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This is a general research guide for the undergraduate and graduate programs (masters and doctoral) in the OSU School of Education. You'll find suggestions for locating books, articles, topical overviews, research tools, and factual information.

Reference Sources

These reference books provide a general overview of topics in education.


Dictionaries & Thesauri

Dictionaries in specialized areas give definitions of terms and phrases used within the field. Thesauri can provide alternative terms, narrower and broader terms, as well as the controlled subject terms used within the field. These can be very useful in crafting the language of your search before you start using the indexes & databases. You can search "education and dictionaries" as subject keywords in 1Search to find similar items. Some examples in the Valley Library include:

  • Dictionary of multicultural education. Ref LC1099.D53 1997.
  • A glossary of special education. Ref LC3986.G7 G551 1988
  • Greenwood dictionary of education. Ref LB15.G68 2003.
  • The Language of Learning: A Guide to Education Terms. Ref LB15 .M32 1997
    A classic in the field of education; 33,000 entries and cross-references, covering technical and professional terms and concepts from the whole range of education and some related fields.
  • Learning theories A to Z. Ref LB15.L4695 2002.


These can range from a single volume to many volumes. They contain short to lengthy articles about the topics within the field or subfield. They often provide bibliographies on the topic for further reading. A suggested search in 1Search is "education* and encyclopedia" as title keywords. Some examples include:

  • Concise encyclopedia of special education. Ref LC4007.E53 2002
  • Deskbook encyclopedia of American school law. Ref KF4114.D46 2002
  • Encyclopedia of cognitive science. 4 vols. Ref BF311.E53 2003
    An excellent overview of this broad field, defining it as "the scientific study of minds and brains, be they real, artificial, human or animal."
  • Encyclopedia of early childhood education. Ref LB1139.25 .E53 1992
    Brings together many perspectives on all aspects of early childhood education, the issues of child advocacy, and reflections on the changes affecting the development of the field. Includes references.
  • Encyclopedia of Education. electronic resource
    Lengthy, comprehensive essays, of the institutions, people, processes, roles, and philosophies inherent in teaching practices. The work duly recognizes the increased importance of technology and economic forces, especially globalization. Be sure to browse and select the appropriate publication title, Encyclopedia of Education, when you get to the search screen.
  • Encyclopedia of educational research. 4 vols. Ref LB15 .E48 1992
    Summarizes relevant research on education theory and practice. This edition contains 257 signed articles with extensive indexes to acronyms, proper names, and specific topics. There is a special appendix titled "Doing Library Research in Education". Older editions provide retrospective coverage of the research literature.
  • The Encyclopedia of higher education. 4 vols. Ref LB15 .E49 1992
    More than 300 well-written, informative articles on current international knowledge about higher education. Comprehensive author & subject indexes provided in the 4th volume.
  • Encyclopedia of mathematics education. Ref QA11.E665 2001
  • World education encyclopedia: A survey of educational systems worldwide. 2nd ed. 3 vols. Ref LB15.W87 2002.

Handbooks & Directories

Typically handbooks provide an overview and suggest strategies and resources for doing research or finding information in the field. Directories usually provide lists of contact information. You can search "education and handbooks" or "education and directories" as subject keywords in 1Search to find these. Some examples include:

  • American community colleges: a guide. Ref L901.A53 1995
  • Cabell's directory of publishing opportunities in educational curriculum and methods. Ref Z286.E3 C332
  • Directory of distance learning opportunities: K-12. Ref LC5805.D515 2003
  • Early childhood curriculum resource handbook: a practical guide for teaching early childhood (pre-K-3). LB1139.4 .E175 1993
  • Education for action: undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on social change. Ref H62 .E328 2001
  • Educator's desk reference: a sourcebook of educational information and research. Ref LB1028.27.U6 F74 2002
  • Educators resource directory. L901 .E443
    Quick guide to education-related contacts including associations, publishers of educational materials and media, grants and financial aid opportunities, conferences and trade shows. An electronic version is available through the catalog although not as usable as the print version.
  • A guide to journals in psychology and education. BF76.8.L65 1990
  • Handbook of educational psychology. LB1051 .H2354 1996
  • Handbook of gifted education. LC3993.9 .H35 1997
  • Handbook of research on the education of young children. LB1119 .H25 1993
  • Handbook of research on multicultural education. LC1099.3 .H35 1995
  • The handbook of school psychology. LB1051 .H2356 1999
  • Handbook of the sociology of education. LC191 .H254 2000
  • Higher education service-learning sourcebook. Ref LC220.5 .C73 2002
  • International handbook of mathematics education. Ref QA11.I67 2 pts. 1996
  • Provides enrollment figures by grade, racial & ethnic populations, student-teacher ratio, etc for each U.S. school or district.
  • Patterson's American education. L901 .P3
    A guide to secondary and post-secondary schools (including private religious schools) in the U.S. and territories. Latest edition in Reference.
  • Research-doctorate programs in the United States : continuity and change. Ref Q180 .N334 1995.
    Reports the results of an extensive study of 3,634 programs at 274 institutions in 41 disciplines within subject areas. This book updates and expands upon the widely used An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States, published in 1982
  • Teacher education programs in the United States: a guide . LB1715.T424 2004
  • The teacher educator's handbook : building a knowledge base for the preparation of teachers. LB1737.5.U5 T43 1996

Biographical Information

  • Biographical dictionary of American educators. 3 vols. (1978) Ref LA2311 .B54
    Biographical data on 1,665 U.S. educators from colonial times to 1976 (had to have retired or died by 1975 to be included). Efforts have been made to include women and minority educators. Useful appendices include important dates in U.S. education
  • Directory of American scholars. 5 vols. (1999) Ref LA2311 .C15
    With a focus on scholarship, this set profiles thousands ofU.S. & Canadian scholars who were active in teaching, research & publishing
  • The National faculty directory. 3 vols. (2004) L901 .N34
    Provides an alphabetical list of more than 615,000 members of teaching faculty at about 3,600 U.S. colleges & universities and about 240 Canadian institutions using English-language instructional materials. Latest edition in Reference.
  • Who's who in American education. (1997) LA2311 .W47
    Includes basic biographical data as well as writings and creative works, awards & fellowships, professional and association memberships, and addresses. Indexes by specialty. Latest edition in reference.

Yearbooks and Literature Reviews

These works typically review the research literature and topical developments for a year's time. These can be a good starting point for finding a research topic. Some examples include:

  • Review of research in education. LB1028 .R43 Covers 1990-1999
    Attempts to synthesize current research on selected topics. Its main purpose is to help improve theoretical work in education by examining what has been done and what still needs to be done. Articles on learning and instruction predominate.
  • Review of educational research. L11 .R4 Covers 1931-present. Journal devoted to critical state-of-the-art essays; each issue contains 4-5 articles, some reporting original research but most presenting analyses of current educational research literature. Broad scope.
  • Educational media and technology yearbook. LB1028.3 .E37 Covers 1985-2001
    Covers previous year's trends and issues in the field of educational media and technology. Also serves as reporter for the seven major professional associations in N. America in the field. Reference section lists more than 200 professional organizations and associations in N. America and graduate programs in educational computing. Latest edition in Refence. 2000 edition available online.
  • The Yearbook of education law. LB2514 .Y4 Covers 1988-2006
    Provides bias-free summaries of state appellate court cases and federal trial and appellate court cases affecting the operation, management, and governance of elementary and secondary schools as well as post-secondary institutions. A subject index and table of cases end each volume.


  • Digest of education statistics. L112 .A45 (annual)
    Contains information on a variety of subjects within the field of education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges, enrollments, teachers, graduates, educational attainment, finances, Federal funds for education, libraries, international education, and research and development. The most current edition is available online: Digest of Education Statistics.
  • The atlas of American higher education. G1201.E68 F6 1993 (maps reference area)
    Unlike the traditional portrayal of data in the form of statistics, tables, and charts this visual approach provides the reader with a clear, concise understanding of higher education in this country and furnishes an overview of current trends. Clearly showing the influence of the fifty separate and distinct systems that make up American higher education, the Atlas presents dozens of maps on such topics as enrollment; students and faculty; cultural diversity; specialized institutions; two-year colleges; outcomes of higher education; student costs and student aid; and financing of higher education, as well as general background and summary chapters. It includes both public and private, two- and four-year institutions.