Course resource help for Modern Languages

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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 Joanna, the Librarian for Applied Languages, Modern Languages with Translation and Liberal Arts. 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.

How to reference: use 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.

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

More about referencing

Use the Library as a new student

Use LibrarySearch to find books and articles

Find sources for your assignments

Find resources for specific languages

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Dissertations and Independent Studies

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How to use 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. Many databases focus on journal articles but others contain newspaper articles or business information. 

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

What kind of sources do you need?

Think about your keywords

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 (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.
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Factiva database for foreign language news sources

Factiva is an international news database and a key resource for Applied Languages. It covers publications in French, German, Spanish, Japanese and many other languages.

Check the video guide for how to search Factiva for foreign language sources.

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

How to use Factiva (guides from the Business Librarians)

Databases for academic journal articles: Academic Search Complete & more

A good database to use for any topic is Academic Search Complete which covers journals from all subject areas. 

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

A selection of more subject-specific EBSCO databases are also listed below - you may want to check if any of these look relevant to the topic you are researching.

Subject-specific EBSCO databases

Brookes has access to around 20 other EBSCO databases. They all look the same and you can search them individually or in combination. The video guide above shows you how to search any of these EBSCO databases.

Other useful databases

Social Science databases: IBSS & Sociological Abstracts

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.


Multidisciplinary database providing an archive of older full-text articles from a wide range of academic journals, plus a range of eBooks.


Academic articles on management and business strategy, plus higher education and training

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BoB (Box of Broadcasts): TV programmes and films

BoB is an online service which gives you access to thousands of recorded TV, radio programmes and films from an online archive. Although it mainly covers UK channels, it includes many foreign language films and other resources that may be useful for Languages students.

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.

  • 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

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