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Reference materials - such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks, etc - can provide a good overview of a subject and lead you to further related resources, and are a great place to start your research.
Search Dictionaries and Encyclopedias for background information
A good way to get started on a topic is to look up some general information. This can help you narrow your topic, or generally inform you on the subject. This above search box will search the Library's dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference-type books. Note that the results page will list entries in the reference sources rather than the reference sources themselves.
In the UofL Library REFERENCE Collection
Encyclopedia of agriculture and food systems by This 3-volume reference work comprehensively covers the important areas of agriculture and food science, covering important methods, practices and ideas in this growing discipline.
Call Number: online
Publication Date: 2015
Encyclopedia of Soil Science (3rd ed) by The Encyclopedia of Soil Science provides a comprehensive, alphabetical treatment of basic soil science in a single volume. It constitutes a wide ranging and authorative collection of some 160 academic articles covering the salient aspects of soil physics, chemistry, biology, fertility, technology, genesis, morphology, classification and geomorphology. With increased usage of soil for world food production, building materials, and waste repositories, demand has grown for a better global understanding of soil and its processes. longer articles by leading authorities from around the world are supplemented by some 430 definitions of common terms in soil sciences.
Call Number: online
Publication Date: 2016
Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics (2nd ed) by This Encyclopedia offers a definitive source on issues pertaining to the full range of topics in the important new area of food and agricultural ethics. It includes summaries of historical approaches, current scholarship, social movements, and new trends from the standpoint of the ethical notions that have shaped them. It combines detailed analyses of specific topics such as the role of antibiotics in animal production, the Green Revolution, and alternative methods of organic farming, with longer entries that summarize general areas of scholarship and explore ways that they are related. Renewed debate, discussion and inquiry into food and agricultural topics have become a hallmark of the turn toward more sustainable policies and lifestyles in the 21st century. Attention has turned to the goals and ethical rationale behind production, distribution and consumption of food, as well as to non-food uses of cultivated biomass and the products of animal husbandry. These wide-ranging debates encompass questions in human nutrition, animal rights and the environmental impacts of aquaculture and agricultural production. Each of these and related topics is both technically complex and involves an - often implicit - ethical dimension. Other topics include methods for integrating ethics into scientific and technical research programs or development projects, the role of intensive agriculture and biotechnology in addressing persistent world hunger and the role of crops, forests and engineered organisms in making a transition to renewable, carbon-neutral sources of energy. The Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics proves an indispensible reference point for future research and writing on topics in agriculture and food ethics for decades to come.
Call Number: online
Publication Date: 2019
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