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Global Studies Library Resources Cheat Sheet: Home

Before you start

Interlibrary Loan & Carolina BLU

Interlibrary loan and document delivery system: request anything you can't access, there is no limit to number of requests and no cost to you.

Unpaywall or Open Access Button

Browser extensions that search for open access versions of articles you may find behind pay walls.

Finding foundational readings

Oxford Bibliographies Online

Useful tool for identifying key readings and major theoretical frameworks and research approaches for a variety of topics.

Finding articles

Because Global Studies research topics vary widely and are often interdisciplinary, the Library's discipline-specific databases may not always be the easiest entryway into finding research articles for your project (although many students do work from a political science angle and can start with Poli Sci databases).

Below are some general ideas that I use when helping Global Studies students start their projects.

1. Aggregators

Commercial aggregators (Library pays for these)

Most databases the Library pays for are either ProQuest or EBSCO products. They index articles from a variety of journals and provide full text for some of the content. It is possible to search across all ProQuest or EBSCO databases, which is useful when your topic is interdisciplinary, but can sometimes make for a longer and messier list of results.

  • ProQuest

    • Go into any ProQuest database, e.g. ProQuest Central --> Change databases (top menu) --> Select all --> Do your search

      • can limit results to peer-reviewed articles
    • Articles+

      • ProQuest product called Summon, which attempts to search across many of the databases UNC pays for.

    • Go into any EBSCO database, e.g. Academic Search Premier --> Choose Databases (top menu) --> Select all --> Do your search
      • can limit results to peer-reviewed articles

    • Repository of academic journal content.
  • Scopus

    • Elsevier product focusing on hard sciences and health sciences, but with continually increasing social sciences and humanities content.


aggregators (Library pays for some of this content)

You will need to check whether the Library has access to the content you find here. Request anything you can't access through document delivery/interlibrary loan.

  • GoogleScholar

  • CORE

    • Aggregator of open access research papers from institutional repositories around the world.

  • Semantic Scholar

    • Open and free aggregator. Allen Institute for AI product.
  • exaly

    • Non-profit aggregator of scholarly literature and scientometric data.
  • Dimensions

    • Linked data-based aggregator. Digital Science product.
  • Aminer

    • Search and mining service for researcher social networks. Tsinghua University product.

2. Library databases

3. The "Big 5" (Library pays for most of this content)

Five publishers have bought up a large portion of academic journals. One benefit is that you can search across journals on their websites.

Wow, that's a lot of places to check! Do I really have to search each of these? Not necessarily! It depends on your project. There is considerable overlap between some of these resources. If you are doing a comprehensive literature review, you may want to search several or all of these as due diligence.

Finding books

In contrast to the madness of finding research articles above, there are two main tools for finding books:

Library catalog

Shows what's held at UNC and in the Triangle (you can request books from Duke, NC State and NC Central). Also pulls books from Open Research Library, Directory of Open Access Books, OAPEN and other open access content.

WorldCat and/or its paid version FirstSearch

Shows everything held in North American libraries (and beyond): you can request books via Interlibrary Loan.

Books will also show up in some of the databases and aggregators above.

Finding dissertations

Dissertations and theses can be extremely useful for their research content, as bibliographies, or as models for structuring your own project.


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Kirill Tolpygo
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118 Davis Library, CB#3918
(919) 962-8044