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Secondary Reference Sites for your Essay Research

Essay research falls into two main categories: primary research and secondary research. The distinction between them is fairly simple: Primary research is original work done with your particular study objectives in mind. Secondary research is the use of previously existing resources to meet your research goals Though much of this book focuses on primary research, it’s important to point out that a lot of time and money can be saved if you first do a bit of poking around to see what other work has already been done in your area of interest. There’s little sense in reinventing the wheel, and we highly recommend that you leverage existing sources of research information before committing to more time-consuming and expensive methods.

Secondary research has many uses, and can come in many forms. In some cases, it might be the only way to cost-effectively obtain certain types of data. We find secondary research especially useful in informing our study development process by identifying issues that impact the industry and marketplace of clients for who we are conducting primary research projects. Your on-line resource for secondary reference sources on the net from Almanacs, Electronic Encyclopedias from Britannica, Quick Facts and More.

Check out the quick tabs below to jump the your favourite section of the list.

[Almanacs] [Biographies] [Dictionaries] [Electronic Texts] [Encyclopedias] [Institutions] [Quotations] [Ready Reference - Quick Facts] [Telephone Books, Postal Codes, Email Addresses and Yellow Pages] [Weather] [Mega Reference Sites] [Online Help]


alt CIA World Fact book
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
alt Information Please Home Page, a free, authoritative, and respected reference for Internet users, provides a comprehensive encyclopedia, almanac, atlas, dictionary, and thesaurus. contains facts on all subjects including sports, entertainment, technology, education, world news, and united states government and history.
alt The Old Farmer's Almanac
Web version of this useful standard. The Old Farmer's Almanac -- weather, gardening, cooking, recipes, advice -- since 1792.


alt Nobel Prize Internet Archive
The Nobel Prize Internet Archive is fully interactive. If you have an interesting and useful Internet link about a particular Nobel Laureate, you can add your link instantly to that laureate's home page here at the Archive.


altResearch Haven's Dictionary List
Some of the best Dictionaries and Thesaurus's online.
Aims to be the "definitive guide to reference material on the Internet". Includes many features such as Roget's Thesaurus, Bartlett's Quotations, Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, Strunk's Elements of Style, and the New Hackers Dictionary, among others.
alt MSN Encarta Dictionary and Thesaurus
A dictionary, thesaurus and translation services powered by Microsoft.
alt OneLook Dictionaries
Think of this web site as a search engine for words and phrases: If you have a word for which you'd like a definition or translation, we'll quickly shuttle you to the web-based dictionaries that define or translate that word. If you don't know the right word to use, we'll help you find it. No word is too obscure: More than 5 million words in more than 1000 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook® search engine.
alt Travlang's Translating Dictionaries
Foreign Languages for Travelers teach the basics of over 80 languages, and our translating dictionaries help you look up thousands of words. We provide a worldwide hotel database, rules and regulations for international driving, detailed currency exchange rates, a wealth of links to reservations and detailed destination information, and much more.
alt WWW Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Access to Merriam-Webster thesaurus/dictionary services on the Internet.

Electronic Texts

alt Alex: A Catalog of Electronic Texts on the Internet
The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is collection of digital documents. The scope of documents in the collection include items from American literature, English literature, and Western philosophy.
alt The Bible
A searchable online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages. The Bible Gateway is a tool for reading and researching scripture online -- all in the language or translation of your choice! It provides advanced searching capabilities, which allow readers to find and compare particular passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.
alt The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia
Access to Electronic texts at the University of Virginia. Over 10,000 text publically accessible, including history, literature, philosophy, religion, history of science. Languages include Latin, Apache, Japanese, and Chinese, 164,000 related images, and oer 8.5 million Microsoft Reader and Palm Pilot ebooks. Collections in Apache, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Latvian, Russian, Spanish, and Tibetan.
alt Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts
University of Pittsburgh electronic list of Folklore and Mythology. Alphabetical access from Amleth, Prince of Denmark to Yggdrasil.
alt Internet Library of Early Journals
ILEJ, the "Internet Library of Early Journals" was a joint project by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford, conducted under the auspices of the eLib (Electronic Libraries) Programme. It aimed to digitise substantial runs of 18th and 19th century journals, and make these images available on the Internet, together with their associated bibliographic data. The core collection for the project are runs of at least 20 consecutive years of: 18th-century: Gentleman's Magazine, The Annual Register, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and 19th-century: Notes and Queries, The Builder, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. This list is compilled by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford
alt The Oxford Text Archive
The Oxford Text Archive develops, collects, catalogues and preserves electronic literary and linguistic resources for use in Higher Education, in research, teaching and learning. The Oxford Text Archive holds several thousand electronic texts and linguistic corpora, in a variety of languages. Its holdings include electronic editions of works by individual authors, standard reference works such as the Bible and mono-/bilingual dictionaries, and a range of language corpora. Texts can be searched by title, author, or full-text, and can be limited by genre, period, language, or file format.
alt Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies todayt. Texts are in Plain Vanilla ASCII and all are in the Public Domain. Selections are considered either light literature such as Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan; heavy literature such as Shakespeare or Paradise Lost; or Reference such as Roget's Thesaurus, dictionaries, etc.


altMSN Encarta
Microsoft Encarta was a digital encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation from 1993 to 2009. As of 2008, the complete English version, Encarta Premium,consisted of more than 62,000 articles, numerous photos and illustrations, music clips, videos, interactive contents, timelines, maps and atlas, and homework tools, and was available on the World Wide Web. In March 2009, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing the Encarta disc and online versions. The Encarta online dictionary at continues to be operated by Microsoft.
altBritannica Online Encyclopedia
Explore the updated online encyclopedia from Encyclopaedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and web sites.
altCountry Reports
Established in 1997 out of a love for international relations and culture. Entirely online, we offer more than 35,000 pages of content on the countries of the world. Our cultural, historical and statistical information has proven to be valuable to students, parents, teachers, and researchers alike. Country information from around the world. A resource for business, tourists, students and teachers.
alt from Electric Library has more than 100 trusted sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations
alt The Encyclopedia Mythica
>Encyclopedia Mythica is an award-winning internet encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and religion. Here you will find everything from A-gskw to Zveda Vechanyaya, with plenty in between. The mythology section is divided to six geographical regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Oceania. Each region has many clearly defined subdivisions that will ease your search. The Folklore section contains general folklore, Arthurian legends, and fascinating folktales from many lands. In addition, Encyclopedia Mythica features special interest areas to enhance and refine your research. A Bestiary, legendary heroes, an image gallery, and genealogical tables of various pantheons and prominent houses.
alt The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The purpose of the IEP is to provide detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy. The Encyclopedia is free of charge and available to all users of the Internet world-wide. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) was founded in 1995 as a non-profit organization to provide open access to detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy. At present the IEP is visited by over 320,000 persons per month.


altU101 College Search: Links to Learning
U101 is a compilation of links to college and university sites around North America. It's our goal to have the most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of North American college links on the web. U101 has rounded up links to almost 4000 college and university web sites in the United States and Canada.
alt Canadian Heritage Information Network
Information gateway to museums, galleries, and heritage in Canada and around the world. Links to Museums and Galleries, Virtual Exhibitions, National Inventories, and Professional Resources.
alt Colleges and Universities Worldwide Directory
Listings are under geographical areas
alt TeleCampus (from TeleEducation, N.B.)
TeleCampus online course database lists more than 7,000 online courses from educational institutions and private organizations in over 15 countries, with about 18% from Canada.
alt Museums: WWW Virtual Library
A useful index of museums, listed under country/continent.
alt Scholarly Societies Project
Information about scholarly societies across the world since 1994.


alt Research Haven's Quotations List
Our own great list of Quotation websites and serach engines.
alt Bartlette's Familiar Quotations
This tenth edition of 1919 contains over 11,000 searchable quotations and was the first new edition of John Bartlett’s corpus to be published after his death in 1905—the new editor, however, choosing more to supplement than revise the work of the first name in quotations. Provided by - Bartleby publishes thousands of free online classics of reference, literature and nonfiction.
alt The Quotations Page
A catalog of Quotation resources on the Internet, to search or browse. The Quotations page is considered the oldest quotation site on the Web, established 1994. We have over 26,000 quotations online from over 3,100 authors, and more are added daily. Don't forget to stop by our Forums for answers to your questions about quotations.

Ready Reference - Quick Facts

alt Acronyms and abbreviations list
An index of over 28 million acronyms and their extensions. The The Internet Acronym Server has been providing acronynm definitions since 1998.
alt Calculators On-line Center
Over 23,000 calculator sand spreadsheets from Martindale's The Reference Desk for every calculation and conversion needed.
alt Calendar Zone
A variety of celestial, cultural, religious, and historical calendars. Comprehensive categorized calendar catalog currently containing countless correlating connections & calzone recipes.
alt Currency Exchange Rates
OANDA's currency calculator tools use OANDA Rates®, the touchstone foreign exchange rates compiled from leading market data contributors. Our rates are trusted and used by major corporations, tax authorities, auditing firms, and individuals around the world.

Telephone Books, Postal Codes, Email Addresses and Yellow Pages

alt Canada411
Find people or businesses quickly with Canada’s telephone directory, Canada411. Includes reverse lookup.
alt Canada - Postal Code Lookup
Search for Canadian Postal Codes. This search engine is provided by Canada Post.
alt Canada Yellow Pages connects you to Canada's businesses, products and services, providing all the information from the business directory: addresses and telephone numbers + videos, photos, email and web sitess.
alt 555-1212 has been providing its customers the most accurate name, address, and telephone number data since 1995. Offering free and paid services: Web Lookup, List Cleaning, XML Business Service, New Mover: New Homeowner Lists in Your Area, Skip Tracing: Maximize Collection Efforts, and Lists and Leads: Build a Prospect List
alt AT&T Directory Assistance
Online directory to find phone numbers, addresses, maps and directions for businesses and people in the U.S


alt Environmenta Canada Weather Office
Environment Canada's newest weather site provides weather warnings, current conditions, 5 day forecasts, and satellite images for cities in Canada and around the world.

Mega Reference Sites

alt Cyberstacks (sm)
CyberStacksis a centralized, integrated, and unified collection of significant Internet resources categorized using the Library of Congress classification scheme. A brief summary is provided for each resource.
alt The Internet Public Library
ipl2: Information You Can Trust features a searchable, subject-categorized directory of authoritative websites; links to online texts, newspapers, and magazines; and the Ask an ipl2 Librarian online reference service.
alt My Virtual Reference Desk
Refdesk is a free and family friendly web site that indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current web-based reference resources. (courtesy B. Drudge)
alt WWW Virtual Reference Library
The VRL is a subject-based, reliable, Internet information source with special focus on Canadian and Ontario information. The Virtual Reference Library works in partnership with library systems across Ontario, Canada to provide access to content and services specifically targeted to Ontarians of all ages, ethnic origin and from all parts of the province.  The contributions of the public libraries of Hamilton, Kitchener, Milton, Ottawa, Timmins and Windsor are acknowledged with thanks.

Online Help

alt Ask an Expert
Directory of links to experts in many fields, organized by categories.
alt Ask Jeeves (formerly Ask Jeeves, Inc.) was founded in 1996. You can ask your search questions using natural language in this search site. Ask is a ibrant community that allows users to post and answer questions from around the world. Our community currently contains almost 400 million pairs of questions and answers, with new questions added weekly.


Last Updated January 2011.