Journal articles and databases for Politics and International Relations

  • Academic journals are key sources for your Politics and IR studies. They publish articles which are written by specialists in the field and provide an insight into current thinking, debate and research. They can also cover a specific topic in depth, e.g. a case study. 

    How do I find journal articles?

    If you need to find articles on a Politics/IR topic, try searching one of the Library databases listed on this page.

    These databases are a good place to start:

    • Academic Search Complete multi-disciplinary database. Good coverage of politics & international relations journals and many articles are full text.
    • IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences) provides references and abstracts from a wide range of social science journals including politics.  
    • Discover is our library search system. It offers a simple Google-type search but covers Brookes library resources, so it's a useful starting point for finding books, journal articles and other sources. We recommend using a database for more in-depth research.

    Help with searching databases

    Databases work in a different way to Google and the Library catalogue. You'll find tips to help you get started in this PDF guide Finding journal articles for International Relations and Politics and you are welcome to contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for 1-to-1 help.  

    This Literature search plan for Politics & International Relations (Word) is designed to help you think about the keywords you might use to search and how to put your search together. Use it to add your own notes and plan your search.

    • Databases covering all subjects:

      • Web of Science - in spite of its name, this database covers all subject areas. It's particularly useful for tracking citations to key articles. On Web of Science you can view an article and see a list of the author’s 'Cited References' - those sources that influenced the author. You can also see the article's influence on subsequent publications via the 'Times Cited' option. Find out more.
      • JSTOR database provides an archive of full-text articles from a wide range of disciplines, including International Relations and Politics. Note that most journals covered do not give access to most recent issues. To find similar sources, try JSTOR's Text Analyser. Upload a document e.g. an article. The tool will analyse the text and then find similar content in the database.
      • Google Scholar is freely available and simple to use. You can get Google Scholar to check whether the full-text article is available at Brookes by changing your settings: In Google Scholar click on 'Settings'. From the left hand options, choose 'Library links’. You'll see a search box you can use to look up a specific library. You need to look up Oxford Brookes and select the option 'Oxford Brookes University - Full-Text Finder @Brookes'. 

      Databases for Economics, Business and Development Studies: 

      • Business Source Complete - major business database which includes management, economics and finance, but is also good for international issues and includes country profiles. Mainly full text.
      • Emerald Full text database giving full text articles from academic journals covering business, management and training.
      • Econlit - key economics database, mainly full text.

      Other useful subject databases:

      • ASSIA - Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, includes politics and policy.
      • Communication & Mass Media Complete - very good for topics relating to media and society. Many articles are full-text.
      • HeinOnline - is mainly focused on US and international law. It includes a large collection of full-text journals and can be useful for some international relations topics.
      • Historical Abstracts - useful for all areas of world history.
      • Sociological Abstracts - covers a broad range of social science subjects including politics.

      Collections of journals from specific publishers: 

      NB We do not have access to all the journals on these databases. To check our holdings of a specific journal, go to the Library home page and select E-journal titles then type in the title of the journal.

      OED online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.

      Oxford Reference Online This is a collection of Oxford University Press reference books on a variety of subjects including Politics. Individual titles from the collection are also listed on the Library Catalogue and on Discover. Sources include:

      • Factiva is an international news database providing an archive of 10000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages. Leading national newspapers, local newspapers, trade and professional journals, the BBC Monitoring Service (transcripts of world radio broadcasts) are all included.  
      • Full-text newspaper articles from UK newspapers can be accessed through  LexisLibrary. To search the database for news articles, click on News in the red menu bar on the initial screen. At the news search screen you can use the Select Sources drop-down menu to search all UK newspapers or just broadsheets, for example.
      • For further help with tracking down news sources, see our guide News and current affairs
      • BoB (Box of Broadcasts)  gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including news programmes and documentaries from an online archive. It allows users to record programmes which will then be stored on the database. 
        Log in when prompted with your Brookes username and password. First-time users will be prompted to register. You can search for programmes already recorded, view the programme guide and also search for playlists and create your own.