If you’re a student studying any subject, if you work as a researcher, or are simply interested in research, a credible and comprehensive bibliography is a must. Oxford Bibliographies is undoubtedly a great starting point for your research! Oxford Bibliographies aims to provide selective online bibliographies of the best works on authors and subjects. Written by over 6,000 (!) expert scholars, Oxford Bibliographies offers authoritative research guides in 39 academic disciplines (these include Buddhism, Linguistics, Evolutionary Biology, Victorian Literature, and more). Each of these subjects has approximately 100 articles (entries), containing annotated bibliographies of recommended reading for each item of the subject. These are updated quarterly.
You can browse any of the subject areas by clicking on it, or using the search box at the top to get into a topic. It’s simple to use: for instance, from the Home page, if you click on the British and Irish Literature module, you will find as many as 96 items listed in alphabetical order, through which you can easily browse and navigate.
These include, Arthurian Literature, Biography and Autobiography, Censorship, Dracula, Famine, The Gunpowder Plot, Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan, The Contemporary British Novel, Vampire Fiction.
How can you find out more about your subject? You can begin by clicking on Learn more about this subject in the lefthand box. This opens in a new window containing an introduction to the topic (you’re in good hands: the Editor in Chief, Andrew Hadfield is a professor of English at the University of Sussex, and the sources which Oxford Bibliographies use are wide ranging and not biased towards any Oxford publications content).
Let’s take a look at one article within the module of British and Irish Literature: for example, Censorship. You will find an informative and concise overview. This is a very precise and, more importantly, sensitive and impartial overview: censorship is explained as not being a static category but as one that changes over time, ‘encompassing cultural bias, politics, religion, law, publishing and trade relations, copyright…’ Censorship in English literature should be examined differently to that in Irish literature which was regulated by the same laws as English literature but later by the very different Irish Republic regulations.
The several subdivisions that follow the introduction cite books and a broad range of online resources (e-journals and websites) and direct users to the exact chapter, book, archive or online resource, with direct links to resources via your library’s catalogue, WorldCat and Google books in ‘Find this Resource’. The taxonomies are comprehensive and one can also skip to a different topic by typing a keyword in the search box on the top righthand corner.
Tri-borough Reference Librarian