39 Alternatives to Wikipedia

39 websites you can use instead of Wikipedia

Books on shelves in library
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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 Wikipedia can offer. Here are 39 Wikipedia alternatives you can use to find information, research a paper, get quick answers, and much more.

The American Presidency Project

American Presidency Project websit

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  • Real historical documents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: over 87,000 documents all freely available to the public.

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 also has a pretty impressive library archive where you can find thousands of downloadable resources from Wolfram research.

The Old Farmer's Almanac

The Old Farmer's Almanac website

What We Like

  • They've been trusted for a long time

  • Covers a wide range of practical topics

  • Great visual content

What We Don't Like

  • Not really 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. You can use the Almanac to look up tide tables, planting charts, recipes, forecasts, moon rises, and everyday advice.

Martindale's Reference Desk

Martindale's Reference Desk website

What We Like

  • Simple to use

  • Covers thousands of topics

  • Points you directly to real articles

What We Don't Like

  • The site could use a visual update

  • There is no search function

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

Bibliomania

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 2000 classic texts online for you to peruse, as well as study guides and a searchable index.

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 over 2 million records with images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives, and libraries.

Open Library

OpenLibrary website

What We Like

  • It's like a real library, but online

  • Tens of thousands of books

  • Read ebooks instantly

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 have amassed over 20 million records, all of which are freely accessible.

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? You can 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.

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, the Government Documents Center is an exhaustive database of U.S. government statistics and factual documents.

HyperHistory

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

3000 years of world history presented interactively via timelines, graphics, and maps. Click on the time period you're interested in, and then use the menus on the left and the right to manipulate your data.

Merck Medical Library

Merck Manual Professional Version website

What We Like

  • Well organized and easy to navigate

  • Covers thousands of topics

  • Info is presented in a well organized and visually appealing way

What We Don't Like

  • Really only suited for medical professionals and medical students

Search through 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.

Library Spot

Library Spot website

What We Like

  • Links to hundreds of great resources

  • Very well organized

  • Easy to find just about anything

What We Don't Like

  • Site is pretty dated and unappealing

Library Spot is a reference utopia. You can browse a list of libraries online, newspapers, poetry, archives, maps, current events, dictionaries...you name it, you can probably find it at Library Spot.

Medline Plus

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

From the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health; searchable indexes of searches pre-forumulated with information, drug resources, medical encyclopedias, interactive tutorials, and current medical news.

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 their incredible collection of records online via the Library of Congress Online Catalog. According to the Library records, there are over 14 million documents here, including books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials.

Encyclopedia Mythica

Encyclopedia Mythica website

What We Like

  • Thousands of article

  • 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 7000 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 via country, plus, there are special gallery sections: heroes, genealogical information, and more.

OneLook

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 is a meta search dictionary engine, indexing over 1000 different dictionaries at the time of this writing. You can use OneLook not only for simple definitions, but also for related words, related concepts, phrases that contain a certain word, translations, and more.

Edmunds.com

Edmunds website

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 to research an auto, Edmunds is the place to do it. You can find information here on both new and used cars, car reviews, industry news, auto shows, local car dealerships, glossary of terms, and savvy auto advice.

Webopedia

Webopedia website

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 can find it at Webopedia.

CIA World Factbook

CIA World Factbook

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, you'll be able to find it at the CIA World Factbook. This amazing resource offers you information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 different countries, along with maps, flags, and country comparisons.

FindLaw

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? You can use FindLaw to do some initial research on anything legal-related, as well as find a lawyer in your local area and interact with the FindLaw legal community.

FactCheck

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

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

Sports Reference

Sports Reference website

What We Like

  • Unprecedented wealth of sports info and stats

  • Both current and historical information

  • Covers teams, players, and just about everything in most 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 — you can find it at Sports Reference. This site offers detailed information for fans of baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and the Olympic Games.

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.

PubChem

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 can find it at PubChem, a comprehensive database put together by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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. You can use PDR Health to look up information about prescriptions, herbal medicines, and user-friendly health and wellness information.

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 and 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.

Lexicool

Lexicool website

What We Like

  • Tons of languages and translations

  • Dictionaries to look up terms

  • Simple direct translation

What We Don't Like

  • Really just relies on Google and Yandex for translation

If you need to translate something, you'll be able to do it with Lexicool. Over 7000 dictionaries and glossaries here in a wide variety of languages.

Google Maps

Google Maps on the web

What We Like

  • Maps of everything

  • Control your 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 locations in Street, Traffic, and Satellite views. Google Maps also periodically offers special features, such as maps for the Winter Olympics.

Genetics Home Reference

Genetics Home Reference website.

What We Like

  • Reputable source

  • Simplified and relatively easy to understand

  • Easy to navigate

What We Don't Like

  • Can still be dense at times

The Genetic Home Reference, a project of the National Library of Medicine, is a stellar resource for genetic information and information about genetic conditions.

ePodunk

ePodunk website.

What We Like

  • Information about just about any town in the US

  • Lots of useful links to additional resources

  • Well organized and simple to search

What We Don't Like

  • Site looks dated and could work better on phones

Get demographic information about nearly any community in the United States at ePodunk, a fascination data collection for over 46,000 different cities, towns, and suburbs in the US.

Business and Human Rights Resource Center

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.

What We Like

  • Easy to search an navigate

  • Find out what big corporations want to hide

  • Clear unbiased accounts of corporate impact

What We Don't Like

  • More informational then academic

Doing research on a company's human rights impact is difficult — unless you visit the Business and Human Rights Resource Center. This resource covers over 4000 companies in over 180 countries, and deals with topics such as discrimination, environment, poverty and development, labor, medical health, security, and trade.

BookFinder

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 new, used, rare, out-of-print, and textbooks. Over 150 million books are available here; if you want to find something somewhat obscure, this is the place.

BBC News Country Profiles

BBC News website

What We Like

  • Search for most countries easily

  • Loads of info

  • Great geographical and statistical information

What We Don't Like

  • Less info than CIA World Factbook

View full country profiles from all over the world; in addition to basic stats, the BBC also provides audio and video clips from their archives.

Forvo

Forvo website.

What We Like

  • Covers hundreds of languages

  • Real practical pronunciation

  • Audio clips from real people

What We Don't Like

  • None 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 currently online, with hundreds of thousands of words and pronunciations in over 200 different languages.

WorldMapper

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 land area, disease, religion, income, and more.

WorldCat

OCLC WorldCat website

What We Like

  • Search hundreds of libraries

  • Access to thousands of books

What We Don't Like

  • Mostly just a search for what libraries have

WorldCat allows you to search the largest network of library content and services online, tapping into literally hundreds of different libraries from all over the world.

Our Documents

OurDocuments website

What We Like

  • Real historical documents

  • Easy to search

  • Printer friendly versions of documents

What We Don't Like

  • Site is dated, requires Flash, and doesn't work well on phones

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

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

  • Site doesn't work well on mobile devices

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.

Bartlett's Quotations

Bartleby.com website with Bartlett's Quotations

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.