Credo Online Reference Service

The Credo Online Reference Service enhances the research experience through authoritative reference content and a one-stop exploratory search platform that drives usage of all trusted library resources.

Key Features

  • Discover more: Credo Online Reference Service includes connections to your other research databases, maximizing usage of all of your library's trusted resources. 
  • 11,000+ customizable Topic Pages. Topic Pages incorporate existing library database results directly, enabling users to gain background information, then have direct links to subject specific journal/monograph databases for deeper content. Great for background research, discovering library resources, and building keyword vocabulary.  
  • Mind Map is now embeddable in your course pages, LibGuides, and websites! This quick video shows how using this live, interactive tool on your site opens up new research possibilities for your users.
  • Curated LibGuides support subject guide creation. These popular subject guides are being used in libraries around the world for their curation of foundational knowledge, essential to students exploring a topic and faculty building supplemental resources for their class. 
  • Primary Sources in Credo LibGuide: easily point students to the many primary source materials available in Credo’s Academic Core collection. Nearly 2,000 primary source documents–including 75 videos–can be found in addition to our image collections, which contain over 200,000 examples of original art and antiquities. This guide contains links to 650 entries across 40+ titles, as well as links to all of the books that contain primary source materials.
  • Credo Embeds allow you to embed reference content in your school’s LMS (Learning Management System), VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) or other guides/websites. Any article may be embedded, including those with images, audio, or videos.This helps foster faculty collaboration while also bringing usage and awareness of your valued library e-resources.
  • Research Quick Tips provide concise, informative videos embedded throughout the platform to cultivate IL skills while students research. Subjects covered include selecting and narrowing a topic, evaluating sources, boolean operators, and more.  
  • Permalinks make it easy for researchers to return to previously-viewed pages, and allow users to create “custom collections on the fly.”
  • Google Drive integration: Libraries can now authenticate their users with Google Authenticator, while users (via Google Authenticator or through their personal GMail accounts) can save entries to Google Docs.
  • Key Concepts are displayed within search results to help users identify the focus of each article and provide guidance for additional terms related to their topic.
  • Audio Files & dictation of all text content, downloadable in MP3 format, improve accessibility of content, and provide different avenues for students to absorb content.
  • Credo's Translate feature transcribes all text content into over 60 languages, facilitating an easy way for learners of all backgrounds to access reference content. 

World's Best Content

Academic Core

  • The Academic Core Collection addresses the research needs of the primary disciplines of Higher Education, including Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM.
  • With more than 700 searchable, full-text titles, the Academic Core collection places particular emphasis on subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and reference handbooks. Also included are more than 1,100 short reference videos, more than 475,000 high-resolution art images, photographs and maps across all subject areas.
  • This collection is regularly updated to ensure your reference collection remains current. Combining authoritative content with innovative, customizable technology that links users of reference through to all their library resources, this collection is available for subscription.
  • The equivalent print price of the books in Academic Core is greater than $130,000
  • Thoughtfully curated content is recognized by top sources, such as Choice Outstanding Academic Titles, Recommended College List, RUSA, Doody’s Core Titles, Booklist Editor’s Choice, Library Journal Best Reference, and many more.

See the complete list of titles here. 

Add-on Content

Essentials Collections

Credo’s Essentials Collections bring foundational reference titles to your students’ and faculty’s research activities while maintaining responsible stewardship of your library budget. The Essentials Collections offer top-tier reference titles: award-winning, classic, and peer-acclaimed. Available collections include dozens of subjects, and are curated by Credo, including seamless updating of titles, additions of newly-acquired content and weeding to ensure continued relevance. Essentials Collections contain anywhere from 5-40 titles and are full-text and searchable alongside the content in the Credo Online Reference Service platform. 

25 subjects and growing!

Real-time Reference

This featured content category helps students locate reliable reference materials on issues of real-time importance. When students see the Real-time Reference icon, they'll easily identify the article as timely and relevant. Highly respected publishers like, The Conversation, Bloomberg QuickTake, the AllSides Red Blue Dictionary, and Facts on File’s Issues & Controversies bring authority and accuracy to students' current events-related information needs.

  • Provide content for the events shaping the headlines
  • Help students see all sides of the issues with unbiased and objective sources
  • Promote essential 21st century skills like critical thinking and media literacy
  • Stay current on evolving topics with content updates and new entries added on a regular basis

Real-time Reference is included with all Core Collections at no additional cost to subscribers!

 Academic Core Updates

New or updated entries added from 2016-2018

  • 2016: 71,162 (from 49 titles)
  • 2017: 193,831 (from 63 titles)
  • 2018: 381,741 (from 59 titles)


Number of Award Winning Titles
Academic Core 247
Complete Core 309
Essentials Collections* 196
One-time Purchase Titles 989
*65% of the total titles that comprise our Essentials Collections are award winners!

2018 Choice OAT Winner
Learn why we won
again in 2018*

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Booklist Editor's Choice Award

Library Journal Logo.pngLibrary Journal Best Reference Award

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Customer Testimonials

"[Credo] has diverse information and is a great place to start research especially when a student does not know much on the subject, because it is very descriptive and has good definitions"

      - Monroe College

"[Credo] has a helpful support staff that values open lines of communication. [Credo Online Reference Service] is a great product I feel confident recommending and demonstrating to our students and faculty. It pulls related material across our library's electronic resources."

      - Southern Arkansas University - Magnolia

"[Credo] is an authoritative source of information, properly edited, up to date, visually very attractive and has a good support team when assistance is needed."

      - Belfast Metropolitan College

" [Credo] has good reference resources, has an extremely friendly computer interface and navigation. The administration functions are easy and flexible, the usage stats are easy to gather and analyze. [Credo] also has excellent customer support."

      - Saint Phillip's College

"Credo should be commended for its willingness to work cooperatively with other vendors and for providing added value to other library content. It is extremely easy to use and is my go to database for teaching freshmen how to conduct online research. Some of the attributes I value are:

  • Always improving
  • Great Value
  • Permalinks
  • One of the few databases I promote"

      - Kent State University

Use Cases

See how University of California Merced has taken advantage of Credo content to fill out their LibGuides, highlighting individual titles to add solid background information to Subject Guides.