IAS 102: Scope and Methods in International and Area Studies

Secondary Sources in International & Area Studies

A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an event or phenomenon.  It is generally  one step removed from the event and is often based on primary sources, including research data.  Examples include scholarly books and journal articles. A good way to find secondary sources is by searching library databases.

A library databases is like a search engines that indexes the scholarly and popular literature - both books and articles - on a specific academic discipline or disciplines, geographic regions, or types of information (e.g. statistics or news). See the sections below for databases in Anthropology and Sociology as well as  International & Regional Studies, Economics and Politics, and History.

Sociology & Anthropology Databases

Anthropology Plus. Indexes journal articles, essays, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology as well as ethnology, archaeology, folklore, and material culture. This database combines the resources of Anthropological Index and Anthropological Literature.

Elsevier Geography.  Indexes over 2000 journals, monographs, books, conference proceedings, and theses covering the international literature in human geography, as well as international development issues.

Family and Society Studies Worldwide. Indexes books, scholarly journals, magazines, reports, proceedings, statistics, dissertations, and websites worldwide related to social science research about the family and society.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS). Indexes over 3000 journals, books, chapters, and book reviews in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology from more than 100 countries. More than 70 languages are represented, with 30% percent of records published in languages other than English. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

JSTOR. Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available. 

Project MUSE. Scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.

ProQuest Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary metasearch through 22 of the the social sciences indexes on the ProQuest platform. Includes EconLit, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, PAIS, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts and more.

Sociological Abstracts. Indexes over 1,900 journals, books, dissertations, and reviews in the social sciences on sociological topics as well as selected anthropology, criminology, demography, law, social psychology, and urban development. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

Social Work Abstracts. Indexes more than 450 journals related to social work on topics such as homelessness, AIDS, child and family welfare, aging, substance abuse, legislation, and community organization.

Urban Studies and Planning: A SAGE Full-Text Collection. Covers  Economic Development, Planning Practice and Theory, Policy Analysis, Political Science, Public Administration, Regional Geography, Residential and Community Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Policy, and Welfare Economics.

Web of Science. Indexes over 8,000 of the leading journals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, providing searching of footnoted citations. Includes the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index.

Women's Studies International. Indexes books, journals, magazines, and other resources related to research and commentary on women and women's issues, feminism, and gender.

International & Area Databases

ABSEES Online Database. Indexes journal articles, books, dissertations, selected government publications, and online resources published in the US and Canada on East and Central Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Union. Covers the more recent years of the print equivalent, American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies.

Africa-Wide NiPADA comprehensive database covering journals, magazines, newspapers, broadcasts, books and more on all aspects of Africa including politics, history, economics, literature, music and natural sciences. Combines the databases previously known as African Studies and South African Studies.

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS)Over 500,000 citations to journal articles, books, and conference proceedings worldwide on the countries, histories, and cultures of East, South, and Southeast Asia.

Handbook of Latin American StudiesIndexes books, journals and proceedings to create an annual bibliography on Latin America consisting of works selected and annotated by scholars, alternating between focusing on the humanities and the social sciences.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)   . Indexes over 3000 journals, books, chapters, and book reviews in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology from more than 100 countries. More than 70 languages are represented, with 30% percent of records published in languages other than English. (Search all ProQuest Social Sciences databases.)

Index IslamicusIndexes literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Over 3,000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works and book reviews. Journals and books are indexed down to the article and chapter level.

Politics & Economics Databases

This page lists databases for finding information on the political and economic aspects of global poverty & practice.  For additional information on these topics please also see the section on Government Information in this guide.

Alternative Press Index.  Alternative, radical, and left magazines, newsletters, and journals in North America which report and analyze issues of cultural, economic, political, and social change. Approximately 90% of publications included are not indexed elsewhere. The Alternative Press Index Archive covers materials from 1969 to 1990.

CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online). Indexes journals, books, policy briefs, working papers, and conference proceedings from research institutes worldwide related to international affairs analysis and advocacy materials. Also includes links to international affairs Internet sources.

EconLit. The most comprehensive index to scholarly journal articles in economics. It also lists books and dissertations, and indexes articles within 'collective works' (books consisting of collections of essays or individual papers). Most citations include a searchable abstract. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform.)

Elsevier Geography.  Indexes over 2000 journals, monographs, books, conference proceedings, and theses covering the international literature in human geography, as well as international development issues.

JSTOR. Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.

PAIS International. Indexes books, journals, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, and web sources related to public policy, politics, economics, and social issues worldwide. Includes publications from over 120 countries. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

PolicyFile. Index to public policy in the areas of economics, politics, the environment, and social issues, taken from reports from a wide range of thinks tanks, Non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations, and other institutions worldwide.

Political Science: A SAGE Full-Text Collection. Includes the full-text of 24 journals published by SAGE and participating societies, some journals going back 24 years. Covers such subjects as American Government and Politics, Policy Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies and International Relations.

ProQuest Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary metasearch through 22 of the the social sciences indexes on the ProQuest platform. Includes EconLit, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, PAIS, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts and more.

Web of Science. Indexes over 8,000 of the leading journals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, providing searching of footnoted citations. Includes the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts.  Indexes books, journals, and dissertations within the field of political science and related to international relations, law and politics, political economy, public administration, and public policy. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

History Databases

The following databases are useful for finding academic articles in history journals. See also ths section below on selected primary resource databases useful for uncovering original (primary sources) such as newspapers and government information dealing with empire and the legacy of colonialism.   

America: History and Life. Indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide on the history of the US and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.

Bibliography of British and Irish History. Covers historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available. To access database, click on Enter databases, then click on Bibliography of British and Irish History

Bibliography of Slavery and World Slavery. Searchable database of references to scholarly works in all disciplines and western European languages on slavery and slaving throughout the world. It includes most known print and digital materials published since 1900 covering historical and modern times.

Historical Abstracts. Indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Articles covered were written from 1954 to the present

JSTOR. Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.

Periodicals Archive Online (formerly PCI Full Text)An online periodical archive that provides access to some 475 digitized journals in the humanities and social sciences. A sister database, Periodicals Index Online, provides additional indexing for articles in over 4,700 periodicals.

Project MUSE.Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.

Last Update: February 20, 2012 17:55