36 Best Alternatives to Wikipedia

Websites to use instead of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is perhaps the most popular reference site online, with millions of high-quality articles available on virtually any topic. However, there are limits to what it can offer.

Below are dozens of Wikipedia alternatives you can use to find information, research a paper, get quick answers, and much more.

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The American Presidency Project

American Presidency Project website
What We Like
  • From an educational institution.

  • Real historical documents.

  • Multimedia resources.

What We Don't Like
  • Searching could be a little easier.

The American Presidency Project is a project out of the University of California Santa Barbara. If you want to know something about American presidents, it's here. The site has over 140,000 documents that are freely available to the public.

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Wolfram Library Archive

Website for the Wolfram Library Archive
What We Like
  • Respected source.

  • Covers multiple topics.

  • Actual academic papers.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacking in arts, humanities, and social sciences.

  • Fairly dense for lighter research.

Wolfram Alpha search engine has an impressive library archive where you'll find thousands of downloadable resources from Wolfram research.

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The Old Farmer's Almanac

Old Farmer's Almanac website
What We Like
  • Trusted for a long time.

  • Covers a range of practical topics.

  • Great visual content.

What We Don't Like
  • Not organized for academic research.

The Farmer's Almanac has been around in different forms since 1792, and today's online version is even more useful. Use the Almanac to look up tide tables, planting charts, recipes, forecasts, moon rises, and everyday advice.

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Martindale's The Reference Desk

Martindale's Reference Desk website
What We Like
  • Simple to use.

  • Thousands of topics.

  • Points to real articles.

What We Don't Like
  • Could use a visual update.

  • No search function.

The Martindale Reference Desk is divided into multiple sections: Language, Science, Business, Mathematics, and more. Simply choose the subject area you're interested in and browse the references.

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Bibliomania website
What We Like
  • Loads of free books.

  • Study materials.

  • Expanding collection.

What We Don't Like
  • Site controls are a little clunky for reading.

Bibliomania offers more than 2,000 classic texts for you to read, as well as study guides and a searchable index.

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Encyclopedia Smithsonian

Smithsonian website
What We Like
  • Verified info from the Smithsonian.

  • Covers a wide range of topics.

  • Easy to navigate and visually appealing.

What We Don't Like
  • The browse functions could be better organized.

The Encyclopedia Smithsonian is the definitive collection of everything the Smithsonian Museum has to offer. Search through millions of records with images, video, and sound files; electronic journals; and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives, and libraries.

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Open Library

Open Library website
What We Like
  • A real library, but online.

  • Tens of thousands of books.

  • Read e-books instantly.

  • Helpful filtering tools.

What We Don't Like
  • Categories and search aren't the best.

  • Sometimes you have to wait, like a physical library.

Open Library is an Internet Archive project aimed at compiling one web page for every book ever published. To date, they've amassed tens of millions of records, all of which are freely accessible.

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NOLO Legal Dictionary

NOLO website
What We Like
  • Covers hundreds of legal terms.

  • Simple to use and navigate.

  • Explanations are clear and to the point.

What We Don't Like
  • Other ways to navigate would be nice, but what they have is still great.

Stumped on a legal term? Find the definition in plain English at the NOLO Legal Dictionary, a free resource that provides easy to understand information on hundreds of commonly used legal words and phrases.

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Government Documents Center

University of Michigan Clark Library Government Information section
What We Like
  • From a real university.

  • Thousands of documents and resources.

  • Verified documents and statistics.

What We Don't Like
  • Navigating is a little difficult.

Put together by the University of Michigan Library, this is an exhaustive database of U.S. government statistics and factual documents.

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HyperHistory Online website
What We Like
  • Presented in a straightforward way.

  • Timelines and graphics make things simpler.

What We Don't Like
  • Interface is dated and clunky.

  • More in-depth info would be great.

3,000 years of world history presented interactively in timelines, graphics, and maps. Select the time period you're interested in, then use the menus on the left and right to manipulate your data.

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Merck Medical Library

Merck Manual Professional Version website
What We Like
  • Well organized and easy to navigate.

  • Covers thousands of topics.

  • Visually appealing.

What We Don't Like
  • Really only suited for medical professionals and medical students.

Search through the comprehensive medical database at the Merck Medical Library, an exhaustive index of medical information culled from the Merck series of health resources for both medical professionals and laymen.

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Library Spot website
What We Like
  • Links to hundreds of great resources.

  • Very well organized.

  • Easy to find anything.

What We Don't Like
  • Site is pretty dated and unappealing.

LibrarySpot is a reference utopia. Browse a list of libraries online, newspapers, poetry, archives, maps, current events, dictionaries, and more. If you can name it, you can probably find it here.

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Medline Plus website
What We Like
  • From a trusted source.

  • Easy to search and navigate.

  • Covers hundreds of topics.

  • Simple language for everyone.

What We Don't Like
  • Not really geared toward academic research.

MedlinePlus comes from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. It has indexes of searches pre-formulated with drug resources, medical encyclopedias, interactive tutorials, and current medical news.

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Library of Congress Online Catalog

Library of Congress website
What We Like
  • Gigantic catalog from one of the world's largest libraries.

  • Covers nearly every topic imaginable.

  • Multimedia resources.

What We Don't Like
  • Site isn't the easiest to use.

The Library of Congress, one of the largest American cultural repositories, has placed its incredible collection of records online in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

There are 19 million records for books, manuscripts, images, recordings, and more.

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Encyclopedia Mythica

Encyclopedia Mythica website
What We Like
  • Thousands of articles.

  • Covers mythology and religions from around the world and through history.

  • Concise explanations of figures and locations.

What We Don't Like
  • Search and navigation is somewhat clunky.

  • Some links just go to books on Amazon.

Over 11,000 articles related to anything mythology: Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic, Native American, and more. The mythology sections are divided into geographical regions, so you can search based on country, plus, there are special gallery sections such as heroes, genealogical information, and more.

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OneLook website
What We Like
  • Super easy to use.

  • Direct results and quick answers.

  • Multiple sources for comparison.

What We Don't Like
  • Partially relies on Wikipedia.

OneLook, a meta-search dictionary engine that indexes over 18 million words in over 1,000 dictionaries, is another website like Wikipedia. Use it for simple definitions, related words, related concepts, phrases that contain a certain word, translations, and more.

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Edmunds home page
What We Like
  • Tons of information on new and used cars.

  • Specific features listed.

  • Pricing information.

  • Easy to navigate and find cars.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't cover classics.

If you want auto research, Edmunds is the place to do it. You'll find information on new and used cars, car reviews, industry news, auto shows, local car dealerships, a glossary of terms, and savvy auto advice.

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Webopedia home page
What We Like
  • Covers thousands of terms.

  • Simple, direct answers.

  • Easy to find information.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't give enough information on some topics.

If you need to know about a computer or technology related term, you'll find it at Webopedia.

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CIA World Factbook

CIA World Factbook home page
What We Like
  • Reputable source.

  • Massive wealth of sociological and geographic information.

  • Detailed facts and statistics.

What We Don't Like
  • Info can be dense.

Anything you want to know about nearly any country or region in the world is in the CIA World Factbook. This amazing resource offers information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities, along with maps, flags, and country comparisons.

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FindLaw website
What We Like
  • Real practical information.

  • Easy to search and find what you need.

  • Simple to understand.

What We Don't Like
  • Not really for academic purposes.

Need to know about a legal issue? Use FindLaw to do initial research on anything legal-related, as well as to find a lawyer in your local area and interact with the site's legal community.

There's also location-specific legal forms you can purchase.

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FactCheck website
What We Like
  • Current information debunking fake stories.

  • Combats political spin in real time.

What We Don't Like
  • Not really for research, just checking if what you read online is true.

A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, FactCheck.org monitors accuracy in the US political process by diligently fact-checking everything that prominent political figures say and do.

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Sports Reference

Sports Reference website
What We Like
  • Wealth of sports info and stats.

  • Current and historical information.

  • Covers teams, players, and most everything in popular sports.

What We Don't Like
  • Navigation can be clunky.

  • Can be overwhelming.

Anything you want to know about sports—stats, box scores, game logs, playoffs—can be found at Sports Reference. This site offers detailed information for fans of baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer.

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The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Purdue Online Writing Lab website
What We Like
  • Reputable educational institution.

  • Massive writing resource.

  • Answers loads of tough grammar questions.

What We Don't Like
  • Navigation could be better.

If you need help with writing, you'll find it here. Style guides, grammar, mechanics, ESL resources, and much more.

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PubChem website
What We Like
  • Reputable source.

  • Thousands of chemistry resources.

  • Detailed information and diagrams.

What We Don't Like
  • Working knowledge of chemistry required.

Need to know something about chemicals, compounds, substances, or bioassays? You'll find it at PubChem, a comprehensive database put together by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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PDR Health

PDR website
What We Like
  • Search and learn about your prescriptions.

  • Detailed information.

What We Don't Like
  • Mostly designed as a reference for doctors.

PDR Health is a production of the Physician's Desk Reference. Use PDR Health to look up information about prescriptions, herbal medicines, and user-friendly health and wellness information.

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Online Conversion

Online Conversion website
What We Like
  • Tons of calculators.

  • Automatic conversion across units.

What We Don't Like
  • Site isn't great looking.

  • Doesn't work well on phones.

Whether you need to convert simple measurements or complicated astronomy figures, you'll be able to do it at OnlineConversion.com, an extensive site featuring hundreds of conversion tools.

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Lexicool website
What We Like
  • Tons of languages and translations.

  • Dictionaries to look up terms.

  • Simple direct translation.

What We Don't Like
  • Stale site design.

If you need to translate something, you'll be able to do it with Lexicool. Over 8,000 dictionaries and glossaries are available in a variety of languages.

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Google Maps

Google Maps showing San Francisco
What We Like
  • Maps of every location.

  • Control perspective and scope.

  • Get real time directions.

What We Don't Like
  • Maps can be clunky and take a while to load.

Find maps and directions at Google Maps. You can also check out traffic in various locations, Street View, and satellite views. Google Maps also periodically offers special features, such as maps for the Winter Olympics.

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Business & Human Rights Resource Center

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website
What We Like
  • Easy to search and navigate.

  • Find out what big corporations want to hide.

  • Clear unbiased accounts of corporate impact.

What We Don't Like
  • More informational than academic.

Doing research on a company's human rights impact is difficult—unless you visit the Business & Human Rights Resource Center. This Wikipedia-like resource covers over 10,000 companies in dozens of countries and deals with topics such as discrimination, environment, poverty and development, labor, medical health, security, and trade.

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BookFinder website
What We Like
  • Find nearly any book.

  • Search by author, title, or ISBN.

  • Gigantic lists of books.

What We Don't Like
  • Results can contain hundreds of titles making it hard to find what you want.

BookFinder is a search engine for textbooks and new, used, rare, and out-of-print, books. It helps you find the best prices for books from over 100,000 booksellers around the world.

Millions of books are available here. If you want to find something obscure, this is the place.

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Forvo website
What We Like
  • Covers hundreds of languages.

  • Practical pronunciation.

  • Audio clips from real people.

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing, really! It's great at what it does.

Need help on how to pronounce a word in virtually any language? Try Forvo, the largest pronunciation guide online, with hundreds of thousands of words and pronunciations in hundreds of languages.

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WorldMapper website
What We Like
  • Interesting maps of everything.

  • Great visualization of stats.

  • Easy to sort and find.

What We Don't Like
  • Distorted maps are disorienting at first.

Worldmapper is a collection of hundreds of world maps, each focusing on a particular topic. For example, you can find maps on CO2 emissions per capita, migration, disease, language, vegetation, literacy, income, and lots more.

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WorldCat website
What We Like
  • Search thousands of libraries.

  • Access to thousands of books.

What We Don't Like
  • Mostly just a search for what libraries have.

WorldCat searches the largest network of library content and services online, tapping into libraries from all over the world that you're sifting through two billion items, including books, DVDs, CDs, and articles.

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Our Documents

OurDocuments website
What We Like
  • Real historical documents.

  • Easy to search.

  • Printer friendly versions of documents.

What We Don't Like
  • Outdated website.

  • Doesn't work well on mobile devices.

At Our Documents, you can explore 100 cornerstone documents of American history, such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and more.

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Voice of the Shuttle

Voice of the Shuttle website
What We Like
  • Real university resource.

  • Links to hundreds of publications.

  • Covers a variety of humanities topics.

What We Don't Like
  • Might not work as expected on a phone or tablet.

  • Many links are dead.

The Voice of the Shuttle started in 1994 and is one of the largest humanities resources on the web today. Anything from anthropology to religious studies is covered here.

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Bartlett's Quotations

Bartleby.com website
What We Like
  • Thousands of quotations.

  • Historical and literary quotes.

  • Fully searchable.

What We Don't Like
  • Navigation can be clumsy.

This is the original (1919) edition with over 11,000 searchable quotations.

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