I’ve learned from Twitter that this week is Social Media Week . A story I’ve been following with interest concerns the gender imbalance in Wikipedia and it set me thinking about the balance in traditionally published encyclopedias and other reference books. Back in the 80s I wrote a dissertation about representations of women in children’s reference books, but I’ve never revisited the topic to see if things have changed.
When it comes to finding accurate information most of us would avoid Wikipedia and turn to traditionally published sources but there is always the risk that, even if unbiased, they are out of date. Even the Britannica concise encyclopedia, which we recently purchased as an e-book, was published in 2006 with only two thirds of entries having been revised within the previous 3 years.
While our collection of reference materials on Education and related topics (located near the Library Enquiry Desk) is updated regularly, we recommend Senate House Library for online general reference works. All IOE students and staff are entitled to Senate House membership.