When using a database, it will be important to explore how the topic figures into academic knowledge, which is to say, which discipline or disciplines are interested in this topic.
  For example, a student who chooses West African drumming might assume that the field of anthropology would be related to it, but then come to find out that the fields of religion, dance, and music have something to say about this topic as well.

How to Access Research Databases at Oberlin

1. From the Oberlin Library's web page, click on the "Find Articles/Research Databases & Indexes/By Subject" link.
2. Click on an appropriate subject category (Agriculture, Anthropology, Art and Architecture, etc.); scroll through the list, reading descriptions of each database; click on "(more...)" for additional database information.
3. Select a database appropriate for your research interests.
4. If you know the title of the database you want to see, you can select "All Databases/Listed by Name".
5. Not all indexes are listed on these pages - just those that are available on the Web.  If you don't see a database suitable for your topic listed online, ask a reference librarian if there are additional CD-ROM or print indexes useful for your research.

 How to Select a Research Database
1. Decide which subject areas fit your research topic:  Who would be interested in researching or studying this topic?  What disciplines are most concerned with this topic?  Is your topic related to a specific geographical area?
2. Decide what type or format of information you need:  What kinds of publications or information sources re most interested in making this information available?  Books?  Journals?  Magazines?  Newspapers?  Research oriented?  Popular?  Special interest?
3. Decide what time period you are interested in:  Current? Historical?  Most recent "x" years?

Seek a database that most closely matches your criteria:

  • Browse the Research Databases & Indexes web pages.
  • Consult your professor for recommendations.
  • Ask a librarian for suggestions.

 Plan to locate at least six appropriate, useful, applicable
sources on your topic.            
Go back to OCEAN!