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Information Literary Resources: 7. Finding Japanese Newspaper and Journal Articles in the Soc. Sci. and the Hum.

7. Finding Japanese Newspaper and Journal Articles in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

Finding Japanese Newspaper and Journal Articles in the Social Sciences and the Humanities


An orientation workshop for Japanese Studies MA Program


Hitoshi Kamada (Japanese Studies Librarian, The University Arizona Library); Eiichi Ito (Reference Librarian, Asian Division, The Library of Congress)

Subject of the Lesson

To be able to find and obtain journal and newspaper articles about Japan for research


Graduate students preparing for master's thesis

Learning Objectives

This workshop addresses ACRL Standards 1, 2 and 3. It also addresses Skill sets 4-9 and 12 of Project SAILS.

  • Participants will be able to identify indexes for newspaper and journal articles according to their research interests.
  • Participants will be able to search newspaper and journal indexes effectively and efficiently to find articles about topics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities.
  • Participants will be able to critically evaluate the articles in terms of relevancy to the topic.
  • Participants will be able to critically evaluate free-for-use indexes and databases available on the Internet.
  • Participants will be able to retrieve and/or obtain newspaper and journal articles found in searches.

CRL Standards
Standard One: Determining the nature and extent of the information needed.
Standard Two: Accessing needed information effectively and efficiently.
Standard Three: Evaluating information and its sources critically

Skill Sets 4: Selecting finding tools (for journal articles and newspapers)- Identifying types, purposes, and scopes of coverage for find tools and selecting them based on that information
Skill Sets 5: Selecting search terms
Skill Sets 6: Constructing the search
Skill Sets 7: Database mechanics
Skill Sets 8: Evaluating and revising search results
Skill Sets 9: Retrieving sources
Skill Sets 12: Economic, Legal and Social Issues - Other than citation

Content Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Identifying search tools
  3. Developing search keywords
  4. Searching databases
    • Searching Zasshi Kiji Sakuin for articles in scholarly journals in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
    • Searching Senzenki Shinbun Keizai Kiji Bunko for economy and business related articles from late Meiji period to 1970.
  5. Obtaining articles


Part 1:

  • Participants come prepared with their research topics and share them with the class and introduce the indexes that they are already familiar with.

Part 2:

  • Individual work and discussion: Participants explore together different indexes in small groups related to specific topics and discuss their findings.
  • Brief lecture: To wrap up the previous discussion, overview of indexes of journal and newspaper articles; their scope and accessibility. - For example, Zasshi Kiji Sakuin (a scholarly journal index, free access), Kenkyu Kiyo Portal (index of academic journals published by universities and research institutes, free access), Magazine Plus (a comprehensive journal and magazine index of scholarly and popular literature).

Part 3:

  • Brief lecture: developing search keywords.
  • Individual work: Participants practice coming up with keywords for their research topic.
  • Guided searching: Participants find articles on a specific topic.

Part 4:

  • Brief lecture: scope of Zasshi Kiji Sakuin and Senzenki Sinbun Keizai Kiji Bunko.
    • Senzenki Shinbun Keizai Kiji Bunko -- a newspaper article database from late Meiji period to 1970 collected by Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration at Kobe University. It is a full-text searchable database and also classified by subject mainly the Social Sciences topics.
    • Zasshi Kiji Sakuin -- a comprehensive academic journal article index of more than 3,000 titles. Searchable by keywords of titles of journals and articles, and by author.
  • Guided search and hands-on exercise of searching the two indexes.
  • Participants share and discuss search results including relevancy of the findings.
  • Discussion of refining searches.

Part 5:

  • Brief lecture: obtaining articles (searching library catalogs, using ILL)
  • Wrap-up

Sample Lesson for Part 4- Using Kobe University Digital Newspaper Article

Instruction session: a part of the graduate course on Korea, Taiwan, China and Japan in 20 Century, focusing on Economy and Business after the Annexization and under the Japanese Imperialism.

Students need to search primary resources (newspaper article) for their research on Korean economy and industry under the Japanese occupation.

Question. - What resource is available for the newspaper article from 1905 to 1945?

Example: Kobe University Digital Newspaper Article at


Introducing the index contents and scope: 1) 1911-1943 (S18), 2) 380,000 article newspaper clipping on business and economy and industry, 3) Japanese newspaper published in Taiwan, Manchuria, Korea, 4) selected by specialists and researchers at Kobe University.

Step 2:

Showing the site
Question. - How do you search the articles of your particular interest?

  1. Browsing subject - what subject are you going to look at?
  2. Full-text search - What the subject word? - 朝鮮 工業 鉱業, for example.

Step 3:
Searching the index with the method they choose.

Result screen:
Question. - What kind of data or file you can see? - Full-text file and digital image file

Question. - How can you use those files?

  1. Digital Image files - using "cut and past" on a digital file.
  2. Full-text file - using cut and paste - to read, past on - to read quickly use electronic dictionary - at for example to create vocabulary sheet to speed up to read an article.

Wrap up. - Comments from students.

Sample Lesson for Part 5 - obtaining materials via ILL

  1. Introduction to Library Home Page
  2. Let students locates the link to ILL
  3. Demonstrate log-in to ILL request form.
  4. Q&A - to identify and understand citation
    Let students understand what information from citation to enter which part of ILL request form
  5. Exercise - how to romanize
    Let students understand the need for verifying Romanization in order for an ILL request to be handled correctly.
    (Demonstrate how Romanization can be done differently and introduce sources to verity Romanization)

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