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PUBPOL 237S:Research in International Policy Issues: Existing Scholarship

for Prof. Tana Johnson's course, cross-listed as POLSCI 225S

Beyond Scholarly Articles

Include government documents, working papers, policy briefs, etc. as supplementary material to inform your research and to mine for clues as to studies done or statistics compiled.

Tip: Read the Summary to see what it covers before clicking through to the database.

Homeland Security Digital Library
government documents, research studies, CRS reports, GAO reports and testimony, theses and dissertations, case studies and grey literature
Tip: Search by keyword or browse by topic.

CIAO  (Columbia International Affairs Online)
Journal articles, working papers, policy briefs, and books on international affairs

See also: International & Transnational Relations guide for more sources.

Empirical and Case Studies

Build on existing scholarship about your topic; it is the best place to start.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Tips for identifying empirical and case studies:

  • Use the library databases of carefully selected academic material; some are suggested on this page
  • Limit your search or results to "peer-reviewed journals" or "academic journals"
  • Add the keyword "studies" or "research" or "experiment" to your topical keywords, using AND to connect them

Tips for using existing scholarship:

  • Look for compiled data
  • Look for hypotheses to test
  • Look for alternative explanations
  • Follow up on the cited references, and sources of data
  • Read the conclusion carefully for suggestions for further research

Google Scholar search tips

Google Scholar limits your results to academic resources.

tip:  To get the  link when using Google Scholar off campus, go to Scholar Settings and choose Duke from Library Links.

You can also set your preferred bibliography manager (Endnote, Refworks) in Scholar Settings for one-click citation export.

Tips for refining your search:

Click Advanced Search for more options.

Limit your results by date (to the left of results) to get the most recent few years. Current academic articles usually summarize previous research on the topic, and you can follow up on their cited references to see if they are appropriate for your bibliography.

Subject Guide

Ryan Denniston

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Durham, NC 27708
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Research Tools

From the start: You may want to keep a research log to record where and how you searched; it will help you to refine your search strategies. 

Citation Tools: