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

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General Science--Core Reference Materials

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What exactly is a core reference item?

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The Addison-Wesley Science Handbook
Gordon J. Coleman and David Dewar
New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers Limited, 1997
280+ pages; a moderately-descriptive table of contents; no index.
Covers Science constants, units and conversions, scientific prefixes and suffixes, biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and mathematics. The definitions within the various subject areas are very basic; they are written using language that requires no prior knowledge of a subject area. The book includes all the things you're expected to know but can't always memorize (from the Preface). The stated audience of the Handbook is individuals at the high school, college and university levels and people in relevant jobs.

Current Biography Yearbook and Current Biography (monthly) [Grinnell]--Yearbook and [Grinnell]--Monthly
New York: H.W. Wilson
Monthly issues cumulated by an annual Yearbook (began publication in 1940).
Interesting 3-4 page biographical sketches of newsmakers from around the world--includes people from all professions.

Dictionary of Scientific Biography [Grinnell]
Charles Coulston Gillispie, Editor-in-Chief; Frederic L. Holmes, Editor-in-Chief (volumes 17-18)
New York: Scribner, 1970-1990
18 volumes--14 volumes in the main set, 2 supplements in 3 volumes, and an index (volume 16).
For concise, yet indepth biographical information about the lives of scientists--now deceased--who have lived throughout history, this is the first source to check. While the alphabetically-arranged entries vary in length, they are usually at least a few pages long and contain excellent bibliographies listing a scientist's most prominent publications as well as the best of the works about him or her. While this resource is excellent for individuals who may have lived up to 10-15 years ago, it contains little information about scientists who have died more recently.

Encyclopedia of Associations and Encyclopedia of Associations. International Organizations [Grinnell]
Detroit: Gale
Published annually; each title is composed of 3 volumes (1 volume contains a keyword index to the other 2 volumes); the set covering organizations in North America began publication in 1961; the set covering organizations outside North America began publication in 1989.
The source to check for up-to-date information (address, phone and fax numbers, activities, publications, Web sites, individuals to contact, etc.) about thousands of organizations in and outside of North America.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms [Grinnell]
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002
6th edition; 1 volume; 2380 pages; many appendices including a section of brief biographies of prominent scientists; thousands of illustrations and drawings.
The Dictionary contains 110,000+ terms and 125,000 definitions covering over 100 areas of the Sciences. Each entry includes a pronunciation guide. Probably the most comprehensive dictionary of its kind.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology [Grinnell]
Elizabeth Geller, et al., editors
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002
9th edition (the 1st edition was published in 1960); 20 volumes (including an index volume); many illustrations; useful bibliographies; topical and analytical indexes.
As mentioned elsewhere in these Web pages, this general science and engineering-related encyclopedia is the best for understandable and concise (yet, still fairly indepth) coverage of a myriad of scientific topics from Acoustics and Aeronautical Engineering to Veterinary Medicine and Virology and much more. It contains over 7,000 articles written by more than 5,000 distinguished contributors. Many of the articles contain a short bibliography for further reading. For defining a topic as part of the Information Strategy or looking for a specific piece of information, this encyclopedia is a great place to start. Each edition of the Encyclopedia is updated on an annual basis by the McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. The Encyclopedia is also available online as part of the commercial database AccessScience.

How to find the above encyclopedias and other publications? See Step 3: Locate of the Information Strategy for details.

Questions? Please let me know.


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Updated 4:00 p.m. CT October 5, 2004
Kevin Engel (kevin@strategian.com)
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