University of Oregon

Researching Development and Social Change in Africa 

Contact Librarian: Miriam Rigby,; 346-7202


Finding Background Information:

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are a useful place to gather background information on your topic.
A few examples by area:

  Related Course Guides
African Studies
  • Encyclopedia of African History (Knight Reference DT20.E53 2005)
  • Africana : the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience (Knight Reference DT14.A37435 2005)
  • Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara (Knight Reference DT351.E53 1997)
  • Africa South of the Sahara (Knight Reference Table 6 DT351.A37)
    This source includes detailed profiles of individual countries with statistical information.
  • Middle East and North Africa (Knight Reference Table 6 DS49.M5)
    This source includes detailed profiles of individual countries with statistical information.
  • Browse the DT section of the Knight Reference collection for other books on the continent as well as materials on countries within Africa.
  Anthropology & Sociology
  • Encyclopedia of Anthropology (Online)
  • International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology (REF KNIGHT HM 35 .I565 2006)
  • Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology (REF KNIGHT HM 425 .C36 2006)
  • Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology (REF KNIGHT GN 307 .E52 1996)
  • Key Concepts in Cultural Theory (REF KNIGHT GN 307 .E52 1996)
  • Browse the GN section of the Knight Reference collection for other books

  International Development / Policy
  • International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration (Knight Reference H97.I574 1998)

Finding Articles (by area / topic)

African Studies

  • Africa Journals Online (AJOL) offers the tables of contents and abstracts of articles from approximately 50 journals in agricultural sciences, science and technology, health and social sciences, published in Africa.
  • Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literatures covers 300 selected periodicals from 29 African countries. The index is organized into broad subject areas covering all aspects of African periodical literature (Economics, Education, Law, Literature, Politics, Transportation, etc.).
  • International Index to Black Periodicals includes current and retrospective bibliographic citations and abstracts from 150 scholarly and popular journals, newspapers, and newsletters from the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean--and full-text coverage of 40 core Black Studies periodicals (1998 forward). Retrospective coverage includes 120,000 citations from over 56 publications, with records dating back to 1902.
  • Index Islamicus covers journals about the Middle East and North Africa (The print version indexes articles back to 1976 and can be found here: Knight Z3013.Q34)
  • International African Bibliography is a print index of African Journals (Knight Z3503.I5 v.1-39 (1971-2009))
  • African Studies Abstracts: the abstracts journal of the African Studies Centre, Leiden is a print index and includes abstracts for African studies materials (Knight Z3503.A36 1997-2002)

Anthropology & Sociology

  • Anthropology Plus indexes articles and essays in all of the subfields of anthropology, from the 19th century to the present.
  • AnthroSource, complete full-text archive of all of the American Anthropological Association's peer-reviewed journals.
  • GeoBase is the best database for finding human geography articles. Human geography's significant overlaps with Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology make this a great option for a broader search to supplement what you find in AnthroSource and Anthropology Plus.
  • Sociological Abstracts provides access to citations and abstracts of scholarly research in Sociology.
  • Web of Science is an interdisciplinary index to articles in the sciences and social sciences, making it particularly useful for the multidisciplinary needs of anthropology researchers.

International Development/Policy

  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy. Coverage is from 1975 to the present, with monthly updates.
  • PAIS: Public Affairs Information Service provides references to journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, government documents, and statistical directories in the area of public affairs. Topics covered include government, international relations, environment, political science, public administration and more.
  • CIAO: Columbia International Affairs Online publishes a wide range of scholarship from 1991 forward that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, and proceedings from conferences.
  • SourceOECD provides access to information produced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Information includes a variety of statistical databases and the full texts of many OECD books and periodicals, in the fields of economics, labor, energy, social issues, and international trade and development.
Created by rigby on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
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