Course resource help for Japanese Studies

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Need help? Contact your librarian

Please get in touch if you have any queries about:

  • finding information and resources for assignments
  • finding online resources
  • referencing your sources

Joanna Cooksey

I'm hybrid working this semester, so will sometimes be on Headington campus and sometimes working from home. Please email in the first instance. If you need a 1-to-1 appointment we can then arrange one either face-to-face or via Zoom or Google Meet. My usual working hours are 8.00 - 16.00, Monday - Friday.


Citing your sources (also called referencing) is an essential part of your academic work and is explained fully on our page Reference and avoid plagiarism.

Check Cite Them Right

Use Cite Them Right to check how to reference a wide range of sources (books, journal articles, web sites) in exactly the same Harvard style used at Brookes.

Cite Them Right has a Sample text and reference list using the Harvard style. This will help you understand what referencing looks like in written work.

The Library also has a printed guide to Brookes Harvard based on Cite Them Right that you can download (Word and PDF versions available).

Further help with referencing

Don't forget you can contact your Librarian for help with referencing. The Centre for Academic Development can also provide advice.

Referencing tools

It's a good idea to keep track of your sources as you find them, so that it's easier to reference them later. Check this guide How to save and cite sources in LibrarySearch (Google slides)

Endnote is a tool for storing and organising your references, and it will also work with Word or Pages to create a fully formatted bibliography from your reference library.

NB Other referencing guides and apps are widely available but be aware that not all Harvard styles are the same as ours. Make sure you check your references against Cite Them Right.

Use the Library as a new student

Use LibrarySearch to find books and articles

LibrarySearch is our main search system. You can connect to it through the link below or use the search box on the Library home page.

Find sources for your assignments

Check the Google slides (right) for advice on where to search for sources for different assignments. They cover:

  • Module reading lists - where to find them, how to understand them
  • LibrarySearch - exploring beyond your reading lists
  • Library databases - recommended for finding additional resources that aren't on LibrarySearch
  • Google & Google Scholar - how to use them effectively

Learning and reading Japanese

Man browsing in manga superstore, Tokyo
Mandarake Manga superstore in Shibuya Tokyo, (photo) by Sergi Reboredo / Bridgeman Education

Independent research

student working on laptop in Headington library

How to use databases

What are databases? 

Databases are specialist search engines that can help you find high quality sources like journal articles. Use them when you are researching a topic to find academic sources. Some databases cover specific subjects, others are much broader in scope.

Which databases should I use?

In this section you'll find links to some key databases plus video guides. Further databases are listed in the Resources section above.

How do I search databases?

If you're researching a topic, think about the keywords you could use on LibrarySearch and databases:

  • Check this video Choosing words to put in a search box made by Charlie Brampton, the Librarian for Geography
  • This Search Plan for Japanese (Google doc) can help you develop a list of keywords to use when searching online.
    Click on File - Make a copy - to save your own copy and then add your own notes to it.

Databases for journal articles

How to search Academic Search Complete and other EBSCO databases

Academic Search Complete

You can use databases to find journal articles on topics you are researching. A good database to use for any topic is Academic Search Complete which covers all subject areas. 

For tips on searching, see the video guide (right) or this print guide Database search tips for Japanese Studies Word file and PDF

Other EBSCO databases

Academic Search Complete is available on a web platform called EBSCO. The Library subscribes to several key databases through this same platform. They all look the same and the video guide (right) shows you how to search any of the EBSCO databases, individually or in combination.

Connect to other EBSCO databases:


JSTOR is a multidisciplinary database providing an archive of full-text articles from a wide range of academic journals. It also includes eBooks and images

Illustration of person typing on laptop

Social Science databases

These 2 databases are good for social science topics like gender, education, identity and culture. They are both on the ProQuest platform and look and work the same.

IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences) is a major Social Science database, while Sociological Abstracts is a more specialised Sociology databases.

illustration of man working on computer at desk

Performing Arts Periodicals Database

This is a key resource for finding articles on film and theatre topics

Illustration of movie camera

How to use Factiva database

Factiva is an international news database and a key resource for Japanese studies. It covers many Japanese publications. 

Check the video guide for how to search Factiva for Japanese sources.

Find out how to reference articles from Factiva in the Harvard style.

BoB (Box of Broadcasts)

BoB is an online service which gives you access to thousands of recorded TV, radio programmes and films from an online archive.

Follow the link to access BoB. Click on 'Sign in', then type Oxford Brookes University in the Where are you from? box. The first time you access BoB, you will be prompted to create an account.

  • How to use BoB (video guides)
  • On BoB you can search for programmes by keyword.
  • Trying to find a specific programme on BoB? Click on the 'Search options' link under the search box where you'll see filter options.
  • Try putting names and phrases in quotation marks e.g. "great expectations"
  • Browse the TV listings and ask for upcoming programmes to be added to the collection.
  • Create your own clips from programmes and include them in presentations.
  • Create your own playlists or browse existing ones. 

Study smarter

Light display at Mori digital art museum, Tokyo
Photo by Luca Florio on Unsplash