Encyclopedias, Yearbooks, Almanacs, Handbooks Etc

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INTRODUCTION

 

Yearbooks, Encyclopedias and Handbooks are important source of social science information and are brought out by prestigious learned and scholarly societies as well as by commercial publishers. These sources provide complete background of a subject and also current state of research. Some of the important sources are described below.

 

3. ANNUALS and YEARBOOKS

 

A yearbook, also known as an annual, is a type of a publication brought out annually to record, highlight, and commemorate the past year’s development. The term here basically refers to a book of thoughts, ideas, knowledge, statistics or facts..A year book is an important source of information in a particular area. In such publications, the entires are generally alphabetical so that user may read the desired portion easily. In some yearbooks entries are also recorded in chronological order.

 

Some important yearbooks in the area of social sciences are as under:

 

The Annual Register: A record of World Events (Bethesda, Midland: Keesing’s Worldwide) is a very old annual published since 1758. The first editor was Edmond Burke. It will remain an authoritative chronicle of events from every country of the world. Apart from country specific coverage of significant events, it also provides global perspective on religion, the sciences, law, the arts and sports. In addition, international organizations, obituaries of important people and key documents are included.

 

Whitakers’ Almanack (London: The stationery Office) was initially published in the year 1868 by Joseph Whitaker. The annual publication provides detailed converge of the United Kingdom on different topics like parliament, religion, education, social welfare, transport, the environment, lotteries and gaming, taxation the media and organization. However, data on rest of the countries of the world are brief and sketchy. The annual also provides information on European Parliament, European Union, a brief A-Z compendium of facts (and maps) about the countries of the world and a profile of world events from the past year. The Almanack also includes a bibliography of annual reference books.

 

Europa World Year Book 2011-London: Routledge, 2011 2v. Contents: Vol 1 Pt.1 (International Organisations), Pt.2. (Afghanistan-Jordan ), V.2 (Kazakhastan-Zimbabve)

 

First published in 1926, the Europa World Year Book is renowned as one of the world’s leading reference works, covering political and economic information in more than 250 countries and territories, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The Europa Regional Surveys of the World offer in-depth, expert analysis at regional, sub-regional and country. (http://www.europaworld.com/pub/)

 

i. India 2012:A Reference Annual. 56th ed. /Compiled and edited by Research Reference and Training Division-New Delhi: Publication Division, 2012.

India 2012 is an updated and comprehensive edition of the Reference Annual edited, published and marketed by the Publications Division. The Research, Reference and Training Division (RR&TD) of the Ministry collects the base material for the Year Books. The material is collected from Central Ministries/Departments, State governments and Union Territories, PSUs and  autonomous  bodies.

 

The reference annual gives a panoramic view of country’s progress in the fields of rural and urban development, industry & infrastructure, science & technology, art & culture, economy, health, defense, education & mass communication. It incorporates sections on general knowledge, current affairs, sports, events of the past year and latest ones too.

 

It has been chronicling India’s march to prosperity and strength over this period. The main features covered in this edition of the year book, are Census 2011 which is the 15th Census of India since 1872, village electrification, MNREGA, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, National Rural Health Mission, empowerment of women etc. It is a useful handbook for students, civil services aspirants, research scholars, academicians, authors, journalists and above all the general public. (http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=80551)

 

ii. Statesman Yearbook, 2013 : The Politics, Cultures and Economies of the World 2013/edited by Barry Turner-Hampshire:Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

 

Now in its 149th edition, The Statesman’s Yearbook continues to be the reference work of choice for accurate and reliable information on every country in the world. Covering political, economic, social      and cultural aspects,      the Yearbook is also available online for subscribing institutions: (www.statesmansyearbook.com), (http://us.macmillan.com/thestatesmansyearbook2013/BarryTurner)

 

iii. World of Learning 2013-63rd ed. –London: Europa, 2012.2v.

 

A comprehensive guide to 33,000 academic institutions and 250,000 staff and officials across the whole spectrum of higher education, research and learning. No other source provides such comprehensive international coverage.

 

Now in its 63rd edition, The Europa World of Learning is one of the world’s leading reference works. Updated to the highest editorial standards, entries are sourced directly from the organizations to ensure accurate and reliable information. The accreditation status of every university and college is verified before its entry is approved.

 

Every type of academic institution is covered, including over:

 

7,800 universities and colleges

5,800 research institutes

3,400 museums and art galleries

5,000 learned societies

3,600 libraries and archives

850 regulatory and representative bodies

 

Separate chapters for countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe each feature an introductory survey of the country’s higher education system. A separate section covers international organizations concerned with higher education and scholarship.

 

New essays feature each year on themes around international and comparative higher education. Subscribers may download these online at www.worldoflearning.com alongside an archive of essays from past editions. (http://www.worldoflearning.com)

 

iv.Yearbook of International Organisations: Guide to Global Civil Society Network, edited by Union of International Associations-

 

Unchallenged in this field of reference since 1910, the Yearbook of International Organizations provides the most extensive coverage of non-profit international organizations available today. Directly reflecting a dynamic international arena, it contains entries on 65969 civil society organizations in 300 countries and territories, in every field of human endeavour.

 

The Yearbook profiles international  non-governmental(INGOs)and inter-governmental organizations (IGOs). There are all types of organization, from formal structures to informal networks, from professional bodies to recreational clubs – regardless of ideology. However, it does not include for-profit enterprises. The compilation of the Yearbook by the Union of International Associations has received the full approval and support of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

 

All work for the Yearbook is part of UIA’s ongoing research into international organizations and civil society.(http://www.uia.be/yearbook)

 

4. ENCYCLOPEDIAS

 

An encyclopaedia is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as the “circle of learning” and less poetically as “a literary work containing extensive information on all branches of knowledge encyclopaedia is a source which is used by most of us to get authoritative used to our everyday questions. Even today it has a dominating presence in every library as well as in many homes. Print encyclopaedia are still issued although sales of this format Britannica has decided to discontinue its print version. Most of the encyclopaedias follow the basic layout i.e. with alphabetically arranged entries supplemented by an index. The articles or entries are normally written by experts.

 

They are sometimes followed by a bibliography major encyclopaedias have all gone digital and they are now available over the web. In addition to important traditional general encyclopaedias i.e. Britannica, Americana, World Book, Compton etc. certain other subject based titles have also been published.

 

These are also fully digital encyclopaedias e.q. Microsoft’s Encarta and recently launched Wikipedia. One can say that digital versions of encyclopaedias have a number of advantages. They are searchable by keyword.

 

They also provide link to related topics of interest. Also, they can be kept updated with latest information and multimedia files are normally available with them to illustrate concepts.

 

Whether in print or in electronic version the encyclopaedia remain a valuable starting point for research on a number of topics. It is a source where one can gain a basic understanding of the subject and also learn where to look for more information.

 

4.1. Types of Encyclopedias

 

There are different types of encyclopedias that can be used when searching for information  depending  upon the subject matter, accessibility, and the amount of information that they provide. Users may use any of these or all when researching a particular topic.

 

4.1.1. General Encyclopedia

 

A general encyclopedia provides information on a wide range of subjects. The write upsare brief and do not include in-depth information on the subject. A general encyclopedia contains information that is factual and written by a variety of experts .These are valuable research tool when looking for background information on a subject or when trying to locate a specific fact, date, or concept. Encyclopedia Britannica is one of the best known general encyclopedia.

 

4.1.2. Subject Encyclopedia

 

Subject encyclopedias contain information on a particular subject of study by subject experts. The information is scholarly and detailed serving as complete note. The entries are in-depth and provide much more information than found in a general encyclopedia and are supported by references. Subject encyclopedias are important reference tool for individuals that need an overview of information on specialized topics and are backed up by references and bibliographies. Subject encyclopedias are available on broad range of subjects like psychology, education, medicine, technology and others.

 

4.1.3. Online Encyclopedia

 

With the emergence of commercially available online databases a vast majority of encyclopedias are now available online. There are several online reference sites that provide access to full articles from both general and subject encyclopedias. Some of the most popular general encyclopedias including Columbia, World Book, and Britannica can be accessed online. Several commercial database vendors like credo reference provide access to several important encyclopedias.

 

Also, community or user-contributed encyclopedias are coming up online. These are largely free and allow anyone from around the globe to contribute and edit information on different topics and subjects. However in some cases information is not authenticated and users need to keep in mind that the information found on these sites is not very much reliable and accordingly should not be used for research purposes. Wikipedia is one of the best examples of such encyclopedia.

 

Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org) is an on-line encyclopedia set up by Jimmy Wales in 2001 as a free web-based encyclopedia that is collaboratively written and open to editing by anyone with an Internet connection. It is a favourite source of general information for many web-surfers; providing up-to-date information on a tremendous range of topics. Wikipedia is available in 10 major languages; it is extensively hyperlinked, easily searchable and browsable and articles from the website can be retrieved through major search engines such as Google or Yahoo. One can say that Wikipedia does provide a useful starting point for information on some topics with no costs.

 

4.2 Some Important Encyclopedias

 

The Encyclopædia Britannica published by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.is one of the most important and widely regarded general knowledge English-language encyclopedia. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors, including 110 Nobel Prize winners and five American presidents. It is regarded as one of the most scholarly encyclopediasof English language.

 

The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopedia still being produced. It was first published between 1768 and 1771 in Scotland as three volumes. The 15th edition has a three-part structure: a 10-volume Micropædia of short articles (generally fewer than 750 words), a 19-volume Macropædia of long articles (two to 310 pages) and a single Propædia volume to give a hierarchical outline of knowledge and two volume index. The Micropaedia is meant for quick fact-checking and as a guide to the Macropaedia; readers are advised to study the Propaedia outline to understand a subject’s context and to find more detailed articles. In March 2012 on account of decreasing sales, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. stopped its printing and is now bringing out online version only, Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Its final print edition was in 2010, a 32-volume set.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica)

 

The Encyclopedia Americana

 

It was first published in 1829–33, with subsequent editions in 1911 (20 volumes) and 1918–20 (30 volumes), and continuously revised thereafter,Americana is international in scope and detailed coverage of American and Canadian geography and history. It is also strong in biography and scientific and technical subjects. All major articles are signed, many by scholars preeminent in their fields.

 

Because of its volume-by-volume revision, some parts of the set are less current than others. The last complete revision and total resetting occurred in 1918–20 becoming the basis for its successors. Encyclopedia is accompanied by an alphabetical index (volume 30) which is kept up to date with each printing, however, and serves as an instructional as well as an updating device.

 

Other organizational features include tables of contents for lengthy articles and boxes that highlight specific data. It include numerous glossaries; separate articles evaluating particularly important literary, artistic, and musical compositions; and separate articles summarizing world, and particularly Western, history and culture for each century. (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/186656/The-Encyclopedia-Americana)

 

4.3 Social Science Encyclopedias

 

During the 20th Century two major social science encyclopedias have been published. They are i) Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 15 V., Edited by RA Seligman and Alvin Johnson (London and New York, Maemillan, 1930-35). And iii) International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 17 V. Edited by David L Sills (New York, the Macmillan Co & the Free Press; London, Collier Macmillan, 1968). The second one also published a supplementary biographical volumes published in 1979 and also a dictionary of quotations in 1991. Both these encyclopedias present insightful overviews of the state of knowledge of their respective generations. However, due to new developments in the field of social sciences, their value has now become historical. The editor David Sills has written in his introduction : “Because an encyclopedia reflects a generations contributions to and perspectives on knowledge, it must be revised, updated or supplemented if it is to maintain its intellectual credibility.

 

The Social Science Encyclopeida -2nd Ed, edited by Adam Kuper and Jessica Kuper (London and New York, Routledge, 1946) is a revised version of the first edition published in 1985. The new edition has taken into account the rapidly changing and fluid state of contemporary social science. The single volume encyclopedia contains around 600 concise entries (which also include contains references and suggestions for further reading) written by an international panel of contributors. The volume covers all the major disciplines of the social sciences and also deals with the new trends such as development of environmental economics, cultural geography and psychological anthropology. The volume also contains certain amount of debates and controversies in the entries that make the social sciences stimulating.

 

The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential 4th ed, 3V Edited by the Union of International Associations (Munich, K.G Saur Verlag, 1944-45). The contents of the three volumes are i) World Problems ii) Human Potential – Transformations and values iii) Actions, Strategies and Solutions. The publishers have also made the volumes available in a single CD-ROM format which enhances the speed which the 3000+pages of text can be searched. This encyclopediaendeavours to focus on wrold’s problems. It is a resource that could be value to a broad spectrum of social scientists.

 

Encyclopedia of Social History 10V. Edited by Pter N. Stearns (New York, Garland, 1994) is of interest to all social scientists. The alphabetically arranged entries provide brief overviews of certain important topics like the family, industrialization , multi culturalism and nationalism. See also references are also given in addition to a name/subject index.

 

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy 10V. Edited by Edward Craig (Lond, Routledge, 1998) is international, multi-cultural and inter-disciplinary in scope. It will be of assistance to social scientists seeking information on the philosophies of Western and non-western culture.

 

In the beginning of the 21st Century, a new encyclopedia has been published i.e. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, ed. By Neil J. Smelser and paul B. batter, (Elsevier, 2001). The purpose of this project was to see that there is ‘quality control’ of knowledge in the field and also to document new areas of social sciences new modes of publication such as the Internet with its tremendous increase in the quantity of publicly available information justifies the need for better control of quality of knowledge produced. The primary strategy for achieving good quality in an encyclopedia is a peer-based selection of experts as authors and a peer-review system for submission. The following reasons were cited as the basis of the new intellectual endeavour.

  • Remarkable growth and specialization of knowledge since the 1960s.
  • Rapid development in the inter-diciplinary subjects.
  • Expansion of interest in policy and application.
  • Internationalization of research as a result of globalization.
  • Impact of computer and information revolution on theory and practice.
  • Growing relation between i) the social and behavioral science; and ii) biological or life siences for the purpose of study and research.

 

According to the established practice, the encyclopedia listed its entries in alphabetical order. A large number of biographical entries have been included on the basis of significant contributions made by the persons in their respective subject fields. In total, there are 26 volumes. The list of articles and list of subject experts/social scientists whose biography have been included are given in volume. 1. Alphabetical entries to topics/subjects related to social sciences are in volume 2 to 23. Other details such as list of contributors, names index, classified list of entries and subject index have been provided in volume 25 and volume 26. The contents include 4000 signed articles, 90,000 bibliographic references and 150 biographical entries making it the largest social science reference work ever published.

 

For additional information on the scope, quality and range of encyclopedias available on all the fields, one can consult Subject Encyclopedias: user Guide, Review Citations and Keyword Index, compiled by Allan N. Mirwis (Phoenix, A2; the oryx Press, 1999) This provides quality rating for each encyclopedia.

 

There are several other social science encyclopedias which provide information to library users. Some of these are briefly described as under:

 

i. Collier’s Encyclopedia with Bibliography and Index. Ed. By William D.Halsey and Bernard

ii. Encyclopedia of World Cultures Ed. By Terence E.Hays.Boston, G.K. Hall, 1991. 10 v

iii. Encyclopaedia of Bioethics. 3rd ed. Ed. By Stephen G.Port.NewYork,Macmillan Reference, 2004

iv. International Encyclopedia of Business Management. 2nd ed. Ed. By Malcolm Warner. London. Thomson Learning 2002.8v.

v. International Encyclopedia of Economics Ed. By Frank N. Magil.London, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, 2v.

 

There are several ‘guide to literature’ and handbooks which provide information about various reference sources on social sciences. The world Social Science Report, 1999 (Paris, UNESCO, Publishing/David Makinson is one of the sries of reports pensive review of the role of the social sciences on a global scale.

 

Other important publications which contains bibliographic and other details about various types of reference sources in the field include i) Guide to the Social Sciences. Edited by Jonathan Michie. (London Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001) ii) Wlaford’s Guide to Reference Material. Volmue 2 Social and Historical Sciences, Philosophy and Religion 8th ed. Edited by Alan Day and Michal Walsh (London, Library Association, 2000) iii) Social Sciences Reference Sources: A practical Gude. 3rd ed. Edited by Tze-Chung Li(Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000) iv) The Social Sciences : A cross Disciplinary Gude to Selected soruces edited by Nancy L Herron (Engle wood co: Libraria Unlimited 1989). Iv) Sources of Information in the Social Scinces: A Guide to the Literature by William H Webb and other (Chicago IL, American Library Association 1986).

 

In addition to above, the following Biographical Dictionaries, Dictionaries, Directories and Geographical References also serve as important social science reference sources for libraries by providing up-to-date information.

 

1. The International Who is Who 2001. 64th ed. London, Europa, 2001.

2. Who is Who: Fourteenth LokSabha. New Delhi, LokSabha Secretariat, 2005.

3. India’s Who is Who. 28th ed. 2004. New Delhi, INFA, 2004.

4. Chambers World Gazetteer: An A-Z of Geographical Information. 5th ed. Ed. By David Munro. Cambridge, Chambers, 1988.

5. The Encyclopedic District Gazetteers of India. Ed. By S.C. Bhatt, New Delhi, Gyan, 1997.

6. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. London, Oxford University Press, 1968.

7. A Comprehensive English-Hindi Dictionary of Governmental Educational Words and Phrases by RahuVira and Lokesh Chandra. New Delhi, International Academy of Indian Culture, 1976.

8.  Annotated Index to Indian Social Science Journals, 2005+

9. Bibliographic Databank 2002+

10. Conference Alert 2005+

11. Directory of Social Science Research and Training Institute in India, 2005.

12. ICSSR Research Project Reports

13. ICCSR: INSPEL (Indian Social Science Periodical Literature) upto 1970.

14. ICCSR: Bibliography on India in 2000. A.D. (with abstracts) New Delhi, 1991.

15. ICCSR: Index to Indian Economic Journals.

16. ICCSR: Indian Education Index 1947-1978. New Delhi, 1980.

17. Directory of Social Science Libraries and Information Centers in India. New Delhi, 2001.

18. Mohandas KaramchandGandhi : A Bibliography. New Delhi, 1974.

19. Union Catalouge of CD-ROM Databases in Social Sciences. New Delhi, 2001.

 

TEXT FOR VOICE NARRATION

 

Importance of Yearbooks,Encyclopedias and Handbooks

 

Yearbooks, Encyclopedia and Handbooks are important source of social science information and are brought by prestigious learned and scholarly societies as well as by commercial publishers. These sources provide complete background of a subject and also current state of research. A yearbook, also known as an annual, is a type of a publication brought out annually to record, highlight, and commemorate the past year’s development.

 

Encyclopedia is basically publication usually containing exhaustive and complete information on a particular subject or branch of knowledge. Encyclopedia is used as a reference source and consulted by library users for a specific piece of information which is contributed by an expert. Encyclopedias are usually multi-volume publications and information contained relates to historical overview, theoretical formulation or some concepts.

 

Handbooks are basically ready reference sources and contain brief information or serving as a chronicle of new developments which have taken place in a particular subject in the preceding year. According to Wikipedia “Handbooks may deal with any topic, and are generally compendiums of information in a particular field or about a particular technique.

 

Need for Yearbooks, Encyclopedia and Handbooks

 

The purpose of yearbook is to provide up-to-date information on a particular subject during that preceding year. It is basically add-on information to the existing body of knowledge and aims to catch up with current and emerging research outcome and trends. “Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race in the future years to come.

 

Issues for Consideration for yearbooks, encyclopedia and Handbooks

 

It should be up-to-date information on a particular subject during that preceding year .It is basically add-on information to the existing body of knowledge and aims to catch up with current and emerging research outcome and trends. Information is, detailed, self-contained and equips the reader with complete background of the subject.

 

Formulation of Yearbooks, Encyclopedia and Handbooks

 

The order of information in a yearbook is generally alphabetical so that user may read the desired portion easily. In some yearbooks entries are also recorded in chronological order.It’swritten for researchers inside and outside academia; perfect for advanced high school and college students as well as teachers, lay readers and professionals. Also available in eBook format, providing full search capabilities 24/7 access; no special readers of hardware required.. CHUNK TEXT

 

Role of Handbooks and Yearbooks

  • It is brought by prestigious learned and scholarly societies as well as by commercial publishers.
  • It provides complete background of a subject and also current state of research.
  • It isissued as a reference source and consulted by library users for a specific piece of information which is contributed by an expert .Subject encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences is an important source of information.The entries in this reference work are written by scholars of repute.

 

Need for Yearbooks, Encyclopedia and Handbooks

  • To provide up-to-date information on a particular subject during that preceding year.
  • It is basically add-on information to the existing body of knowledge and aims to catch up with current and emerging research outcome and trends.
  • To collect knowledge disseminated around the globe.
  • To set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us.

 

Issues for Consideration for yearbooks, encyclopedia and Handbooks

  • It should be up-to-date information on a particular subject during that preceding year.
  • Self-contained and equips the reader with complete background of the subject.

 

Formulation of Yearbooks, Encyclopedia and Handbooks

  • order of information in a yearbook is generally alphabetical so that user may read the desired portion easily.
  • It is also recorded in chronological order.
  • It’s also available in eBook format, providing full search capabilities 24/7 access; no special readers of hardware required.
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