Library specialists' web pages are available to assist you in selecting appropriate databases for your research. Interdisciplinary research necessarily involves the use of multiple bibliographic tools. Following are some of the commonly used print and electronic citation indexes and abstracts for African Studies. Date ranges are provided for print editions only, so check information and help files for differences in online versions. This is an incomplete help guide; comprehensive information is available via the online catalog and at database or search engine web pages.
African Studies in general
Africa Bibliography. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. 1985- .
LW Ref: Z 3501 .A37
Emphasis on British publications, includes periodicals, monographs of collected essays, books. Articles selected from sub-Saharan Africa journals, the U.S. and European continent.
African Studies Abstracts: the abstracts of the African Studies Centre, Leiden. London: Hans Zell, 1994- . LW Ref: DT 1 L37
Abstracts to leading journals in African studies with some 230 in number with one-half in English. Includes edited works, 1,800 titles annually. Recent issues available online.
A Current Bibliography on African Affairs. Farmingdale, N.Y.: Baywood Publishing Co. Published for the African Bibliographic Center. 1968- .
LW Ref: Z3501 C87
Has feature bibliographic essays & book reviews. Provides current, comprehensive annotated record of African publications, (books and journals) with emphasis on U.S. and continental African publications.
International African Bibliography. London: International African Institute. 1971- . LW Ref: Z3501 . I54
Excellent index including journal article listings with relevant subject headings. Monographic section has collected essay resources that are indexed individually. Strength is British and European sources. [Note that we do not have access to the full contents online, but also that this pdf format isn't any better and may be less convenient than using the print version.]
Library of Congress. Library of Congress Office, Nairobi, Kenya. Quarterly Index to Periodical Literature, Eastern and Southern
Africa. 1991- . LW Ref: Z3508 Q38
The only continuing index for journal articles published in Africa from African sources. UF Libraries has a good complement of resources indexed providing a balance of comment to U.S., British, and West European continental index sources.
Library of Congress. African Section. Africa south of the Sahara, index to periodical literature, 1900-1970 and
supplements through 1976. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1971. LW Ref (Oversize): Z 3503.U47
75 years of published articles on Sub-Saharan Africa, an important and massive "database" yet to be computerized. Geographical arrangement with classified subject entries. Excellent ethnic linguistic resource.
Specialized sources & related disciplines
African Index Medicus. Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo: WHO Regional Office, Africa; Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa, 1993-2000. LW Ref: R652 .A37
African Research & Documentation. Birmingham: African Studies Association of the UK. 1973 - .
LW Ref: DT 19.8 .A35
Excellent subject bibliographies and bibliographic essays on African topics. Includes reviews of archives/manuscript collections worldwide specializing in Africana. Online access from 2006-current.
Anthropology Plus. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC.
Combines two important indexes, Anthropological Literature from Harvard University and the Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute, UK via the FirstSearch interface. Both of these print indexes are available in LW Reference. An excellent search guide, tip sheets and source for detailed information is available: Harvard Tozzer Library's guide to Anthropological Literature.
CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online)
Major online-only resource provides full text resources for international affairs. Includes working papers, conference proceedings, policy briefs, maps/country data and economic indicators--a valuable resource for current U.S. policy toward Africa.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is not an index, but it does link to over 1,100 full-text online journals for browsing and searching. All titles have not yet been added to the library catalog, but are listed in the E-Journal Locator).
EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit)
Global economic and political developments. Includes daily updates with full text analyses in ViewsWire. Online Country Profiles and Country Reports provide annual and quarterly analyses of politics & economics formerly received for Africa in paper format since the late 1980's.
Historical Abstracts Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 1955-2002 print volumes LW Ref: D299 .H5
Largest online index to articles dealing with African history been published since the 1950s. Online only from 2002- . Worldwide coverage with evaluative abstracts. Good source for African history and politics. For Diaspora and African-American published articles, see the companion database: America: History and Life.
International Development Abstracts. Norwich: Geo Abstracts. 1982-2002.
LW Ref: HC 59.69 .I57
Was the best academic source for identifying resources on African development studies during this time period. Excellent, detailed abstracts selected from worldwide database. Includes agriculture and rural development, environment and development, finance, demography, regional planning, migration, refugees, food supply, and health.
African Journals OnLine (AJOL). International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications.
"AJOL aims to provide access to all scholarly journals published in Africa. Titles from South Africa and Francophone Africa are being added, as well as many more from the rest of Africa." Article titles and abstracts are searchable online, with a full text document delivery service available (free to scholars in certain countries).
International Political Science Abstracts. International Political Science Association. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1951 - .
LW Ref. JA 36 .I5
Excellent source with worldwide published coverage of articles for African politics and democracy, state formation. Regional coverage and relations between African states. 900 journals indexed.
Maps of Africa to 1900: a checklist of maps in atlases and geographical journals in the collections of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Bassett, Thomas J. Urbana: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 2000. LW Ref. GA1341.B37 2000 (see also LW & Maps)
Dissertations & Theses: Full Text (ProQuest). Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1952- . LW Ref.: Z5053 .D57
With over 2 million entries, the authoritative resource for information on doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Dissertations published from 1980 forward include 350-word abstracts written by the author. Master's theses published from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. Over 1.8 million titles for purchase in microfilm or paper formats. More than 600,000 titles are available in native or image PDF formats for immediate free download. UF Libraries have a strong representation of U.S. dissertations published on Africa. See also my own guide to finding dissertations on the library web site.
PAIS International. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, Public Affairs Information Service. 1915- LW Ref.: Z7163.P922
Over 449,00 entries online since 1972 (print under previous titles covers from 1915, with African coverage only later in this range of years). Access to selected books, articles, government documents, chapter essays, and statistical sources broadly relating to public affairs. Many citations include abstracts. Best database for African politics and applied economics.
PolicyFile. Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey
Full text online-only database, updated weekly with public policy resource documents including Africa. Includes research from more than 330 research organizations and advocacy groups. Over half of PolicyFile abstracts include links to full text policy research reports and studies.
Periodicals Index Online Ann Arbor, Mich.: ProQuest
A massive online-only electronic index to the contents of thousands of periodicals in the arts, humanities and social sciences from their first issues to present. Includes over 10 million articles in over 3,100 journals. Important for Africana finding items in lesser known and older journals. Important for history, anthropology, and linguistics.