Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in Modern African History.
  1. Begin by using the keyword brainstorming worksheet docx to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
     
  2. Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  They provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT, review and SUMMARIZE earlier work, help you FOCUS your topic and provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
     
  3. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
     
  4. You may also wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
     
  5. Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet pdf to evaluate the sources you find!
Finding background info
OBIS: Catalog of the Oberlin College Library Unrestricted Resource
OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource
WorldCat Restricted Resource

Summon -- searches across a wide range of library content, and not just books! It includes journal and newspaper articles, data, digital audio, video and images, and so much more. Try it and see what you can discover!

Finding articles
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND/CONTEXT

CIA World Factbook
Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. 

Political Handbook of the World
Main Reference     JF37.P61  2015       LIBRARY USE ONLY

Europa World Restricted Resource
Well researched non partisan political and economic information on countries and territories from around the world,  Also includes some statistical data, directory, and profiles of international organizations.

Encyclopedia of African history and culture
Main Reference     DT3 .P27 2001  (3 volumes)

Africana : the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience
Main Library     DT14 .A37435 2005  (5 volumes)

SCHOLARLY / PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES

Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Multidisciplinary - good for nearly all subjects. Scholarly and trade journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more.

Black Studies Center Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video
Covers the Black experience from ancient Africa to the modern day from perspectives in history, literature, political science, sociology, philosophy, and religion. Also includes the full text backfile (1935 to 1975) of the influential black newspaper The Chicago Defender.

Historical Abstracts Restricted Resource
Index to thousands of academic journals covering world history (excluding the US and Canada) from 1450 to present, in over 40 languages, with full-text available. Dates of Coverage: 1955 to date

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  most journals 2-5 years out-of-date

Oxford African American Studies Center Restricted Resource Some full text available
African American and African history and culture including biographies, topical entries, primary source documents with commentary, images, maps, charts, tables, and more.

Peace Research Abstracts Restricted Resource
Covers all areas related to peace research, including war and conflict, international relations, arms control, the military, diplomacy, international law and conventions, nations and national policies, and international organizations.  Includes references to journal articles, books, book chapters, government publications, dissertations, significant speeches and conferences, pamphlets, and newsletters. Dates of Coverage: 1964-

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I Restricted Resource
Citations and abstracts for dissertations and theses on all subjects from around the world. Previews and full text available for some titles.  Also consider PQDT Open --  full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge http://pqdtopen.proquest.com

Web of Science Restricted Resource
Scholarly literature in the sciences, health and medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities and proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions.  Includes cited reference searching across many databases. Search all databases in Web of Science (includes Medline and BIOSIS, direct link for on-campus users). Dates of coverage: 1965 to present.  

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts Restricted Resource
Articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, and conference proceedings in all fields of political science, including international relations, international law, and public administration and policy.   Dates of Coverage: 1975--
Research help
Finding newspaper articles

See the NEWS AND NEWSPAPERS section for more possibilities!


Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Some full text available
A full-text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press which represent the diversity of the American population in ways that are generally not seen in the mainstream media.  Coverage starts around 1960.  

Factiva Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
Full-text global news sources, including newspapers, newswires, television and radio transcripts, numerous regional and industry publications, and images from Reuters. Content comes from ~160 countries in 22 languages. 

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports (1941-1996) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Transcripts of foreign broadcasts and news translated into English; features stories selected by U.S. intelligence agencies for the use of policymakers.


LexisNexis Restricted Resource Some full text available
A wide range of news, political, legal, and business information from thousands of sources, mostly full text. Includes newspapers, magazines, wire services, federal and state court opinions, federal and state statutes, federal regulations, and SEC filings. News information is updated daily and wire services several times daily.  
Writing & citation help

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR SOURCES


ProQuest RefWorks is a citation management tool that helps researchers gather, manage, store and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles.
  • Search - OBIS, OhioLink, PubMed & Scopus
  • Share - Folders via URL
  • Store - PDFs online and take notes
  • Read - Search your references fulltext and save searches
  • Write - Create a simple reference list and use Write-N-Cite to format paper in Microsoft Word
  • Check out our video tutorial!
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