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Political Science Subject Guide

Core Databases for Scholarly Literature

Other Recommended Databases for Scholarly Literature

Recommended Databases and Websites for Think Tank Reports

SEE ALSO THE CORE DATABASES FOR SCHOLARLY ARTICLES. PAIS, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, and CIAO all include some think tank reports

Using Encompass Search for Scholarly and Popular Articles

Encompass Search finds information by searching through a massive collection of books and scholarly journals, as well as newspapers and magazines, dissertations, conference proceedings, music, video, maps, and more.

Core Databases and Websites for Popular Literature

Defining Key Terms

You may be wondering what we mean when we refer to scholarly versus popular.

  • Scholarly: In-depth, research-based articles, books, and book chapters, written by scholars and experts and intended for other researchers, experts, and students.
  • Popular: Articles, books, and book chapters written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience in common language (e.g., newspapers and magazines).

Learn more: What is Scholarly?

While we're at it, how about a few more key terms...

  • Peer-Reviewed: A process through which some scholarly articles and book chapters are critically evaluated by experts with in-depth knowledge of the research area before publication in order to ensure the information is valid, credible, well-written, and of high quality. 
  • Literature: Scholarly articles, books, and book chapters published on a particular subject.

Verifying Peer-Review

Are you looking especially for peer-reviewed articles? 

  • Many databases will tell you if an article has been peer-reviewed.  You may even be able to use limits or filters in the database to narrow your search results. 
  • If you're still not sure if an article has been peer-reviewed, search the name of the journal in which the article was published in Ulrichsweb Periodicals Directory.  The symbol of a referee's jersey next to the journal name indicates the journal uses peer review.  (Refereed is a synonym for peer reviewed.)  Note, though, that not all content in peer-reviewed journals is actually peer-reviewed; book or film reviews, letters to the editors, opinion columns, and articles without references are typically not peer-reviewed.