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African Studies Training

Accessing the News - Factiva and Beyond!

The information on this guide aims to:

  • Introduce you to the non-intuitive news database – Factiva​

  • Take a quick look at other places to find newspapers, online and in print.
  • Look at the CAMP service for ordering materials on microfilm from the States.


What is Factiva?

Factiva is a current international news database produced by Dow Jones, one of the leading global providers of economic and financial information., from Dow Jones, combines over 32,000 sources to give students, faculty, and librarians access to premium content from 200 countries, in 28 languages. Users have access to a wide range of information from newspapers, newswires, industry publications, websites, company reports, and more. 

  • So just a reminder that the database is very much geared towards bringing together business information and news reports, and not academic articles. 
  • To access Factiva it is always recommended that you are already logged in to Raven, and search for the resource via the A-Z Databases and use the link provided. 
  • Open searching for the database via Google etc., may not retrieve the correct link which will recognise you as a Cambridge user.

                            Factiva screenshot on A-Z databases

What Are Factiva's Strengths?

  • Menu options are the main power of the database​ helping you to specify the news articles that you're searching for
  • ​Global news coverage in 28 languages​
  • ​Trade publications​
  • ​"Query Genius" uses Boolean searching​ techniques
  • ​Easy to download your chosen articles in a variety of formats

                            Factiva homepage

Searching Factiva

Factiva date range highlighted


  • Use the drop-down options to specify what date range Factiva should search

Factiva languages highlighted


  • Note that by default Factiva will search "All languages" - select which languages you would like to limit your search results to

Factiva sources highlighted


  • Make sure you expand the "Sources" menu option to view news sources by region - and then expand again to find the news paper titles included in your selected region

  • Or you can search for a particular news source using the search box

Factiva content type highlighted


  • From the "Subject" option you can select which 'types' of content you would like to view, i.e. abstracts, blogs, columns, etc.

  • Make sure you expand each menu to see the full range of content type that you can include in your search (default will be ALL content types if a selection is not made)

Factiva subject highlighted


  • Under the same "Subject" menu option, select which subject area you would like to focus on

  • Again if you don't select which subject, the default is ALL subject areas

Factiva Query Genius

STEP 6: 

  • Make sure that the "Query Genius" is selected before searching

  • Use your phrase searching with quotation marks, and the Query Genius will bring up further Boolean operators as you type your keywords - play around with this and note which searches bring up the most relevant results

Understanding & Filtering the Results of Your Factiva Search

Factiva results columns explained

STEP 1: The results screen displays by default in 3 columns

  • 1st column - filters.  Use these to further refine your search by date range, company, news source, industry etc.

  • 2nd column - article results

  • 3rd column - a summary of your search, and the results

Factiva keyword cloud highlighted


  • At the bottom of the 1st column is a keyword cloud of most mentioned topics within your search results, click on these to view articles that are related to these keywords 

  • The larger the font, the greater number of articles featuring these keywords

Factiva article selected - toggle display


  • When you click on an article headline, the article will now appear in the third column

  • If you want, you can toggle the display so that you can view it on full screen without the list of results (top right corner of third column)

Factiva articles ticked and download options


  • Use the check boxes to select articles from the list of results

  • Use the icons on the grey bar to: view; email; print; save; download as RTF; download as PDF

  • When you click on one of the save/download icons, it will give you a choice of how you would like the articles saved/downloaded - as full text, headline format, or search summary 

Factiva content type bar & modify search highlighted


  • You can view only certain types of content by clicking on the results by number bar along the top of the results screen

  • You can also modify your search by clicking on the button on the top right of the 3rd column, and add further keywords, or content/source limitations

Quick Summary of Factiva Features!

  • Select from a huge range of 'Sources' 

  • Search by content type (expand “subject category”) - options to search for: interviews, obituaries etc.​

  • Keyword cloud at bottom of 1st column on the results screen ​

  • Once clicked on results you can read the article in the quick reading pane - keywords are highlighted​

  • Use check boxes, then use grey bar to download, or send the articles to an email account​

  • You can download and export: Headline, Article, TOC and Search Summary​

  • Modify search via the top right of results screen - add in further keywords​

Factiva Sounds Great! What Are the Issues?

  • Takes a while to authenticate - be patient​

  • Indexer of content - but some full text material isn’t available due to academic subscriptions permissions​

  • On site access should be guaranteed, but can be sketchy – always go through databases A-Z to ensure Raven login access​

  • Might struggle with diacritics​

  • Doesn’t include images from news articles​

  • Check coverage dates by expanding options ​

  • Alerts option is not advised​ due to institutional settings

Other News Sources

Access to newspapers via Cambridge:

  • A-Z databases​ - Select 'newspapers, news sites' from “all database types”​

       ​a-z databases -  newspapers


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