Oxford Reference is the premier online reference product, spanning 25 different subject areas, bringing together 2 million digitized entries across Oxford University Press’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias.

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What's Inside?

As you browse through Oxford Reference, you may find results that range from short-entry, general reference to more in-depth articles on specialized subjects. See below for more information on the services and collections available through this resource.

For an overview of each subject on Oxford Reference use the links in the left-hand pane.


In-depth, specialized titles from Oxford University Press’s award-winning Encyclopedias and Companions, and a selection of partner publishers’ scholarly works.

  • New titles and editions are added throughout the year, as they publish in print
  • Title-by-title purchasing allows institutions to build and customize their collections with the subjects they need
  • Includes some of Oxford University Press’s most visited titles including The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition and the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th edition

OXFORD REFERENCE PREMIUM (Premium Package for Institutions)

Subscribe to the Oxford Reference Premium package and receive a selection of in-depth, single-volume works from Reference Library, many of them being Oxford Companions.

  • Provides content for both quick fact-checking and deeper research
  • All 25 core subject areas represented across hundreds of titles
  • Includes continuous updating and exclusive online-only content together with a critical selection of Oxford University Press's more specialized titles.





Key Features: Researching with Oxford Reference 

Expand your research

  • Library widget: Log in to Oxford Reference quickly and easily, and choose whether to see results from all of Oxford Reference or only full text entries available via your library
  • Annotation Functionality: Select text to highlight and annotate with your own notes. Sign into your Personal Profile where your annotations can be stored and managed under “My Work”.
  • Oxford Dictionaries Online widget: Double click a word and see the free definition through Oxford Dictionaries Online
  • Discoverability tools: MARC 21 records, available at title level, and Open URL increase discoverability and usage of library resources

Flexible user experience

  • Refine Your Search: Narrow your search/browse results with subject or reference type filters and select “Book” or “Entry” to see your results displayed in your preferred format. Choose to see “Full Text Results Only” by checking the box on the search results page.
  • Options for Customization: Keep your research organized by saving your research journey, favourite titles, and entries in your Personal Profile, located in the top right-hand corner.
  • Share Content: With integrated tools including social bookmarking, email, and citation export
  • Leave Feedback: You can now leave feedback about how useful you found entries in Oxford Reference using the box at the bottom of every entry

Discoverable research tools

Even if you’re not a subscriber, you still have full access to the following tools:

  • Overview pages: Over 300,000 pages defining each unique term in Oxford Reference, with links to related entries, helping you begin your research journey
  • Timelines: 270 historic timelines organized by period, area, and theme, with each event linked to a free entry in Oxford Reference
  • Quotations: Oxford Essential Quotations is accessible to global users
  • 'Did you know?' RSS feed: Sign up for facts and quotations delivered straight to your email


Stay up-to-date with Oxford University Press  

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