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PUBPOL 807: MPP Master's Projects: Literature Review

resources for thorough literature reviews

Journal Lookup Tool

Use Ulrichsweb to see if a publication is peer review or not.


combined catalog of hundreds of libraries worldwide

new database--open access Worldcat for the deep Web, with links to full text of reports, dissertations, etc.

‚ÄčDatabases that index books and book chapters
see descriptions in Browse Databases by Subject--Social Sciences/Public Policy

Political Science Complete



Dissertations, Theses, Master's Projects

Dissertations & Theses: Full Text
ProQuest database with downloadable full text for most; citations back to 1637, previews of recent dissertations.

Dissertations from Duke University
1996 forward. Public Policy does not show as a department (no theses in this database), so search by subject name, or search for terms in the citation and abstract.

DukeSpace electronic theses and dissertations
2007 forward. Also includes undergrad Honors Theses, Duke U. Archival materials.
Go to Electronic Theses & Dissertations for Master's Theses; or use the Advanced Search with topical keywords.

Sanford School MPP Projects in DukeSpace
Spring 2011 forward. For earlier projects, see below.

Sanford School MPP Projects
Consult with Helene McAdams, Director of Student Services for the MPP program, to find previous papers. Email

Sanford School Spring Consulting Projects
Executive summaries from 2001 to present at

Research Tools

From the start: Record and refine your search strategies by keeping a research log (ex. below); saving your search histories in databases; and/or taking screen shots of your searches.

Remember to cite sources as you go.

Citation Managers:



Comparison: RefWorks, EndNote, zotero, Mendeley

See also: Public Policy Writing

Journal Articles

Identify top journals in a field

Journal Citation Reports
Rank journals in a field by number of times cited, impact factor, and other scores.
Choose Social Sciences, by Subject, to start.
Click Help, then Index (top right) to look up definitions of the scores.

Multidisciplinary databases for broad coverage

Academic OneFile


Web of Science core collection--follow the citing and cited references

Discipline-specific databases

Find Databases by Subject with the link at the Databases tab; choose Social Sciences, then sub-categories.
Read the descriptions to see if the scope of a database meets your needs.

Political Science Complete--incl. Public Policy


CIAO--International Relations


Education Full Text

Global Health

Sociological Abstracts


Google Scholar

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 citation tool (Endnote, Refworks) in Scholar Settings for one-click citation export.