already uploaded your holdings to the Reference Universe service, you will see Show Non-Local Results in the upper right corner of the display, below the name/logo of your library. This permits reference and collection development staff to identify works which meet the needs of your patrons that your library does not yet own, or might acquire to augment broader research options.



Reference Searching Starts Here