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MIDP Master's Projects

International Development seminar; Profs. Fernholz, Lethem, and Mirovitskaya

How to Use this Guide

This guide suggests resources--reference books, library databases, search engines and web links--to use for researching your Master's Projects. Use this table of contents or click on each tab to see each page.

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.

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.

Subject Headings

Also called DESCRIPTORS in some databases, these terms ensure that your search is relevant.

Try the following terms in the catalog and databases.
Use them alone or combined with other terms using AND in between the terms (example: environmental AND world health)

  • globalization (see also: anti-globalization movement)
  • government aid
  • healthcare OR health care
  • environmental
  • international cooperation
  • humanitarian assistance, human rights
  • international trade
  • social policy
  • social problems
  • sustainable development
  • world health
  • sources [add to other subject keywords to find primary sources in the catalog]


Some of these are also DESCRIPTORS in some databases

  • evaluation
  • leadership, or political leadership
  • decision*
  • theor*

The * is a truncation symbol: it tells the database to search for any variation that follows the beginning of the word. So, theor* will find results with 'theory,' 'theories,' or 'theoretical.'

Remember that some articles will be indexed with non-US spellings, e.g. 'labour' instead of 'labor' or 'organisation' instead of 'organization.' You can use a wildcard--in many databases it is a ?--to search for variant spellings. (lab?r, organi?ation)

In-Depth Guides