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The Strategic Guide to Quality Information in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, and Psychology

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Core Reference Item?

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What exactly is a core reference item?

I define a core reference item as a standard in the field. That is, it is a publication (including sites on the Internet) that has a history--sometimes through many decades and many different published editions--of most often containing and delivering the specific pieces of information that individuals have needed. From a personal standpoint, all of the core reference items listed on these Web pages are publications that I have either frequently used or referred students, faculty, and administrators to over the years.

In addition, these items tend to be so well-known and heavily-used that you will almost surely find them at or through a local library--not always a public library but more certainly within the collection of a college or university library.

These lists of core reference items are not intended to be and, indeed, cannot be exhaustive. New reference publications appear frequently. I am always looking for new publications that earn the right to become one of those "must have" items; that librarians, students, teachers, and others will turn to again and again to find the information they may need.

I have also aimed to make these lists of core reference items concise. Lengthy lists of dozens or hundreds of reference works can be confusing and frustrating. Strategian provides concise lists of quality must-have publications--the publications to turn to first as you seek a needed piece of information.

Biology--Core Reference Materials
Chemistry--Core Reference Materials
Computer Science--Core Reference Materials
Energy--Core Reference Materials
General Science--Core Reference Materials
Mathematics--Core Reference Materials
Medicine--Core Reference Materials
Physics--Core Reference Materials
Psychology--Core Reference Materials
Weather and Climate--Core Reference Materials

Is there a publication that you turn to frequently that does not appear on the lists above? If so, please let me know.

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Updated 12:00 p.m. CT January 3, 2003
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