Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in Comparative 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!
Finding books and reference sources
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. 
Oberlin Special Collections & Archives
Special Collections and the College Archives share space in the Goodrich room, which is located on the 4th floor of Mudd. 

Hours:  1:30-4:30pm M-F and by appointment
Rare, valuable published materials and objects of historic and artistic significance

Hours:  10am-noon, 1-4:30pm M-F
Unpublished materials and objects relating to the College and to some degree, the town

News & Newspapers
See the NEWS & NEWSPAPERS page for finding guides to major newspapers, links to news databases, and info on accessing Oberlin news sources.

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.

New York Times (1851-2014) Restricted Resource Some full text available -- Provides the complete full text of the New York Times. It is possible to search for keywords and also browse images of the complete pages.

LexisNexis Restricted Resource Some full text available -- Provides access to a wide range of news, business, legal, medical and reference information most of which are available in full text. The service includes newspapers, magazines, wire services and legal sources.
Film & Television
Communication & Mass Media Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available -- Most comprehensive coverage for communications and mass media issues.

Film Literature Index Unrestricted Resource
References to popular and scholarly articles about film and television. Dates of Coverage: 1976-2001

Film & Television Literature Index Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Index to journals, magazines, and selected books covering all aspects of film and television research, including film theory, preservation, restoration, screenwriting, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews.
Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
Gender Studies Database Restricted Resource --  Combines Women’s Studies International and Men’s Studies databases with the coverage of sexual diversity issues. GSD covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia. Includes some full text.

LGBT Life Restricted Resource Some full text available -- The definitive index to the world's literature regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues. Includes LGBT-specific periodicals, books and reference works, with full text of the most important and historically significant LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as grey literature, including newsletters, case studies, speeches, etc.

Women's Studies International Restricted Resource -- Covers the core disciplines in Women’s Studies to the latest scholarship in feminist research. Nearly 800 essential sources include: journals, newspapers, newsletters, bulletins, books, book chapters, proceedings, reports, theses, dissertations, and grey literature. 
SocINDEX Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full text of some journal articles, and indexing and abstracts for journals, books and conference papers.  Covers all sub-fields of sociology, including criminology, gender, marriage & family studies, social work, social psychology, addictions, violence, and more.   

Research help
General databases -- (secondary sources)
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. 

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 the humanities and social sciences disciplines, international and foreign areas studies, and many of the natural sciences. Current issues (usually the last 3-5 years) are not digitized by JSTOR and may be obtained elsewhere. 

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I Restricted Resource -- Contains more than 2 million entries for doctoral dissertations and master's theses. The database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 North American graduate schools and European universities.   Use Interlibrary loan to request theses and dissertations!

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
Reference sources (print and online)
LGBTQ America Today : An Encyclopedia
Main Reference HQ73.3.U6 L43 2009 (3 vols)

The Greenwood encyclopedia of LGBT issues worldwide
Main Reference HQ76 .G724 2010  (3 vols)
Beyond Oberlin (the web!)
WorldCat (under QUICK LINKS on the Library homepage)
You may already be familiar with using WORLDCAT to locate and borrow books and other items that Oberlin and OhioLINK don’t own. TIP! You can limit your search to archival materials, too!
Digital library/archive of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts that exist in digital form, including moving images, live music (concerts), audio/MP3s and texts.
An online listing of 5000+ websites that describe manuscript and archival materials in locations across the globe. Note: this database does not have a search feature!
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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