Reference materials can be good resources for subject overviews and a means to collect useful keywords. The bibliographies frequently include key texts and thinkers that are associated with a specific subject. To discover more reference materials held in the Stanford Libraries, search Reference Universe, Searchworks, consult with a librarian, or browse the libraries' reference collections.
Tips for using reference sources:
1. Look at the cross-references that many entries provide. These can be helpful in pointing you toward a related or more accurate idea/term.
2. One of the most important elements of any good reference source entry is its bibliography. Take note of the books or articles that the entry's author deems elementary to understanding the individual or idea.
Searchworks and many other databases you will use allow you to get a simple citation by using a "CiteThis" feature or gather more information by using a Send to/Export feature to send records to bibliographic management tools such as Refworks or EndNote. You can also use resources such as Zotero or Mendeley to gather information including citations. For more on these, see the guide to Bibliography Management.