Unit 3: Types of Reference and Information Access Tools

1) How is reference book different from other books?
A reference book is one, which is designed by its arrangement and treatment to be consulted for definite items of information rather than to be read consecutively. For example, one looks up a dictionary only for knowing the meanings of the words and not for continuous reading. A reference book, therefore, is a book published primarily for consultation only rather than for providing specific information and continuous reading.

2) Name the two broad categories of reference and information access tools. 
Two major categories of reference and information access tools are (a) documentary and (b) non-documentary.

3) List five popular documentary sources of information. 
The most popular documentary reference sources are:
Dictionaries
Encyclopaedias
Bibliographies
Yearbooks
Handbooks

4) What kind of information is given in Dictionary?
some of the uses identified for the dictionaries are: definition, spelling, pronunciation, usage, synonyms, antonyms, abbreviations, slangs, new words and new meanings of old words.

5) Give the scope of information given in a general encyclopaedia. Give two examples of general encyclopaedias that have international coverage. 
General encyclopaedias provide comprehensive coverage of information on various topics.
The two examples of general encyclopaedias are: Collier's Encyclopedia. 24 volumes. Annual Revision. First (Published 1949-51.
Encyclopedic; Americana. 30 volumes. Annual Revision. First Published 1929-33.

6) Enumerate different types of biographical sources with examples. 
These source: take care of diverse inquiries about a person, living or dead, with regard to his date and place of birth, nationality, educational background, professional achievements, significant contributions in life, writings and works, important landmarks in life and brief sketch of personal life. Examples of biographical sources are: Who's Who in America, Chicago : Marquis, 1899- and India Who's Who.

7) What are the different types of geographical sources?
The geographical sources can be divided into four categories:
gazetteers
guidebooks
maps and atlases
Globes

8) Enumerate different types of ready reference sources. Why are they called ready reference sources?
The ready reference sources are of different types, namely, yearbooks and annuals, almanacs, directories, handbooks, manuals, guides to statistical sources. These are called ready reference sources as required information can be found from these instantly.

9) What is the major difference between a yearbook and an Almanac? 
An almanac is different from a yearbook although both are annual publications. A yearbook is an annual compendium of data and statistics of a given year and records year's activities by country, subject of specialized area whereas an Almanac usually covers retrospective information too. The difference therefore is coverage in the form of duration.

10)List the various kinds of non-documentary sources
The non-documentary sources can be classified into four categories:
Human Resource
Institutional Resource
Mass Media
Audio-visual Resource

KEY WORDS
Current Awareness : To keep abreast of current developments and advances through the currently published literature.
Database : A collection of related items of information which together make the record for a single
topic. It is mostly computer generated.
Index : The list of names, subjects, topics, etc. arranged in some order with indication of exact location.
Periodical : A publication intended to appear at intervals, regular or irregular, or an indefinite period, and usually having several features by different contributors.
Primary Document : A document that contains original, information published for the first time.
Secondary Document : A document, which presents the concepts of primary document in a condensed form or list them; in a helpful sequence.

Source: IGNOU Study Material