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.

    This guide from the Open University (PDF) explains clearly what a journal is, and how they differ from books.

    Peer review provides feedback so that researchers can revise and improve their papers before publication. It also acts as a quality check, ensuring that articles meet high standards expected in the discipline and required to maintain the reputation of the journal. Find out more about the purpose of peer review and how it works in this Explainer: what is peer review?

    If you have the details of a specific article you may be able to use LibrarySearch to find it. Type the article title and author in the LibrarySearch

    Alternatively you can look up a specific journal title and browse or search through back issues:

    • Go to the Library home page and select the 'Journal titles' tab. Type in the journal title. Find the journal on LibrarySearch and click on the title. Click on the 'Access journal' link to connect to the journal home page.
    • If you're looking for a specific article, start by browsing for the YEAR on the journal home page 
    • Use the VOLUME and ISSUE numbers to find the correct journal issue.
    • Articles in each issue will be listed in page order, so use the PAGE NUMBERS to find the specific article.

    You can use Cite Them Right Online to help you accurately create your own references to journal articles. If you have found an article online and need to reference it, make sure you have recorded these details:

    • Author(s)
    • Title of article
    • Title of journal
    • Year of publication
    • Volume number (if given)
    • Issue number (if given)
    • Page numbers
    The quickest way to find articles recommended by your lecturers is to use the module's online reading list. You can usually access this through the course's Moodle page, or you can browse the Library's collection of online reading lists for PoliticsInternational Relations (including MA modules) and Economics
  • How do I find journal articles on a topic?

    LibrarySearch » is a good place to start. Use it to search for a topic and find books, articles and other resources. Just type your keywords or a phrase in the search box. At the results screen, use the filter options on the left to limit your search to articles.
    Check this quick guide Using LibrarySearch to find journal articles on a topic (PDF)
    NB LibrarySearch doesn’t cover all of our e-resources. We recommend using a database for more in-depth research.

    Key databases for Politics, IR and Economics 

    • Academic Search Complete multi-disciplinary database with good coverage of politics & international relations journals.
    • IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences) provides references and abstracts from a wide range of social science journals including politics.
    • HeinOnline - includes a large collection of full-text journals It focuses on US and international law but can be very useful for international relations topics 
    • Econlit - key economics database, mainly full text.
    • 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.
    • Communication & Mass Media Complete - very good for topics relating to media and society. Many articles are full-text.
    • 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 in the WoS guide (PDF).
    • 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. 

    Further help 

    Finding journal articles guide (PDF) » Includes tips on how to search databases effectively.

    Literature search plan (Word) » Designed to help you plan your search - download a copy and add your own notes.

    Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for 1-to-1 help.  

  • We also have access to some - but not all - of the journals in these publisher collections. To check our holdings of a specific journal, go to the Library home page and select 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 on LibrarySearch. Sources include:

    News sources

    • 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. How to use Factiva -  short videos and written guides.
    • LexisLibrary This is a legal database which also includes articles from UK national and regional news sources. To search the database for news articles, click on News in the top 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. How to use LexisLibrary - see the section 'How to search newspapers'
    • For further help with tracking down news sources, see our guide News and current affairs
    • Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference online news sources in the Harvard style used at Brookes.

    TV and radio programmes

    • 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.
    • Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference BoB programmes in the Harvard style used at Brookes.
    • UK Parliamentary Papers - access to the full text of the entire collection of House of Commons parliamentary papers from 1688 to 2003/04 session.
    • Historical Texts has the full text of over 350,000 books published in Great Britain from 1475-1900.
    • ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Guardian and The Observer The complete digital edition of the Guardian (1821 - 2003) and the Observer (1791 - 2003).
    • The Times Digital Archive (via Gale Databases) The complete digital edition of The Times (London), 1785-1985, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.
    • Nineteenth century British Library newspapers (via Gale Databases) contains digital editions of a wide variety of national and regional British newspapers from the 19th century. The database also provides contextual essays about the role of newspapers during the period.
    • Seventeenth & Eighteenth century Burney Collection newspapers (via Gale Databases) a digital archive of 17th and 18th century British Newspapers gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney. It includes pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers published in England, Ireland and Scotland, plus a selection of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia.
      Note: It is possible to search these 2 databases (Nineteenth century British Library newspapers and Seventeenth & Eighteenth century Burney Collection newspapers) simultaneously. To do this, follow the bottom link to British Newspapers 1600-1900 on the Gale Databases page.