Getting started on a research project by consulting reference sources can help save a lot of time by allowing you to figure out a good scope for your project and find relevant keywords to use while searching, without spending a ton of time reading.
There are also many other philosophy encyclopedias and companions. Blackwell, Routledge, and Edinburgh University Press all publish series. But they aren't in separate database. The link above goes to a broad catalog search for these sorts of titles.