Why going global might mean going beyond LibrarySearch

LibrarySearch is an excellent place to start any search for information.

Screenshot of the LibrarySearch search box from the Oxford Brookes University Library website.
Text reads: 'Search the library'
Search options are: LibrarySearch, Books, Journals, Databases, Reading lists, Library website.
'LibrarySearch' is in bold above a long search box

LibrarySearch works most effectively when you are looking for material held by Brookes, such as a print or electronic book on a module reading list, or an article within a journal to which we subscribe.

The strengths of LibrarySearch are that it integrates with many of the information products that we purchase. Products that you might use every day e.g.

However some of the products that we buy do not integrate well with LibrarySearch, and it is necessary to search them directly at source. This is particularly true of resources produced by the Global South*. 

We are actively working to improve the breadth of resources visible to you via LibrarySearch. However, if you are researching issues, activities or events concerning the Global South*, or if you would like to actively broaden your searches to include more material produced by the Global Majority*, then our recommendation is that you think about going beyond LibrarySearch. You can ask your Academic Liaison Librarian for help with this. You can find the details of your Academic Liaison Librarian on the Course Resource Help page for your subject. On these pages you may also find links to diverse and inclusive resources for your subject area.

Here are some resources for you to consider:

This international news database provides an archive of over 12,000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages. Leading national newspapers, trade and professional journals, the BBC Monitoring Service (transcripts of world radio broadcasts) are all included.

‘The Global Index Medicus (GIM) provides worldwide access to biomedical and public health literature produced by and within low-middle income countries. The main objective is to increase the visibility and usability of this important set of resources. The material is collated and aggregated by WHO Regional Office Libraries on a central search platform allowing retrieval of bibliographical and full text information.’

Informally published policy content from organisations worldwide. Contains both free and paid-for content. It is necessary to create an Individual account to access the free content which includes over a million policy documents from thousands of Intergovernmental Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, research centres and think tanks.

‘The Journals Online (JOLs) project aimed to provide increased the visibility, accessibility and quality of peer-reviewed journals published in developing countries so that the research outputs produced in these countries can be found, shared and used more effectively.’ This resource covers a broad range of subject areas.

You may notice when using some of these resources, particularly some of the journals available via the Journals Online Project, that the production values are not as high as those produced by the large multinational publishing corporations.Look beyond this. Judge the resource on the content and the rigour of the written research. Look at the credentials of the authors and the institutions to which they are affiliated. Look for the Journal Publishing Practices and Standards (JPPS) assessments.

Journal of Food Stability. Circular, yellow sticker with two white stars and one star outline. The sticker also contains the letters JPPS.

For example, the Journal of Food Stability on Africa Journals Online has been awarded two stars.

What are your recommendations for looking beyond LibrarySearch?

— Penny Robertson, Academic Liaison Librarian

 *In this post we have used the Wikipedia definitions of the terms Global South and Global Majority. We welcome feedback on these terms and on this post – lr-equality@brookes.ac.uk.

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