In addition to general encyclopedias such as World Book, Encyclopedia Americana, and Encyclopaedia Britannica, there are special encyclopedias that concentrate on specific subject fields. Special encyclopedias usually cover an academic discipline such as music, art, history, science, engineering, or education.
Subject encyclopaedias contain concise essays on specific topics that may be hard to find elsewhere or that screen massive quantities of publications (i.e., Shakespeare) and summarize the current thinking, and present the most useful titles.
A general encyclopaedia includes information on topics in every field of knowledge. Specialized encyclopaedias provide more detailed and technical information on specific area of knowledge such as arts, science and technology or social sciences. Specialized encyclopaedia is also known as subject encyclopaedia.
Encyclopaedias are highly recommended as a starting point for your research on a particular topic. Encyclopaedias will give you introductory information to help you broaden or narrow your topic, while also providing keywords and terms needed to conduct further research.
Encyclopaedia, also spelled encyclopaedia, reference work that contains information on all branches of knowledge or that treats a particular branch of knowledge in a comprehensive manner. For more than 2,000 years encyclopaedias have existed as summaries of extant scholarship in forms comprehensible to their readers.