Academic encyclopedias, dictionaries and online reference tools can be an excellent starting point when researching your topic. They can provide an overview of your topic, definitions, as well as appropriate scientific names and terminology. Unlike Wikipedia, because academic dictionaries and encyclopedias are written by scholarly experts, you can use them in your assignments. For help locating dictionaries and encyclopedias see the Search Smart links on the right. Below are just some of the scientific encyclopedias and dictionaries available in the Library.