Background Information

  • Oxford Bibliographies Online help you identify some of the most important and influential scholarship across a variety of academic disciplines.
    • OBO entries help you solve the problem of knowing what or who to read or which voices in the conversation you should give some fuller attention to. They're regularly updated to remain current.
  • Annual Reviews series offers authoritative syntheses of the primary research literature in 46 academic fields, including economics, law and social sciencepolitical sciencepublic health, and sociology.
    • The advanced search screen offers excellent search tips, including ways to select certain titles, limit to particular disciplines, and narrow by date. If you find a review that seems on point, but rather dated (10 years or so), try searching for it (or any of the works cited) in Google Scholar. Then follow the “cited by” links to discover something more recent.
  • Oxford Handbooks Online provides introductions to topics and critical surveys of the current state of scholarship in specific fields.
    • Political Science is one of the subject areas. There are too many articles for browsing, so you can try searching for a general topic idea by using the 'Narrow Your Choices - Refine terms' in the left-column, and entering a search word.
  • CQ Press Library is a collection of resources on American government, current affairs, history, politics, public policy and data analysis. 
  • Very Short Introductions provide concise introductions to a diverse range of subjects, including a section on the Social Sciences.