Source Reference

About This Product

Take a quick look at the overview video for Source Reference:

Source Reference integrates highly acclaimed reference content with instructional videos and tutorials to provide research instruction in the classroom and at the point of need. Prepare students for any kind of research or the rigors of academia by building their confidence and cultivating essential information literacy skills.


  • Intuitive interface: Source Reference‘s platform is designed to empower beginner researchers to navigate the platform and discover the information they need.
  • Exceptional reference content from the best academic publishers: Source Reference features more than 450 top-tier reference titles curated for grades 6–12, covering a wide range of subjects. 1.5 million entries cover 3 million topics related to secondary school studies such as biology, physics, mathematics, social sciences, world cultures, world history, and more.
    • Expertly curated, the collection features content from leading publishers like Dorling Kindersley, Barron’s, Lerner, and Houghton Mifflin.
    • Also ideal for the visual learner, the collection includes 1,300 videos and more than 160,000 contextual visual aids, images, photographs, and maps across all subject areas.
    • Click here (Excel) for a list of reference titles included in Source Reference.
  • Information literacy development: Tools and features within the platform cultivate essential information literacy skills while students search.
  • Versatile teaching materials: 100+ minutes of instructional content for use within courses, one-shot sessions, and more.
  • Discover more: Search results include connections to your institution’s other databases, maximizing usage of all of your library’s trusted resources.
  • Collaborative features: User-friendly technology facilitates partnerships between the library and the classroom for easy integration of information literacy into the curriculum.


  • Build information literacy skills: The dozens of high-quality videos and tutorials in Source Reference cover a wide range of topics like evaluating sources, plagiarism, and more.
    • Incorporate multimedia materials into in-class teaching, flipped-classroom instruction, or point-of-need support.
    • Engage students in active learning with self-guided information literacy skill development.
    • Save time and resources—creating the same instructional multimedia content from scratch would take up to 600 hours!
  • Federated search: Source Reference allows for the seamless integration of federated search results from your library’s licensed e-resources, leading students directly to deeper subject-focused research and maximizing usage and awareness of your entire library.
  • Summary articles: 11,000+ summary articles curated for pre-search and topic exploration provide background information and incorporate other library e-resources directly—great for background research, discovering library resources, and building keyword vocabulary!
  • Mind Map: One of Source Reference’s key features, the Mind Map is an interactive brainstorming tool for helping students visualize connections between and across topics. This feature is embeddable in course pages, LibGuides, and websites!
  • Pro/Con: Source Reference’s Pro/Con is a featured content category for helping students locate reliable reference materials on issues of real-time importance. Highly respected publishers add and update entries regularly, bringing authority and accuracy to students’ current events-related information needs.
  • Key Concepts: In Source Reference, relevant terms are displayed within search results to help users identify the focus of each article and provide guidance for additional keywords related to their topic.
  • Embeds: Source Reference allows users to embed reference content in their school’s learning management system, virtual learning environment, or other guides/websites. Any article (or Mind Map) may be embedded, including those with images, audio, or videos. This helps foster faculty collaboration while also bringing usage and awareness of the institution’s valued library e-resources.
  • Permalinks: Source Reference’s record URLs make it easy for students to return to previously viewed pages and allow users to create “custom collections on the fly.”
  • Citation management: With Source Reference, users can conveniently cite entries in MLA, Chicago, APA, and Harvard formats.
  • Google Drive integration: Libraries can authenticate their Source Reference users with Google Authenticator, while users (via Google Authenticator or through their personal Gmail accounts) can save entries to Google Docs.
  • Integration options: Source Reference full-text articles can be embedded into LibGuides or any LMS that supports iFrame, including Canvas, D2L, Moodle, and Blackboard.
  • Responsive design: Source Reference‘s platform ensures a smooth user experience on any type of device.
  • Accessible content: Audio files and dictation of text content (downloadable in MP3 format) improve accessibility and provide different avenues for students to absorb information. Text content is translated into 60+ languages, helping learners of all backgrounds access reference material.

“Can I just say again what an amazing product [Source Reference] is? A complete game changer – best digital reference resource we’ve introduced. Delighted with how it’s being used + incredible range of sources included + superb customer service!”
Alison Hewett, Head of Library Services, Kristin School, New Zealand

“Must-have database for school research.”
School Library Journal

“This database provides my students with the much-needed middle ground that sits between choosing a topic and diving into complex articles and texts about the topic. We like to call this our ‘pre-search’ database because the encyclopedia articles and mind maps give the crucial background information and context needed to support deeper inquiry. It’s an ideal source to use at the start of the research process, regardless of the assignment or grade level!”
Sarah Forfa, M.Ed, School Librarian, West Springfield High School

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please call (800) 322-8755 or email