Cross-Disciplinary Databases


Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)

Why: The advantages of Academic Search Premier are: 1) it is multidisciplinary; 2) it includes publications that are current as well as historical; and 3) it offers a mix of scholarly, news, and magazine content.

ASP can sometimes also seem broader than it is deep. If that's your experience, try your luck in one of the databases listed below.


Why: This tried and true database is probably one of the first places you learned to search for scholarly literature. "Smallish" (in relative terms), it's also mighty because the journals it includes are those that, historically, have been considered the most important and most impactful in the fields they cover.

One nice feature of JSTOR is the ability to zero in on a particular discipline. Scanning the left side limits after you run a straight keyword search might help you pinpoint "where" the scholarly conversation is clustering (history, Asian studies, urban studies, etc.).

One downside of JSTOR: it typically excludes the most recent 1-5 years of the publications it includes (with some exceptions). That means you may want to supplement / update with  in HOLLIS,  Google Scholar, or one of the subject databases listed below.

Social Science Premium Collection

Why:  Combines and allows cross-searching of some key databases covering politics, sociology, anthropology, education, criminal justice, and the applied social sciences.

Google Scholar

Why:  GS searches differently from most library databases, including HOLLIS. In addition to searching "metadata" (lots of descriptive info about a book or article, it also searches full-text . This can be an additional advantage when you've got a very narrow topic or are seeking a "nugget" that traditional database searching can't surface easily.

Google Scholar incorporates more types of information -- not just books and journal contents-- and depending on your need, comfort level, and perspective, that eclecticism can be an advantage.

GS is also an excellent place to follow citation trails. Enter the title of a book or journal article and then click on  cited by link in purple that appears beneath a Google Scholar result  

And If you have hundreds or thousands of citations to contend wiith, consider searching within the cited references. Example:

google scholar screenshot showing article with "search within citing article" box checked


Why: CORE provides access to the world’s largest collection of open access research papers -- those that are made freely accessibie to a worldwide audience, even if they have also been published in for-profit scholarly journals.  Research that is global in its orientation is increasingly about including scholarly voices and perspectives that exist beyond the dominant Western discourse traditions.

Key Starting Points: Historical Scholarship


America: History and Life

The premier database for coverage of North America (U.S. and Canada), prehistory to the present. Latin American and World history is covered in Historical Abstracts.>

Historical Abstracts

The premier database for world history ,1450-present. Excludes the U.S.  and Canada, both of which are treated in a companion database, America History and Life.

Key Databases: Government and Public Policy Discussions


Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

WPSA provides citations to and summaries of journal literature in political science and related fields, including political sociology, political theory, economics, law, and public policy.

PAIS Index [Public Affairs Information System]

Covers issues in the public debate through selective coverage of a wide variety of international sources including journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, web content, and more,

HKS Library Think Tank Search

A customized Google search of content drawn from the websites of research institutes, NGOs, universities and entities that produce public policy reports. The HKS search engine favors think tanks whose work matches closely with areas of study at the Kennedy School.  The page lists additional resources for uncovering public policy research, including Policy Commons.

ProQuest Congressional

A major source of information about the members of Congress and their legislative activities and a primary resource for accessing the many publications of Congress: bills and laws, hearings, legislative histories, reports and documents produced by the house and senate.

Key Starting Points: International Relations and Legal Research


Homeland Security Digital Library

The nation’s premier collection of documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management. The HSDL is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

 Materials are drawn from federal, state, local, and international governments; nonprofit organizations, private sector entities, research centers, academic institutes, and think tanks.

JSTOR Security Studies

A subcollection of the JSTOR library, focusing broadly on international relations. The scope of the collection encompasses cybersecurity, foreign policy, human security, intelligence and espionage, international law, military studies, peac and conflict studies, and political violence & terrorism. Content comes from approximately 85 scholarly journals and from important think tanks from all over the world.

HEIN Online

The premier database for U.S., foreign, and international law. An excellent place to look for legislation, case law, regulatory information, legal history, and law reviews (among other things).