Guide to researching issues in sport history

Volleyball game in action
Dig your way into good research 😉

Students in the “History of Sport” class are working on an analytical video that covers an issue, event, or theme in the history of sport.  The topics include:

  • Racism in sport
  • Gender inequality in sport
  • Religion in sport
  • Political influences in sport
  • Sexuality in sport
  • Gambling in sport
  • Violence in sport
  • Drug use in sport
  • Technology in sport
  • Governance, rule making, and/or player relations in sport

Students may cover the broad topic, or focus on a more narrow topic that is within the scope of their assigned theme.  What follows is a list of resources that can help them find some great resources for their annotated bibliographies and video assignments.


ArticlesPlus is the big search box on the main library home page.

  • This database searches about 70% of all of the content of the entire Ohio University Libraries system.
  • Use it to search for books, academic articles, magazines, and newspapers that cover your topic.
  • Note that some of the topics above can be very broad, so you may want to look for additional keyword terms to help narrow the number of search results.

Subject Databases

Note that the databases below are included in ArticlesPlus.  Sometimes ArticlesPlus can yield too many results.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of search results, you might try one of the more narrow subject specific databases below.  Also, searching for your topic in the different databases below will yield publications from multiple academic disciplines, giving you a much broader perspective.


  • SportDiscus contains journals and publications pertaining to all aspects of sport.
  • Information for most topics above can be found here.

Gender Studies

  • Gender Studies contains journals and publications that covers sexual diversity issues.
  • Use this database for topics addressing sexuality in sport or gender inequality in sport.

America History and Life

  • America History and Life contains journals and publications in all areas of American History.
  • It’s worth looking here to see if your topic might be covered.

Historical Abstracts

  • Historical Abstracts contains journals and publications pertaining non-U.S. history.
  • Given the international scope of many of the topics, it’s worth looking here to see if your topic might be covered.

A quick tip:  All of the subject databases above, and ArticlesPlus, are hosted on the Ebsco platform. You might want to use the “Sign In” feature to create a MyEbscoHost account. This will allow you to save articles  and perhaps even share folders with your team.

Encyclopedias and overviews

Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • The Gale Virtual Reference Library is a huge collection of online encyclopedias.
  • Use it to search for an event, person, or issue relating to your topic to get extensive background information.

CQ Researcher

  • CQ Researcher offers overviews of contemporary controversial topics.
  • It won’t be great for all topics, but will have some reports that are useful.

Opposing Viewpoints

  • Opposing Viewpoints give pro/con arguments on controversial topics.
  • This can be a useful resource to help you get a better picture of all sides of an issue.




Related Topics: Class Guides