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ECON 4065 - History of Economic Thought

This subject guide supports the research assignments for this course.

Finding Articles for a Literature Review

To locate articles we must first think in terms of what tool will most likely provide the outcome of obtaining such an item. 

Whenever you are doing research think in terms of what subject area your topic lies in so that you can locate applicable tools to begin your search for materials.  In this case, we are looking for economic topics.  In order to find article databases dealing with this subject we can go to the Mardigian Library HomepageThen locate the following link:

Once you arrive at the databases page select the Economics subject heading from the list illustrated in the image below:

This will take you to the databases the library recommends using to find materials on economics topics.

Best Economics Databases

These are some of the best databases that you will be able to use for locating materials in the Economics subject area.  These databases will allow you to locate peer-reviewed scholarly articles on your topics. 

ProQuest Research Library - Academic and general articles about a broad range of subjects including arts, business, children, education, general interest, health, humanities, international, law, military, multicultural, psychology, sciences, social sciences, and women's interests. Covers 1971 to present.

EconLit - Journal articles and working papers on economics issues since 1969 can be found here.

JSTOR Journal articles from core scholarly journals in the liberal arts and sciences. Coverage extends from the first issue of journals included to 3 - 5 years before the present.

Business Source Complete - contains over 2,000 active, business-related periodicals covering topics such as management, economics, finance, accounting, marketing, banking, and international business. 

ABI / INFORM Complete - Provides in-depth coverage of business, finance, economics, and management publications as well as local and regional business publications, trade and industry magazines, and newsletters

Science Direct – indexes more than 2,500 journals in science, medicine, and technology. Includes coverage of engineering, economics, business and management, and selected social science titles.


Finding Scholarly Articles

The research material you use for your paper should come from a scholarly, credible, known publication such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Quarterly Journal of Economics, or the Journal of the History of Economic Thought .

How can you tell if a journal is peer-reviewed? Here are some suggestions:

1 Use journal titles suggested by your professor. 

2. Limited your database searches to "peer reviewed", or "scholarly": or "academic" before our after your search. This option is usually found just below the search box or in the left nav bar.

3. Go to the journal's website and look or the words, "peer reviewed" or "refereed" in the journal description or in the "Information for Authors" section.

4. Use th Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory database, available through the Mardigian Library, to find information about the journal. Look for the "refereed" symbol which is a black, open book.

5. When in doubt, check with your professor!

Evaluating Resources with CRAAP

Additionally, to help you evaluate resources, a simple and fun mnemonic called CRAAP¹ can be used here to help guide you through the steps of evaluating resources that you find in the research process.  Before you can use any resources you need to determine several things first.  You need to determine its Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose, which is referred to, again, as the CRAAP model for evaluating resources.  Answering these specific questions will give you a clear indication of the scholarly value of the resource retrieved.

Quick Steps to Evaluating Resources

Step I. Applying CRAAP:


What is the date of the resource you found?  Is the information up-to-date or older?  Remember, you will often be working with a date range set by your professor.  At minimum make sure the resources you find are within that range.  Also, you may want the most recent material on a topic.  If that is the case then make sure the resources are within the last 5 years.   


What do the authors want you to know?  Are you the targeted audience?  What is the value of the resource in comparison to the range of information resources available on this topic?


Who is the author? What type of authority does this person have?  Do they have credentials to be speaking on the topic?  For instance, does the author have a degree in the area like a Ph.D. or are they a paid journalist writing about the topic?  Asking this will specifically speak to how knowledgeable one will be on a topic.  


Can the accuracy of the material be verified?  Is there documentation for the information provided in the form of a bibliography?  How complete is the material?  Are there gaps?  Was the material peer-reviewed?  Is the content biased or skewed?  Does the text follow basic rules of grammar, spelling, and literary composition?


Identify the type of resource it is.  Is it for the purposes of:

·         Entertainment

·         Business/Marketing

·         Reference/Information

·         News

·         Advocacy/Organizations

·         Personal Page

·         Government

You are not going to use resources entertainment purposes for a research assignment. 

Step II. Evaluate Your Answers

·         Were you able to answer all of the questions?

·         Do you still have unanswered questions such as bibliographic information or content issues?       

The resources that receive more favorable responses from you are more than likely a useful resource.  If you have any questions about the validity of a particular resource, please ask a librarian.


The CRAAP Test from the California State University, Chico was reworked to be applied exclusively to Internet materials for this guide.

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