Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in Modern African History.
  1. Begin your search with a library catalog (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.
     
  2. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
     
  3. Finally, you may wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
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. 

Multi-disciplinary
Aluka Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
An online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa.

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
BSC is international in scope and multidisciplinary, spanning cultural, economic, historical, religious, social, and political issues of vital importance to the Black Studies discipline. 

Oxford Reference Restricted Resource Some full text available
Hundreds of dictionaries, general reference, language reference, and subject reference works from Oxford University Press.

Web of Science Restricted Resource
Scholarly literature in the sciences, health and medince, social sciences, arts, and humanities and proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions.  Includes cited reference searching. Dates of coverage: 1965 to present.   
Country information
Provides an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio and video clips from BBC archives.


CIA World Fact Book 

Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
 
Country Studies
Presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world. From the Library of Congress, Federal Research Division.
Research help
News sources
Factiva Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
Includes 20,000+ full text global news and business sources, including newspapers, newswires, television and radio transcripts, numerous regional and industry publications. Content comes from ~160 countries in 22 languages.

Newspaper Source Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full text for 185 national (U.S.) and international newspapers.

World News Connection (1995 - 2013) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides translations and transcripts of news stories from thousands of non-U.S. media sources including newspaper articles, conference proceedings, television and radio broadcasts, periodicals, and non-classified technical reports.

Politics and government
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.

International Political Science Abstracts Restricted Resource
Provides abstracts of virtually all the relevant articles published in journals (and yearbooks) around the world.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts Restricted Resource
Provides references to 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.
Other resources
  • Keyword brainstorming exercise -- use this worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find
  • CRAAP test  -- this rubric is good for helping you to evaluate the sources you find, both in print and online
Back to TOP