Go beyond your Resource Lists with Oxford Bibliographies Online!

David Brown, one of our team of Academic Liaison Librarians, introduces you to one of the many e-resources that we provide to support your work.

Your Resource Lists are a great starting point when you're looking for materials for assignments, but if you really want to impress your tutors you'll need to find lots of other sources too. Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO) is just one of the Library's online resources which can help you to expand your search and go beyond your Resource List.

What is OBO?

OBO provides research guides, written by experts in the subject. Each guide breaks down the topic into key headings, which include suggested reading and links to more material. Think of each guide on OBO as a subject-specific Resource List, giving you an idea about the key books, journal articles and other resources for that topic.

At York, we have access to five different sections on OBO:

How can I find material on OBO?

Each subject area on OBO is broken down into research guides, covering the main topics for that subject. You can browse each subject by using the links at the top of the screen, or search for topics of interest by using the search box at the top-right. The Advanced Search gives you more options - for example, you can choose which subject areas to include in your search.

You will also find OBO's research guides listed on YorSearch, our Library catalogue. YorSearch will give you a direct link to each entry on OBO, making it easy to find the research guide you're looking for.

How do I use OBO's research guides?

The research guides usually start with an introduction, giving you a broad overview of the subject, followed by more specific areas of interest. Each section of the guide includes suggested readings, with notes under each reference to explain why that source might be useful.


To find out whether a resource is available from the Library, click on Find this resource under each reference. The Find it @ York button will automatically check YorSearch to see whether that book or journal article is available. YorSearch will tell you whether the item is available electronically (and give you a link) or in print.

Remember that we won't necessarily have access to everything listed on OBO, as it might not have been chosen specifically by our academics. If you think we should have access to an item you'd like to use, why not suggest it to the Academic Liaison Librarian for your department? You can find his or her contact details on your department's Subject Guide.

How can I get more help?

For help using OBO, you could either explore the database's Help pages, or contact your Liaison Librarian for more advice.

Your department's Subject Guide will include links to lots of other useful resources for your subject, and will provide general advice on Library resources for your department.

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