The research databases below include encyclopedias for overviews and dictionaries for definitions, and can be used to get overviews of topics in science and math. Encyclopedic sources are good starting points for topics about which you know very little. Their articles provide a "big picture" of the topic, including key issues, questions, people, etc. With that knowledge, you can move on to narrow your topic and to better understand how narrow topics covered by journal articles fit into the big picture.
Described in the sections below are these research databases:
To find additional online and print encyclopedias and dictionaries, search the Library Catalog.