Quick Reference

Welcome to your guide to Quick Reference resources.

The Library provides you a wide range access to books, journals, newspapers, audio-visual content, and other specialist materials for your studies.

This guide looks at factual world of quick reference in more detail...

Do you want to:
dictionary printed word

Explore subject resources

Quick Reference covers a range of different types of information resource, which all have a common purpose.

The information within a Quick Reference source will be concise and factual, with no opinion or discussion. It is designed to be consulted, rather than read through and will provide brief, fact-based answers to simple questions.

Quick reference covers a wide range of different resource types including:

  • Almanacs and yearbooks
  • Bibliographies and biographies
  • Dictionaries, thesauri & encyclopaedias
  • Directories
  • Government publications
  • Handbooks & manuals
  • Indexes & abstracts
  • Maps & atlases

It is important to use the right reference resource for your needs. If in doubt, ask your librarian!

Use quick reference sources to:

  • Carry out initial research into a subject, discover background information and context.
  • Find factual answers to questions around dates, events, biographies, technical data and definitions.
  • Research the activities, financials and personnel of companies and organisations.
  • Search for professional, legal or government policy and procedures.

Quick Reference Collections available from the Library include:

The video below demonstrates the basic search using Credo.

Don’t forget –many quick reference resources are subject-specific. Check out your subject guide for details.

Search the Library collections

For books, ebooks, journals, articles and much more...

Search Smarter

Resources to help you make the most of your searching.

Signpost with 3 signs

Library Pathway

What you need to know about the library, for your first term and beyond!

Study Hub Research Skills icon

Research & Finding Information

Step by step guide to finding and evaluating information

Referencing icon


Learn why and how to reference and cite correctly

Explore outside your box

Don't be limited to the resources recommended for your subject area - think creatively!

Listen to our librarians discuss the benefits of serendipity

chat loading...