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Human Service Work: Background Sources

This guide will help Human Service Work (HSW) students find research information in the OC Library collection and on the Internet.

About background sources

Background sources, also known as reference sources, include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, directories, and other online or print "books". You might want to consult one or more of them when you're first starting your research, especially if the topic you are researching is unfamiliar to you. They can be excellent sources of factual information, concepts, theories, definitions, terminology and references to other, more in-depth, sources of information.

Some of the sources listed on this page are links to online resources, while others are books that are located in one or more campus libraries at Okanagan College.

FInding Reference Sources

Finding background or reference sources online. 
Visit the Library Webpage and under  the tab ARTICLES & DATABASES choose REFERENCE in the drop down menu.


Drug Reference Sources

 Get accurate, up-to-date information about prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Reference Sources to Get Started

Health, social services and medication dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks may be a useful starting point. Many of these resources provide basic information, overviews of topics, or introduce specialized terminology.


Dictionary of developmental disabilities terminology Ref RJ 135 .A26 2011
The language of mental health: A glossary of psychiatric terms  Ref RC 437 .L28 2011
Diagnostic + statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5   Ref RC 455.2 .C4 D536 2013
Encyclopedia of genetic disorders and birth defects Ref RB 155.5 .W96 2008
A-Z of syndromes and inherited disorders Ref RC 69 .G55 2000

A-Z of groups and groupwork

Professional guide to diseases

Ref HV 45 .D63 2014

Ref RT 65 .P69 2012

Encyclopedia of human development Ref HM 626 .E53 2006



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