Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in African American Studies.
  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!
Search Summon
Book Search
Search OBIS
Finding 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.

Africa Knowledge Project Restricted Resource
Dedicated exclusively to academic research on Africa and its Diaspora, AKP focuses on critical Africa-centered, evidence-based knowledge and research from a diverse range of disciplines.

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.

Caribbean History and Culture, 1535-1920 Restricted Resource Some full text available
Created from the renowned holdings of the Library Company of Philadelphia, Caribbean History and Culture, 1535-1920, is the largest and most significant collection of its kind. More than 1,200 fully cataloged and searchable books, pamphlets, almanacs, broadsides and ephemera cover the history of this broad region from the 16th century to the early 20th century.

Education Full Text Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full text of articles from over 350 journals as far back as 1996, in addition to indexing of more than 770 periodicals dating back to 1983.

Education Research Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available
Covers scholarly research and information relating to all areas of education.

ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) Restricted Resource Some full text available
The world's largest source of education information, containing abstracts of documents and journal articles on education research and practice. 

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Full text digital archive of core scholarly journals with complete back runs of many titles in nearly all areas of study.  Current issues (usually the last 3 - 5 years) are not digitized by JSTOR and may be obtained elsewhere. 

SocINDEX Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides users with a wealth of information encompassing the broad spectrum of sociological study.

Web of Science Restricted Resource
Includes the Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index.  Particularly good for cited reference searching.
Using OBIS to identify sources
SOME Library of Congress Subject Heading possibilities

Curriculum planning

Curriculum evaluation

Curriculum change

Curriculum enrichment

Curriculum resources

Curriculum-based assessment

Interdisciplinary approach in education

Multicultural education

Culturally relevant pedagogy

Some LCSH subdivisions to look out for:

-- Case studies

-- History
-- Political aspects -- Social aspects
-- United States -- 


Research help
Reference sources
Encyclopedia of African American Education Restricted Resource

Encyclopedia of American Education 
Main Reference LB17 .U54 2007  (3 vols)
Encyclopedia of Multicultural Education Restricted Resource

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Restricted Resource -- Collects, analyzes and makes available data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. Includes access to The Condition of Education and Digest of Education Statisitics.
Some journals to consider
Journal of Black Studies
Journal of Black Studies (JBS), peer-reviewed and published bi-monthly, has been the leading source for dynamic, innovative, and creative research on the Black experience. 

Journal of Negro Education
The Journal of Negro Education (JNE), a scholarly refereed journal, was founded at Howard University in 1932. It is one of the oldest continuously published periodicals by and about Black people. 

The Black Scholar
The Black Scholar is the first journal of black studies and research. In it academics, activists, artists and political leaders come to grips with basic issues confronting Afro-America, the diaspora, and Africa.
Beyond Oberlin (the web!)
Websites for finding lesson plans and other educational resources
(Note: there are MANY websites that offer sample lesson plans! Here are just a few ... )

Maintained by Curriki. Provides an online global community for K-12 teachers, students, and parents to create, share, and find free learning resources. Check out the Resource Library.

Maintained by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. A comprehensive website and online community that increases knowledge, sharing, and adoption of what works in K-12 education. 

OER Commons
Maintained by ISKME (Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education). This is a portal with free, openly-licensed educational resources for teachers and instructors; materials are classified by subject area, grade level, and material type (hint: use the advanced search!).

Smithsonian Education
You'll find great teaching materials, links to hundreds of online resources, and access to everything the world's largest museum complex has to offer you and your students.
Writing & citation help


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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