Narrative Site Map


This help page provides a narrative description of Credo Online Reference Service and each main page on the site. It is intended to read by screen readers to help describe the site to users who cannot see the pages and who want to understand how each page is structured. Each page also has a more elaborate help page describing the full functionality of the page. The description here is more of a general overview presented as a single narrative page.

About Credo Online Reference Service

Credo Online Reference Service is an online platform that allows you to search your library's selection of reference titles.

Login and Logout

The logout link will take you to a destination configured by your library, usually to a menu of other resources at the library. If you arrive at Credo Online Reference Service from outside your library, you may be presented with a library card login page or a user name and password login page. Links on this page can help you decide how to log in. Under most circumstances, you will want to follow the link to Credo Online Reference Service from your library's website; this will contain the necessary details to log you into their subscription to Credo Online Reference Service.

General Page Layout

Each page starts with a hidden link that allows you to navigate to the main content of the page. Following that link are links directing you back to your library's website. These vary by account, but are typically to the library homepage, library catalog, databases, and “ask a librarian” resource.

Credo Online Reference Service is available in several different language options. A selection list for choosing the language appears after the hidden skip link.

Each page on Credo Online Reference Service has a main menu with six choices: Home, Search Results, Find Topic Pages, Find a book, Saved Results, and Tools. You can also change the language of the interface, or logout of the current account from the top menu bar. Your library may add up to four custom menu choices and a library logo link. Below the header is the search section with a search box, along with links for basic search, image search, mind map, and advanced search.

All pages on Credo Online Reference Service display the same main menu at the top, with a search box.  Each page also contains the same footer at the very bottom of the page, which contains links to the terms of use, privacy policy, contact information, information about Credo, and a librarian admin page.


The home page has a single input box and a single search button. This search box can run one of three searches: a basic search, image search, or Mind Map search. There is more information on each type of search below.

There is also a list of subject links below the search button.  Clicking these links will display a browsable list of reference titles for each subject..

Search Results - Basic Search

The search results page starts with a message indicating the number of hits and the query that was searched. Below are the search results. If there are relevant Topic Pages to the search query, up to three topic pages will display first, above the reference entries. If the entry has any images, the first of these will display in thumbnail format to the left of the heading, as well as an icon to the right of the entry, denoting the presence of an image. Also to the right of the entry title is a “Save” button that allows you to save the entry or Topic Page directly from the search results. Each summary also contains one or more sentence fragments from the entry that contain the hit words from the query. The summary ends with a count of words and images in the full entry, as well as the publisher’s name.

 The results page also has a hierarchical list of links called 'facets' that allow you to narrow your result set by subject, media component, person name or publication date. Two links at the top of this hierarchy allow you to expand or collapse the list. Individual sections of the list will expand or collapse as their section heading is selected. Numbers next to each facet indicate the number of entries in the results that match that facet.

 The bottom of the search results page contains a sequence of page number hyperlinks and a 'previous' and 'next' hyperlink to navigate forward or backward through the result set.

 Search Results - Image Search

 The Image search is a search form that shows image results from a search query. Upon conducting an image search, the search results will contain a list of image entries in a similar format as a “basic search” results page. Within the Image search results, facets are available on the left side column to narrow the results into a defined subject, media type, person, or publication date.

Search Results - Mind Map

The Mind Map is a search form that shows its results in an interactive graphical display. It operates like the main search form. The result set is a Javascript function with a depiction of the main hits as a set of nodes, with lines showing relationships to related entries for each hit.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search form helps the user build more complex queries. It provides four input boxes for entering keyword or phrase searches with different criteria. It has an expandable set of choices for limiting the results by subject, individual titles, entry type or publication date.The Advanced Search results page is identical to the Basic Search results page described above.

Topic Page

The Topic Page contains the summary article for a given topic. At the top of the page, just below the main menu, are a set of links for listening to, emailing, printing, saving, sharing, or translating the topic page.  To the left of the text is an image that corresponds to the topic. To the right of the text is first a linked image to create a Mind Map for the topic of the page, and below, still on the right hand side, a list of related topics with links to their respective Topic Pages.

Below the text is a citation, in four formatting options, along with a button to save the content. Below is a scroll-through gallery of images related to the topic.

Below the images is a list of related Credo entries,  followed by lists of related scholarly articles, books, and news which vary by account.

Entry Page

Clicking on an entry link will show its full entry display. The entry display starts with a search form. Next are a set of navigation links to return to the result set, subject list or book for the entry. Next are a set of links for listening to, emailing, printing, saving, sharing, or translating this entry.

In the left-rail menu, there is a search box that searches only within this title. Below this search box are links to other pages. 'Related Entries' are links to related entries in other Credo titles. 'Browse Book’ allows you to view images and other entries from this title. 'Related Resources' are links to other information sites selected by your librarian that might have information on the same subject.

The main entry has a heading with its title. If there is a corresponding Topic Page, there will be a “Go to Topic Page” link along the heading bar of the entry. Below this is the full text of the entry. The entry may contain hyperlinks to other entries in the same title, images, audio hyperlinks, tables, bullet lists or other arrangements of information.

At the end of the entry’s text, there are 'previous entry' and 'next entry' hyperlinks for moving forward or backward through the result set or book. Below that is the copyright statement from the book’s publisher.

The bottom of the entry page contains an entry citation, with four formatting options, along with a button to save the entry.

Find a Book

Find a Book allows you to locate specific titles in Credo Online Reference Service. This feature and the next one described, Book Browsing, help users browse through the Credo Online Reference Service content. The Find A Book feature initially displays all titles available in alphabetical order.  You can select books beginning with a specific letter using the links just below the main search box. Below those links, there is another search box that only searches for words contained in a book title.  

On the left side of this page, there are subject links to further filter the books. Subject areas in Credo Online Reference Service are shown as a menu list of hyperlinks. When you select a subject hyperlink, the title list is reduced to include only the books in the selected subject.

If you select any book from the list, you will be taken to the Contents page for the selected book, or the Headings page if a Contents page is not available.

Book Browsing

Book browsing provides different lists of entries within the selected book. Each entry list is contained under a tabbed heading. The number of tabs will depend on the book. All books contain an 'About this book' tab that describes the book. Books will contain either or both of a 'Contents' tab with a table of contents and a 'Headings' tab with an alphabetical list of headings. If the book contains images, person names, audio or video, then a tab for each content type will be shown to allow you to isolate biographical entries or media types.

Most book browse tabs will contain hyperlinks to entries of the selected type. Press enter on any entry heading hyperlink to navigate to the full text of that entry.

Some books contain several thousand entries or more. To facilitate browsing to a desired entry in the book, use the “Search in this title” search box, which will take you to a search results page with a list of entries that match with your query. Book browse tabs with heading lists will also contain an A to Z set of hyperlinks that allow you to jump to a specific section of the alphabet.

Saved Results

The Saved Results page is where you can email, print, export, or save the marked entries to file. There are four components to the form.

The first is to select an action, choosing whether to email, print, export, or save the saved results. The default action is email.

The second is to select a format. You can choose 'full' to show the full text of the entry, and choose one of the four citation formats. This form will not display if the action is an export action.

The third, which only applies to the email action, is a form for entering the email from and to address, a subject line and an optional note to add to the email. This form will not display if the action is not an email action.

The bottom of the page shows your saved entries under the heading "My Saved Results". Icons before each entry allow you to remove the citation from the list if you do not want it to be emailed, printed, exported, or saved. The heading of each saved entry is hyperlinked so you can return to the full text for that entry.


The tools are simple search forms that help find entries of a certain type. There is also a crossword solver tool.