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      Group Three Evaluation Set Four  






Group Three Evaluation Set Four



Prepared by:

Christina Elia

Margaret Engelter

Shelby Irwin

Nicholas Ives

Southern Connecticut State University




Prepared for:

Dr. Elsie A. Okobi

ILS 504-S70 Reference Materials and Services

November 8, 2007 


      Group Three of the Reference and Information Resources/Services class worked in partnership to evaluate 13 encyclopedias and 20 dictionaries.  Members divided the resources among themselves to independently locate and evaluate the resources.  The independent works were combined into the group project on the class Wiki website.  Members updated each other on their progress through email while keeping the Wiki updated.  A template, created for the Wiki, included the following evaluation criteria for encyclopedias: citation, scope, format, uniqueness, authority, accuracy, currency, indexing, electronic options, users, cost, and overall evaluation and the following criteria for dictionaries:  citation, format, scope, comparison with others of similar coverage, authority, accuracy, currency, indexing, and overall evaluation.  Class textbooks and other class readings were used as references to determine and define these criteria.

      The group discovered that many of these sources are available in both print and electronic versions with significant variation in search capabilities and special features between the two versions.  All of the sources were found to have merit; selection depends entirely on the need to be addressed.

      The encyclopedias evaluated include:  (1) Academic American Encyclopedia; (2) The Columbia Encyclopedia; (3) Compton 's Encyclopedia and Fact-Index; (4) Encyclopedia Americana; (5) Grolier Online; (6) International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences; (7) Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias; (8) McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology; (9) Microsoft Encarta Online; (10) Mirwis's Subject Encyclopedias: User Guide, Review Citations, and Keyword Index; (11) New Encyclopaedia Britannica; (12) Random House Encyclopedia; and (13) World Book Encyclopedia.

      The dictionaries evaluated include:  (1) Acronyms, Initialisms, & Abbreviations Dictionary; (2) American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; (3) The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations; (4) Familiar Quotations; (5) Chapman's Dictionary of American Slang; (6) Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary; (7) Merriam-Webster Online; (8) The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations; (9) Oxford English Dictionary; (10) The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English; (11) The Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary; (12) Random House Webster's College Dictionary; (13) Roget's International Thesaurus; (14) Webster's Dictionary of English Usage; (15) Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms; (16) Webster's New World College Dictionary; (17) Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged; (18) World Book Dictionary; (19) YourDictionary.com; and (20) OneLook Dictionaries online.

      The following is the result of Group Three��s evaluations.


Encyclopedia 1 – Academic American Encyclopedia - SHELBY

Citation: Grolier Incorporated. (1996). Academic American encyclopedia. 21 vols., Index. Danbury, Conn: Grolier.

Scope: There is broad coverage in humanities (36%), science and technology (35%), social sciences (14%), geography (13%), and sports and contemporary life (2%). Entries provide enough information on each topic to put it in historical and interpretative context. There is quick access to definitive factual information. It provides an overview with no drawn-out material. Therefore it is a good starting point for research.

Format: Print edition – 21 volumes. Entries are organized alphabetically word by word. There are lots of cross-references in the larger entries (500+ words) and larger topics often have subheadings.

Uniqueness: Entries contain cross-references in all caps. The author of each entry is listed at the end of the entry. There is a bibliography at the end of some entries for further research.

Authority: Grolier Inc. It has been continuously published since 1980. 2,250 scholars and authorities plus 150 consultants, advisors, contributing editors, photographers, etc. contributed to the making of the encyclopedia. 90% of the encyclopedia was written by outside scholars.

Accuracy: A large team of research editors verifies the information.

Currency: It is updated annually and has a yearbook.

Indexing (Access): 200,000 entries are indexed in the final volume. Identical headings have a parenthetical for clarification. Listings contain information about volume number, page number, article title, presence of maps or photos, and see also references. An explanation of the use of the index is provided at the front of the index volume.

Electronic Options: Available on CD-ROM. Also available online as Encyclopedia Americana Online. Online has quarterly updates and is combined with Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Online and the New Book of Knowledge.

Users: It is intended for non-specialist readers from upper elementary age through adulthood.

Cost: $999.00 in print. $415.00 and up per year for online subscription.

Overall Evaluation: Good for when a shorter write-up will suffice. Good starting point for further research. Overlap with other general encyclopedias so this one may not be the one to invest in.


Encyclopedia 2 - The Columbia Encyclopedia - CHRISTINA

Citation: The Columbia Encyclopedia. (2000). 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press. http://www.bartleby.com/65 http://www.encyclopedia.com/ (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia)

Scope: Single volume encyclopedia meant as companion to a dictionary and atlas. Includes over 6 million words in the form of 51,000 entries of which 40% are revised and 1,300 are new.

Format: Print, electronic and web (the internet offering free access). Headings are in bold and arranged alphabetically. If headings are the same, they are arranged in the following order: persons, places, and things. Subheadings are in smaller boldface. A bibliography is included at the end of one-quarter of the articles but titles are not necessarily part of the bibliography as there is a need to save space. It is for this reason that abbreviations are heavily used.

Uniqueness: Because it is a single volume its concise presentation facilitates use. There is no need to alternate between a volume that is an index and the individual volumes needed.

Authority: An editorial staff of 100+ combined with the efforts of over 110 academic advisers indicates a high level of credibility.

Accuracy: Revisions have not always been sufficient to include the more recent developments.

Currency: As indicated in Bopp (2001), any encyclopedia loses value before printing yet there is a considerable effort to include developments in technology and culture since the encyclopedia's last edition.

Indexing: The presence of cross references and aim for brevity have rendered an index unnecessary.

Electronic options: In the online edition, hypertext links, keyword searching, and font enlargement facilitate access to information with user needs in mind.

Users: Columbia is good for those learning to use such tools or for those with general needs. The coverage is broad but the depth of information is lacking. Columbia delivers information clearly, briefly, and easily.

Cost: An electronic version can be licensed. The print is one of the most expensive single volume editions at approximately $125.00. The web edition is free.

Overall evaluation: Definitely a purchase for public libraries. Its concise, comprehensive, and colorful maps and drawings are reason for purchasing the print edition. However, because the item is available for free online, money spent on Columbia can be freed up for other acquisitions.


Encyclopedia 3 - Compton 's Encyclopedia and Fact-Index - CHRISTINA

Citation: Compton 's Encyclopedia and Fact-Index (1997). 26 vols. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1997. http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia

Scope: Over 5,200 main articles in 25 volumes. The 26th volume is a Fact Index consisting of 26,000 shorter articles on subjects not fully treated in the main articles. The coverage is broad with topics ranging from ancient to contemporary times. Illustrations are numbered at over 22,000.

Format: Print, CD-ROM, and online. In the print version, questions introduce each volume, dates are illustrated in timelines, tables of contents are provided for longer articles, and cross references are included. Amazon.com indicates that the CD-ROM includes such features as video and map galleries, a research organizer, and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

Uniqueness: The Fact Index is unlike any other index in its capability of serving a stand alone function.

Authority: Encyclopedia Britannica, known for producing what is considered by many as "the premier English-language encyclopedia" (Bopp, p. 450), is a good authority on these types of general sources.

Accuracy: Given its reputation for "scholarly" resources, Encyclopedia Britannica is a not only a source of authority but one which is highly accurate.

Currency: New and revised articles give Compton's a contemporary relevancy (e.g. J.K. Rowling).

Indexing: The 26th volume serves as both index and "mini-encyclopedia".

Electronic options: CD-ROM and online editions are available.

Users: A good fit for all types of users from beginners to those with scholarly or specialized interests. Compton's is neither intimidating or overwhelming. There is breadth and depth of coverage.

Cost: Less expensive than Britannica, the set is fairly priced and affordable for most libraries. If the $600 range proves too hefty, CD-ROMs offer a low cost alternative.

Overall evaluation: If a budget allows for more than World Book and Britannica, Compton's is worthy of inclusion in a public/academic reference collection.


Encyclopedia 4 - Encyclopedia Americana - MARGARET

Citation: Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition (30 volumes). Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library Publishing (Grolier), 2004.

Scope: General encyclopedia offering excellent, in-depth, scholarly coverage. Strong on biography; 9,000 bibliographies; and 150,000 cross-references.

Format: 45,000 articles arranged alphabetically, each entry includes pronunciation, contributor names (6,500) and affiliations. Many entries include suggestions for further reading, charts, tables, or illustrations.

Uniqueness: Depth of coverage.

Authority: First published more than 175 years ago; considered the first significant American encyclopedia.

Accuracy: Each article includes contributor names and affiliations.

Currency: Continual volume by volume revisions with an alphabetical index (volume 30) that is updated with each printing.

Indexing (Access): Maps accompanying country and state articles

Electronic Options: Available in CD and online with additional photos. Online version has more recent articles, updated quarterly.

Users: High school, public, and academic libraries.

Cost: $1320

Overall Evaluation: Although, generally extensive in scope and depth, current subjects are not well covered, depending on which volumes had been revised for the current printing. Recommend this as a supplemental encyclopedia.


Encyclopedia 5 - Grolier Online - MARGARET

Citation: Grolier Online, 2007. Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library Publishing. http://go.grolier.com.

Scope: Includes 121,080 articles from 13,638 contributors; 36,890 bibliographies; 273,300 article-to-article links; 334,500 editor-approved internet links; 5,659 timelines, tables, and fact boxes; 6,650 maps and flags; and 34,610 photos and illustrations from The New Book of Knowledge, Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana, La Nueva Enciclopedia, America the Beautiful, Lands and Peoples, The New Book of Popular Science, Amazing Animals of the Worlds, five dictionaries, two thesauri, an interactive atlas. Also includes 100,000 full text articles; links to international newspapers; and more.

Format: All online, access through two different portals, one is for grades 2-5 and English Language Learners (Grolier Online Kids) and the other is for older students and adults (Grolier Online Passport).

Uniqueness: In addition to its comprehensiveness; some of the information is provided in an ADA-compliant format and additional features are being incorporated.

Authority: Historically, Scholastic and Grolier provide reliable content.

Accuracy: Articles are cited by the authors who are experts in the field.

Currency: Updates are continuous, depending on resources.

Indexing (Access): Multiple access points across multiple sources.

Users: Elementary through High School libraries and public libraries. Academic and advanced researchers would have a beginning place.

Cost: Online subscription.

Overall Evaluation: This comprehensive resource is highly recommended for any library serving elementary through adult researchers and teachers (lesson plans and Lexile searching available). Including multiple encyclopedia sets, tools for any age group, external linking to international news, five dictionaries, two thesauri, an interactive atlas.


Encyclopedia 6 - International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences - MARGARET

Citation: International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd edition. (2007). New York: Macmillan Reference USA.

Scope: 8 volumes, successor to the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and the initial set of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences with nearly 3,000 entirely new articles and biographies on many global topics (e.g., achievement testing, censorship, aging, foreign aid, food, terrorism).

Format: Alphabetical listings include cross references, bibliographies, and contributor.

Uniqueness: eBook version.

Authority: Compiled by experts in the social science fields and published by Macmillan Reference.

Accuracy: Forthcoming title, unable to determine.  Original publication has a good reputation for accuracy.

Currency: This forthcoming title will be as current as the publication date.

Indexing (Access): Forthcoming title, unable to determine.

Electronic Options: eBook available by subscription.

Users: Student and academic users in the social sciences, as well as lay readers in the public libraries.

Cost: $975.

Overall Evaluation: An alternative is the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences in print ($10,000+) or accessible through Science Direct (http://www.sciencedirect.com). This resource appears to be an excellent affordable addition.


Encyclopedia 7 - Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A Comparative Guide  
to General and Specialized Encyclopedias - MARGARET

Citation: Kister, K.F. (1994). Kister's best encyclopedias: a comparative guide to general and specialized encyclopedias (2nd ed.). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

Scope: Includes sections on criteria used to evaluate and information about encyclopedias. Evaluates 77 general encyclopedias and 800 subject-specific encyclopedias. Also includes reviews of 44 foreign-language encyclopedias.

Format: Grouped by audience and reading level, includes discussions, comparison charts, opinions. Areas (e.g., coverage, accuracy, and clarity) are graded. Bibliography and publishers and distributors directory is in the appendix.

Uniqueness: One-of-a-kind, comprehensive resource.

Authority: Kenneth Kister, a professor of library science, is considered an authority on encyclopedias.

Accuracy: Information based on in-depth knowledge of this subject.

Currency: Last published in 1994. Does not include more current information.

Indexing (Access): Is available.

Electronic Options: Not available.

Users: Any library planning on purchasing a set of encyclopedias would find this resource informative as well as patrons interested in purchasing an encyclopedia.

Cost: Available from various used book sources.

Overall Evaluation: This is a one-of-a-kind resource. If would recommend reviewing the book to understand Kister's methods; however, the information may not be current for all types of encyclopedias and care should be used when using this resource to justifying purchase of new materials.


Encyclopedia 8 - McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia  
of Science and Technology - CHRISTINA

Citation: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. (1997). 8th ed. 20 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Scope: A "comprehensive and technological reference". It purports to present new findings in biochemistry, paleontology, biology, and meteorology; 7,100 entries of which 1,600 are new or revised. Definitions, illustrations, cross references, and bibliographies make up the encyclopedia.

Format: The resource adopts a general to specific approach with each entry beginning with an overview and then gradually becoming more focused and technical. The 20th volume is comprised of 2 indexes (analytical and topical) and a study guide. These represent 3 of the 4 ways to access information. The 4th is simply by locating an article alphabetically within its corresponding volume.

Uniqueness: Because it is a subject encyclopedia, concepts are covered in depth.

Authority: Its authority lies with the expertise and distinguished reputations of the 3,500 scientists and engineers who are responsible for the articles.

Accuracy: The encyclopedia is considered a "premier" work in the field of science and technology and it is for this reason that it not only possesses credibility it also possesses accuracy.

Currency: With almost a quarter of entries revised or new, currency is an aim that has been set and accomplished.

Indexing: 2 indexes: An analytical index: referred to as the "perfect index" by Library Journal and a topical index which lists all titles in a specific discipline.

Electronic options: CD-ROM edition available.

Users: Ranges for those with general needs to those with scholarly or specialized questions. The information can get quite technical therefore relegating it most appropriate for the latter.

Cost: Quite an expensive addition to a collection. The CD-ROM may offer a more affordable option.

Overall evaluation: Most appropriate for special libraries associated with science and/or technology or universities where science and technology are a strong part of the curriculum.


Encyclopedia 9 - Microsoft Encarta Online - NICK

Citation: Microsoft Corporation. (2007). Encarta Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Web site: http://encarta.msn.com

Scope: The Encarta Encyclopedia covers a wide range of topics, yet not all are given equal attention, and some entries are lacking significantly.

Format: Encarta encyclopedia is a Microsoft product that is available online (was formerly available in CD-Rom.)

Uniqueness: Encarta attempts to provide a great deal more information to the user than just an encyclopedia; it imagines itself as a all-around source of information including atlas and dictionary.

Authority: The Encarta encyclopedia is a professional attempt by Microsoft to provide quality information, yet there is no indication of who exactly contributed to each article or if the information was cross-checked at all.

Accuracy: It is difficult to criticize Encarta for accuracy, for it is very vague on most subjects. By avoiding the major details it allows itself to be free of error, it doesn��t really try to be specific.

Currency: The encyclopedia is up to date, but again we see the problem of how vague it is and this allows it to not be as current as possible without anyone noticing the difference.

Indexing (Access): The encyclopedia is accessed entirely through search terms, where the searcher just types in what they are looking for and then possible answers appear in the search results.

Users: Aimed at students especially, as its side-notes and advertising indicates.

Cost: Free to web users, as it is advertising supported.

Overall Evaluation: The Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia is not a valuable resource to any researcher, young or old. It is free, which is a major plus, however it still cannot be trusted, as there are too many unknown factors in its composition that lead to unanswerable questions. It seems to the reader that this may be an afterthought to Microsoft, and they are only leveraging their assets to sell advertising space, no matter how low the quality.


Encyclopedia 10 - Mirwis's Subject Encyclopedias:  
User Guide, Review Citations, and Keyword Index - SHELBY

Citation: Mirwis, A. (1999). Subject encyclopedias user guide, review citations, and keyword index. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

Scope: 1,129 subject encyclopedias published between 1990 and 1997 are reviewed.

Format: One print volume. Entries arranged by LOC number. Each entry includes a bibliographic citation, citations to reviews and awards, a numerical review average, OCLC holdings, and a rating.

Uniqueness: Intended for use by librarians. It combines organized listing of encyclopedias by LOC number with reviews to help librarians in collections development.

Authority: Oryx Press. Mirwis is a reader��s service librarian and holds an M.L.S. from Columbia University and an Ed. D. from Indiana University.

Accuracy: Publishers were asked to review and correct their company information from the publishers index prior to publication. Feedback from librarians is taken into consideration. Reviews from nine major reviewing publications were used in rating the encyclopedias.

Currency: First editions published in 1999.

Indexing (Access): Offers a series of indexes to allow librarians to use it from a variety of perspectives and for a variety of purposes. Indexes include title index, subject index, Dewey decimal index, publishers index, and ratings index.

Electronic Options: none

Users: Librarians in the academic and public sector. This guide is a wonderful collections development tool.

Cost: $178.95

Overall Evaluation: A great tool for librarians to develop and maintain a collection of subject encyclopedias. Should be compared to ARBA and Kister��s when deciding which to purchase.


Encyclopedia 11 - New Encyclopaedia Britannica - SHELBY

Citation: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. (1998). The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica. http://www.eb.com, http://www.britannica.com

Scope: The Micropedia has shorter articles on specific people, places, things and ideas. The Macropedia edition provides more extensive coverage.

Format: Print edition - 32 volumes. Volumes 1-12 comprise the Micropedia set. Volumes 13-29 comprise the Macropedia set. Volume 30 is the Guide to Britannica Outline of Knowledge. Volumes 31 and 32 are the index. Also available online.

Uniqueness: The Propedia (volume 30) and index (volumes 31 and 32) are guides to the use of the Micropedia and Macropedia. It is intended that the user will access the index first to better locate what they are looking for. The Propedia indicates what subjects are covered. The index indicates where those subjects are covered.

Authority: Encyclopaedia Britannica. It has been published since 1768.

Accuracy: An advisory committee made up of university members from Australia, Canada, and Europe review all material.

Currency: It is typically, but not always, published annually. Online version updated bi-weekly.

Indexing (Access): There are more than 700,000 references. The index is alphabetical by subject heading. It indicates whether to turn to the Micropedia or Macropedia for coverage as well as volume number, page number, presence of visuals, and see and or references.

Electronic Options: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online offers brief versions of articles from the full encyclopaedia. Britannica Online has a subscription fee and has biweekly updates.

Users: It is intended for people who want to browse all fields of human learning and history. Most appropriate for academic studies (high school and up).

Cost: Print version is $1395.00. Online available from $295.00 per year.

Overall Evaluation: A worthwhile investment because it is the largest and most scholarly of the American encyclopedias. It is an important resource with a top quality bibliography and index. Might be best in electronic format because of its depth. May be more approachable/searchable that way.


Encyclopedia 12 - Random House Encyclopedia - NICK

Citation: Mitchell, J., (1990). The Random House Encyclopedia. Rev 3d. ed. New York: Random House.

Scope: The Random House Encyclopedia has many articles, but far less than some competitors�� products.  There is an intense focus on pictures, charts, and graphics.  This does seem to reduce the amount of material the print section can cover.

Format: The Encyclopedia is divided up into two different parts, the ��Colorpedia�� which is a great display of color plates and pictures.  There is also a more traditional encyclopedia section that permits searching as in any other encyclopedia source.

Uniqueness: The Random House Encyclopedia is unique because at the time of its publication, it was one of the most illustrated encyclopedias on the market that was appropriate for young children and teens.

Authority: The encyclopedia does give credit to many of its sources, and the reader can determine the source of these entries.  Random House is a large publisher in New York City, and their reputation is important to them.  This leads us to believe that the work was fact checked by its compiler.

Accuracy: To my knowledge, the encyclopedia is basic, but accurate for its time.  This is a more basic encyclopedia, yet the information it does have is correct.

Currency: The volume I evaluated was from 1990, and there was clearly a need for updating in some of the articles.

Indexing (Access): There are two major sections woven throughout the encyclopedia, the colorful and the traditional sections.  These two are cross referenced, but it is somewhat awkward at times to locate the reference that you are looking for.

Users: Aimed at teen and casual users who will be more impressed with the color section than the more traditional sections.

Overall Evaluation: This is a fun encyclopedia to look thorough, however for serious research, one should look elsewhere.  There is clearly a need for a second source beyond this one for an academic project, yet this makes for a nice (and fun to look at) starting place.


Encyclopedia 13 - World Book Encyclopedia - NICK

Citation: (2007). The World Book Encyclopedia. 22 vols. Chicago: World Book. http://www.worldbook.com

Scope: The World Book encyclopedia encompasses a vast amount of information over a variety of different topics.  The large number of volumes is a testament to how much information is captured by this encyclopedia.

Format: The overall format is a full-color resource that includes detailed and organized entries that begin with an organizational chart to how the entry is outlined. This helpful addition is a great tool for the reader.

Uniqueness: The World Book Encyclopedia is extremely readable, while still being comprehensive.  This is an excellent resource for people of all ages due to its clear and comprehensive writing style.

Authority: The World Book has thousands of fact checkers and editors reviewing the information provided in the encyclopedia, and each article does credit contributors to the information.

Accuracy: The World Book encyclopedia offers a balanced and accurate approach to most topics, especially those concerning more current events.  There is not an ethnocentric bend to it, nor a political agenda readily seen, and it is clear that the number of reviewers has ensured a quality product.

Currency:  The edition that I reviewed was from 2007, and was very up to date.  There is a new edition published annually.  World Book��s more recent inclusions were accurate and timely.

Indexing (Access): The encyclopedia is available to be accessed alphabetically by volume and within each section of the encyclopedia itself.

Electronic Options: There is a standard online edition available to libraries and an advanced edition designed to provide some of the tools to researchers that they are accustomed to using in more academic research sites.

Users: This is clearly aimed at a wide audience, but its readable nature would lend itself to younger readers and adults alike.

Cost: The 2008 edition costs $850 for the set.

Overall Evaluation: This is a great resource for libraries to have, for it is a thorough and readable resource that is very accessible.  The entries are complete, well organized and wide ranging.  I would recommend this especially to high school libraries but there is no reason that a collegiate or public library would not choose to include it in its reference collection.


Dictionary 1 - Acronyms, Initialisms, & Abbreviations Dictionary - CHRISTINA

Citation: Acronyms, Initialisms, & Abbreviations Dictionary. (2000). 3 vols. 27th ed. Detroit: Gale.

Format: A volume in 4 parts (A-C, D-I, J-P, & Q-Z). It includes a user's guide with examples to show possible elements and a list of selected sources for those who have contributed at least 50 items. Acronyms is arranged alphabetically in a letter by letter format.

Scope: Acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations identified with the U.S. mostly comprise the listings. There are none included that refer to local businesses or governments. National, some international, regional, and state associations are included.

Comparison with others: Having been selected by Reference and Adult Services of the ALA as one of the 25 most distinguished reference titles puts it at the top of resources available. The publication of reverse (organizations--> acronyms, etc.) and international editions deem this series comprehensive and unique.

Authority: Sources (listed in the beginning of the volume) have contributed the information and in doing so have eliminated any "guesswork" formerly required by users.

Accuracy: With mergers and expansions daily occurrences, it is impossible to accurately reflect all businesses at one time.

Currency: Acronyms etc. strives to be up to the minute in its coverage by reflecting even technological changes (e.g. LOL, BTW).

Indexing: As this is an alphabetical listing there is no apparent need for an index.

Overall evaluation: Because acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations abound in the U.S., the need for such a resource exists. Without such a guide, users may be lost in a sea of letters with no answer in sight. Organized, attractive, handy, and essential for all reference collections.


Dictionary 2 - American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language - CHRISTINA

Citation: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. (2000). 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Format: Print, CD-ROM, and web edition (the internet offering free access). Heavily illustrated (4,000+ color photographs, drawing, and maps) and standardly arranged, American Heritage contains 2 word-root appendices (Indo-European & Semitic) and 5 types of notes concerning regionalisms, synonyms, usage, history, and social dimensions. Images, while attractive and colorful, were selected for their ability to clarify or explain not for decorative purposes.

Scope: Over 10,000 entries of which 500 are entirely new. The recent additions reflect changing technology, scientific advances, current events, and pop culture. Making the resource more appealing and useful is the inclusion of notable personalities.

Comparison with others: Enhancements such as the appendices and notes make this dictionary a standout.

Authority: The editors are lexicographers with degrees in linguistics.

Accuracy: The aforementioned experts are aided by consultants who are available for verification or suggestions.

Currency: Entries reflect contemporary concerns and developments (e.g. Amber alert, wiki).

Indexing: As this is an alphabetical listing there is no apparent need for an index.

Overall evaluation: The easy availability of the resource (freely online), handsome presentation (900+ full pages of color illustrations) unique information (root appendices), and comprehensive entries (pronunciation keys & examples) make it an affordable, attractive, and absolute part of any reference collection.


Dictionary 3 - The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations - CHRISTINA

Citation: Andrews, Robert. (1993). The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press.

Format: Print and electronic editions. Quotations are arranged by topic and within each topic the person being quoted is listed alphabetically. Because topics are narrow, applicable quotes are few.

Scope: 18,000 quotations are included of which 11,000 are unique to this collection. Selected remarks, witticisms, judgments, or observations range from those on the "eternal concerns" to those involving more contemporary issues.

Comparison with others: Where Bartlett's uses a chronological arrangement, Columbia uses narrow topics. Columbia includes more late 20th century sources (e.g. Donald Trump) where a source such as Bartlett's does not. This resource claims to consist of quotes not found elsewhere and lives up to its promise in that more than half are unique. In fact if the same source is listed in Bartlett's, a different selection of quotes is represented.

Authority: Robert Andrews is a known writer and journalist living in the UK.

Accuracy: While not as established as Bartlett's, Columbia is a great runner up in terms of its selections and sources.

Currency: This is what makes Columbia unique from its counterparts. It is more contemporary and broad in its notables quoted.

Indexing: While there is an index of personal names, the dictionary lacks a helpful keyword or subject index.

Overall evaluation: Worthwhile for its contemporary sources alone. If only one resource of quotations can be purchased, a standard such as Bartlett's may be best but this dictionary makes up for what the former lacks. A great supplement.


Dictionary 4 - Familiar Quotations  - CHRISTINA

Citation: Bartlett, John. (1992). Familiar Quotations. 16th ed. Boston: Little, Brown.

Format: Print. Quotes are arranged chronologically by the source's date of birth. If there are more than 1 within the same year, persons are arranged alphabetically. A source's quotations are ordered according to date of publication. Footnotes, an author index and index arranged by keyword form part of Bartlett's.

Scope: Quotes of "literary power, intellect and historical significance, originality and timeliness". The volume encompasses over 20,000 quotes by 2,550 authors. Bartlett's aims to represent intellectual and cultural heritage, the past and the present, and in doing so includes not only literature but also TV, movies, politics, ads, and music.

Comparison with others: While other books of quotations exist, none is as comprehensive and as established as Bartlett's. It is the user's first resort/stop on the way to finding information.

Authority: Bartlett's is an established name who has been issuing its book of quotations since 1855.

Accuracy: Its trusted name lends an air of reliability and validity to its products.

Currency: While Bartlett's is a great historical and cultural survey, it is lighter in its coverage of late 20th century quotations.

Indexing: Bartlett's includes an author index and an index arranged by keyword, not topic. The author index includes birth/death dates and page number. Pseudonyms are incorporated. Cross references exist to link less familiar versions of names to those more familiar. The index is almost as long as the section of quotations at 600+ pages.

Overall evaluation: A requisite for all reference collections whether academic or public. Great source for verification and identification. As Kaplan indicates in the preface, quotes serve an important function. They are a version of shorthand to convey messages, illustrative to express a point, sound bites to attract attention, and reassuring when times are tough and uncertain.


Dictionary 5 - Chapman's Dictionary of American Slang - CHRISTINA

Citation: Chapman, R.L. (Ed.) (1995). Dictionary of American Slang. 3d ed. New York: HarperCollins.

Format: Print. Alphabetical listing of terms deemed slang. Cultural influences and technological innovations are reflected in the additions or omissions of words. The main entry is in boldface and is followed by part of speech, derivation, definition, and illustrative examples.

Scope: As the title indicates, the dictionary specifies slang used in America. It has evolved as society has in its preference in music, trends in the workplace, and diversity in its citizens.

Comparison with others: The dictionary is a forerunner in its field. While it initially fought against stereotypes and preconceptions of what is worthy of dictionary treatment, it is now considered a fun and informative part of reference collections.

Authority: The dominant culture is ultimately the final authority on what becomes slang. Whether it is influenced by other groups or by changes in technology, it becomes slang through adoption and use.

Accuracy: Dr. Robert Chapman has served as editor of Roget's International Thesaurus and Funk & Wagnall's Standard College Dictionary. Having had such experience indicates a level of familiarity with the needs of accuracy and credibility.

Currency: Timeliness is especially relevant with slang as expressions go in and out of favor quite quickly. Even if some slang is outdated, it is still of historical interest to learn what may have been the popular lingo in its time.

Indexing: As this is an alphabetical listing there is no apparent need for an index

Overall evaluation: Not a necessity for a reference collection. However, it is of historical value for those who may come upon terms in a text which are unrecognizable but representative of a certain period and used by a specific group.


Dictionary 6 - Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - MARGARET

Citation: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Springfield, MA.: Merriam-Webster, 2006.

Format: Entries are two-column, alphabetical and can include spelling, pronunciation, functional labels, etymology, dates (earliest recorded use in English), usage, definitions, cross-references, and synonyms. Print version includes 165,000 entries and 225,000 definitions with usage examples; phrases and idioms meanings; and illustrations, diagrams, and tables. Sections include guide to pronunciations, foreign words and phrases, biographical names, geographical names, signs and symbols, and a handbook of style.

Scope: This resource is meant to serve the general public as its chief source of information about the words of our language.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Many other options are available for a primary dictionary. Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary (2001) three-column presentation is presented is clearer type and provides extra explanation for newer topics (e.g., Internet). The American Heritage College Dictionary 4th edition (2002), with its two-column presentation and over 200,000 definitions, includes usage notes for selected entries and uses the outside columns of the page to include pictures.

Authority: In its 11th edition and published by Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Accuracy: Information is based on the collection of 15,700,000 citations which show words used in a wide range of printed sources. The collection is constantly being augmented through the efforts of the editorial staff.

Currency: As current as publication date.

Indexing: A one page index provide quick access to more common items.

Overall Evaluation: This resource is substantial and would be useful to any user. I would encourage libraries to have this resource in addition to other dictionaries (e.g., Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary and The American Heritage College Dictionary) on the shelves. They will all be well used.


Dictionary 7 - Merriam-Webster Online - MARGARET

Citation: Merriam-Webster, Inc. (2007). Merriam-Webster Online. http://www.m-w.com.

Format: Online. Entries include sound icon (to listen to a pronunciation of the entry), pronunciation, function, inflected forms, etymology, date, definitions, including synonyms (with links). Option to search in a dictionary (Merriam-Webster, Spanish/English, medical), thesaurus, Live Search, or Encyclopedia Britannica. Option to download different features for your dictionary.

Scope: Includes a dictionary (based on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition), thesaurus, a Spanish / English dictionary, and a medical dictionary as well as word games, word of the day.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Other online dictionaries include Babylon Pro (http://www.babylon.com) which provides instant access to multiple dictionaries, thesauruses, or translation dictionaries and Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus (over 500,000 words) which lacks audio pronunciations and searches by definition.

Authority: In its 11th edition and published by Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Accuracy: Information is based on the collection of 15,700,000 citations which show words used in a wide range of printed sources. The collection is constantly being augmented through the efforts of the editorial staff.

Currency: Periodic updates.

Indexing: Searching is available by word, definition, synonyms, homonyms, and rhyming words.

Overall Evaluation: This is a extensive, user-friendly online dictionary that you can link up to your word processor. When searching, option to explore other dictionaries, health information, and an encyclopedia are easily accessed providing a wide range of information. The unabridged dictionary add-on is a premium feature.


Dictionary 8 - The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations - MARGARET

Citation: The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (6th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Part of the Oxford Reference Online (http://www.oxfordreference.com/pages/Subjects_and_Titles__2F).

Format: Quotations are alphabetical by author and source is provided; includes special sections integrated within such as advertising slogans, borrowed titles, last words, mottos, and toasts. Print version is $50. Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection for individuals is $19.95 monthly or $159 annually. Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (2nd ed.), over 4,000 quotations, is available free online (http://www.askoxford.com/dictionaries/quotation_dict/?view=get).

Scope: Over 20,000 quotations common in the English language and culture. Quotations from ancient Egypt to the 21st century.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Similar to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. Oxford is a British publication and has listings alphabetical by author and extensive indexes. Bartlett is an American publication and its listings are chronological with extensive index.

Authority: Over 60 years in publication and in its 6th edition.

Accuracy: Origin and background explained.

Currency: As current as publication date.

Indexing: Thematic and keyword indexes.

Overall Evaluation: This resource is an excellent addition to any library collection. Having a print version of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and the Oxford Reference Online Premium collection would be ideal, covering two formats and slightly different coverage.


Dictionary 9 - Oxford English Dictionary - MARGARET

Citation: Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). (1989). 20 vols. New York: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com (online access available through CONSULS)

Format: Each main entry includes a headword section (including pronunciation, part of speech, etymology) and a sense section (displaying meaning throughout time). Print in 20 volumes ($995, 1989) with three supplements (1993, 1993, and 1997 each $65). Print in one compact volume (photo reduction of the 1989, 20 volume 2nd edition, including magnifying glass). CD Rom version of the 2nd edition (published in 2004 $295). Online individual version ($29.95 per month or $295 per year). Online institutional version by subscription. Many versions are available for the general user.

Scope: This historical dictionary includes over 600,000 words from across the English-speaking world. Traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: There is no single work that compares with this resource.

Authority: From its conception in 1857 to its online presence today, this resource is highly regarded. Collection of evidence is key to ensuring complete history is included.

Accuracy: Oxford University Press reputation of quality. Ongoing reverification helps to ensure accuracy.

Currency: Print and CD Rom versions are as current as the publication date. Online version is updated quarterly.

Indexing: Alphabetical entries include cross referencing. Bibliography in volume 20 provides information on works most commonly quoted and is alphabetical by author name or title.

Overall Evaluation: An important record of the evolution of our language and reflecting changes in society, access to this resource is vital for any public, academic, or special library.


Dictionary 10 - The New Partridge Dictionary  
of Slang and Unconventional English - MARGARET

Citations: Dalzell, T. & Victor, T. (2005). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. Routledge.

Partridge, Eric. (1984). A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (8th ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Format: In print only, two volumes, $230. Entries are alphabetical, listing the term, part of speech, meaning, and country of origin. Sources are cited or provide quotations showing how the term is used.

Scope: This new version, based on Eric Partridge's works, now encompasses the entire English-speaking world, includes over 60,000 entries and focuses on slang and unconventional English used or created since 1945.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Partridge's version is still valid, remaining the best record of British slang prior to 1945. Robert L. Chapman's Dictionary of American Slang remains important for older American slang. Another dictionary of slang to consider is Cassell's Dictionary of Slang with more than 85,000 entries and covering five centuries and includes historical notations.

Authority: Since 1937, the standard dictionary of English slang has been Eric Partridge's The Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.

Accuracy: Dalzell and Taylor cite sources or provide quotations on usage. Partridge's etymologies may be absent or unbelievable.

Currency: Current as the publication date.

Indexing: Alphabetical, including numerical slang and bibliography.

Overall Evaluation: This comprehensive dictionary, informs and entertains, is a valuable addition to any library. The 2005 edition is preferred; however, holding the 2005 edition, the 1984 edition, and the Chapman Dictionary of American Slang would provide better coverage.


Dictionary 11 - The Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary - SHELBY

Citation: Random House Webster's unabridged dictionary. (1998). New York: Random House Reference.

Format: Over 315,000 words. Available in print. Newest edition comes with a CD-ROM.

Scope: College-level and beyond. There are sample sentences, usage notes, synonym studies, synonym and antonym lists, and illustrations. Lists the date of entry into the language and word origins. Regional dialects are covered as well. Supplemental material includes signs and symbols, colleges and universities, concise foreign dictionaries for romance languages, a manual of style, commonly confused and commonly misspelled words, and full-color maps.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Smaller than its competitors but more current (mid-1980s).

Authority: Random House is considered one of the most authoritative dictionary publishers.

Accuracy: Spellings are current, and previous spellings (i.e. aeroplane for airplane) are given within the entry. Definitions do not use the word being defined in the definition. Example phrases for words with more than one meaning are provided.

Currency: As an unabridged dictionary, it is not as current as an unabridged. This is a compromise for thoroughness. It is the most current of the three major unabridged dictionaries considered authoritative.

Indexing: no index

Overall Evaluation: Excellent resource. As an unabridged dictionary, it will have a long shelf life. Because of its size and currency it is recommended that reference librarians make it their current first choice for dictionary use.


Dictionary 12 - Random House Webster's College Dictionary - SHELBY

Citation: Random House Webster's college dictionary. (1999). New York: McGraw-Hill

Format: The number of entries is not listed in the book or online or on the Random House website. Print has tabbed letter sections. Thorough entries with approachable language.

Scope: Intended for college use. When appropriate entries include cross references to hidden entries, taxonomic names, example sentences, idioms, etymologies, abbreviations, labels of time and place, usage notes, geographical and biographical entries, synonym studies, and pronunciation notes. Back matter includes a guide for writers, a section on avoiding insensitive language, signs and symbols, a variety or geographical information (including maps of each continent), forms of address, as well as a list of U.S. presidents.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Random House is an authority in the field of dictionaries, but there are lots of quality dictionaries with comparable content.

Authority: Random House is considered one of the most authoritative dictionary publishers.

Accuracy: Spellings are current with previous spellings noted in the body of the entry. Some definitions due use a form the word being defined in the definition. However, this seems to be confined to words with suffixes or prefixes, so that the root word does not use the word in its definition.

Currency: Very current. Words added in various decades are discussed in the front matter. Slang terminology is defined as well. Newest edition includes a CD-ROM.

Indexing: One-page index to useful features

Overall Evaluation: Excellent resource for a high school, public or college library. Coverage of subject-specific words is helpful for collegiate studies. Help with finding a word you can pronounce but cannot spell may be helpful as well.


Dictionary 13 - Roget's International Thesaurus - SHELBY

Citation: Roget, P. M., & Chapman, R. L. (1984). Roget's international thesaurus. New York: Harper & Row.

Format: Print. 1280 pages. 325,000 words and phrases. 15 overarching classes arranged into 1073 categories grouped by the ideas they convey. The main body of the text is arranged by a numerical code.

Scope: For use by all ages, especially high school on. There are no definitions or examples, just a comprehensive list of synonyms. It is recommended that a dictionary by used alongside the thesaurus.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: The arrangement is fairly unique, requiring the user to use the index first. It helps with the thought process. It has more synonyms than Merriam-Webster.

Authority: Roget��s. First published in 1852.

Accuracy: Spellings are current. Thorough list of synonyms. Language tends to be more formal. Slang not used.

Currency: current edition is from 2002.

Indexing: Alphabetical. Main entries are in bold with subentries underneath. Parts of speech are listed to assist the user. The index should be consulted first by the reader.

Overall Evaluation: Excellent resource. Very useful because of how comprehensive it is. Patrons may need help using this as many desk thesauri are structured alphabetically like dictionaries.


Dictionary 14 - Webster's Dictionary of English Usage - SHELBY

Citation: Merriam-Webster, Inc. (1994). Merriam-Webster's dictionary of English usage. Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster.

Format: Print in hardcover. 978 pages. More than 2,300 entries. 20,000 quotations. Bold main entries with usage explanations, cross-references and famous quotations as examples of usage.

Scope: Not a comprehensive language guide. It addresses confused and disputed language usage.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Can be compared to Strunk and White��s Elements of Style, which is often considered very authoritative. This guide gives more rationale for usage rather than dictating usage as happens in Elements of Style.

Authority: Merriam-Webster has a strong reputation for their dictionaries and other language reference books. They have been publishing language reference materials since 1937.

Accuracy: Spellings are current. See references make it easy to find homonyms.

Currency: Current edition is from 1994.

Indexing: No index, but there is a bibliography of the famous quotations.

Overall Evaluation: A fine resource, but the famous quotations seem somewhat out of place. For quotations, one would not consult a dictionary of English usage.


Dictionary 15 - Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms - SHELBY

Citation: Merriam-Webster, Inc. (1984). Webster's new dictionary of synonyms a dictionary of discriminated synonyms with antonyms and analogous and contrasted words. Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.

Format: Print. 909 pages. Alphabetical with see references.

Scope: High school and beyond. Provides analogous words, antonyms, and contrasted words. Seeks to clarify subtleties of meaning by giving definition and examples of use, not just provide synonyms. Famous quotations included in many entries.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: Roget��s is the nearest competitor. This is set up like a dictionary and doesn��t require dictionary use alongside it.

Authority: Merriam-Webster.

Accuracy: Spellings are current. Definitions, where provided, effectively clarify meanings.

Currency: 1984. Updated about every 12 years.

Selection: Excellent resource

Overall Evaluation: Wonderful resource for clarifying shades of meaning. Doesn��t require additional dictionary use. Explanations of when to use similar terms is very clear.


Dictionary 16 - Webster's New World College Dictionary - NICK

Citation: Merrriam-Webster (1999). Webster's New World College Dictionary . 4th ed. New York: Macmillan.

Format: The Webster Collegiate dictionary is in a smaller, easier to manage size compared to its larger, unabridged relative.  It is designed to be added to the collegiate reference shelf, or the shelf of a home with learners.

Scope: The Collegiate Edition of the Webster dictionary is designed to contain more commonly used words than the unabridged edition, and be easier to access for quick ready reference searching.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: The American Heritage Dictionary is a comparable dictionary that offers a very similar experience to the reader.  Webster��s is certainly the more common, and AH tries to differentiate itself with more pleasing graphics and innovative layout.

Authority: There are thousands of lexographers who fact check the words included in the collegiate dictionary, and Webster��s is the biggest name in American dictionaries.

Accuracy: The Webster collegiate seems to have correct and simple definitions of words that are very usable to the reader. 

Currency: The collegiate dictionary is certainly more current than the unabridged version (in print) for it is updated more frequently (2003).

Overall Evaluation:  This is a great dictionary to have around the house, or in a library setting.  It is eminently usable, and is available at a bargain price.  The collegiate dictionary is a great resource for a wide audience.


Dictionary 17 - Webster's Third New International Dictionary  
of the English Language, Unabridged - NICK

Citation:  Merriam-Webster. (1993) Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster.

Format: The dictionary is available in print form or online.  Each entry has a detailed pronunciation guide, the definition, use in a sentence, and some indicator of where the word comes from.

Scope: The unabridged dictionary has complete coverage of all words in the English language (at publication.)  It attempts to capture a limited history of the word, giving the reader significant scope to work with.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: The Oxford English Dictionary is its closest rival, and it provided a much more detailed history of each word.  Webster��s is much easier to understand, and there is a preference for American English over British English.

Authority: The first American Dictionary was written by Noah Webster, and has been the authoritative word source since its initial publication. 

Accuracy: The unabridged source is valued for its accuracy.  However, there is always the difficulty of keeping such a large resource up to date, for the volume of words is massive, and the vernacular changes often.

Currency: The online edition helps to provide readers with the most up-to-date version, yet the printed edition is sparsely updated.  This is due to the overwhelming task it is to try and update such a large bank of words.

Overall Evaluation: The Webster��s Unabridged is an excellent source for obscure word definitions, especially in the United States.  With the online edition, Merriam-Webster is reaching out to a new audience through the internet.  This is an authoritative source of word definition, and highly usable. 


Dictionary 18 - World Book Dictionary - NICK

Citation: World Book Inc. (2003) World Book Dictionary. 2 vols. Chicago: World Book.

Format:  The World Book Dictionary comes in a two volume set, and is an in between step between a collegiate and an unabridged dictionary.

Scope: The WB Dictionary is a very useful tool for it does contain over 225,000 different entries, but avoids the excess of an unabridged.  There are usage studies done to select which words will be used in the dictionary.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: The World Book Dictionary stands on its own as an interesting hybrid of a complete, yet usable resource.

Authority: The definitions and words have been adapted from some of the most respected sources in lexography, and this collection has been verified and expanded on by the staff of World Book.

Accuracy: The definitions were accurate and clearly written.  Although there were some missing definitions of extremely obscures definitions, the ones that were listed were spot on.

Currency: The last publication update took place in 2003, and the next edition is due soon.  This does mean that there is a great deal of revision that can take place due to the scaled down nature of the resource.

Overall Evaluation: The world book dictionary may not be the most portable dictionary, but certainly it is a valuable item on a reference shelf.  Its two volumes have many the most essential words in the language, without the giant task of searching through an unabridged volume. 


Dictionary 19 - YourDictionary.com - NICK

Citation: (2007). Yourdictionary.com. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from Your Dictionary Web site: http://www.yourdictionary.com

Format: Online only.

Scope: YourDictionary.com is actually just a front-end for the Webster��s New World Dictionary, which was purchased to enhance the scholarly validity of the site.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: It is comparable to a scaled down version of the Webster collegiate dictionary, as it is a lower product that they sell.

Authority: Being that it is a Webster product, it is of impeccable authority, as they are the oldest American dictionary.

Accuracy: The high value of the Webster information this website provides is a tribute to its accuracy.

Currency: The dictionary is up to date, for it serves as a front-end and ad server for the Webster content.

Overall Evaluation: The great question is, why would you not go right to the source of the information, when this is just adding ads and a few fun features?  I would never recommend this dictionary, unless for some reason Webster began to charge for its online dictionary.  This provides the same information, but with more clutter. 


Dictionary 20 - OneLook Dictionaries online - NICK

Citation: (2007). Onelook Dictionary Search. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from One Look Web site: http://www.onelook.com

Format: Onelook Dictionary is an online search engine that brings together over 966 different online dictionaries to provide search results in one location.

Scope: There are so many dictionaries provided, it is difficult to imagine a word that could overlooked by even one of the large selection of dictionaries.

Comparison with others of Similar Coverage: OneLook is unique in that it does not provide definitions directly, but access to a variety of different sites that do have the definition queried.

Authority: Onelook does not have specific authority unto itself; for it depends of the validity of its other sources.

Accuracy: Without extensive legwork, it is difficult to ascertain how accurate the dictionaries provided are, for some I have never even heard of.

Currency: It does provide up to date access to other sites, but does not inform the reader of the currency of the linked dictionary.

Overall Evaluation: Onelook is an excellent resource for doing a comparative analysis of different dictionary sources, but not necessarily for just one clear definition.  This source tries to capture the range of a search engine, with the query related to definitions. 



Reference List

    Bopp, R.E. & Smith, L.C. (Eds.). (2001). Reference and information services: An introduction (3rd ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

    Cassell, K.A., & Hiremath, U. (2006). Reference and information services in the 21st century: An introduction. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

    Katz, W.A. (2002). Introduction to reference services: Basic information services (Vol. I). (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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