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HSS 501/2/3 - Economics: Introduction & Reference Sources

Start your research here!

Welcome to the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library and the History 501/2/3 Economics OWHL Guide.

Economics research may present different challenges than the research process you are used to in your previous classes. Economists, politicians, and social scientists produce a lot of information, and sorting through it to find useful information can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you get started. 

  • Where should I start?: In general, you have three options: a specific country (ex: United States), an event (ex: passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), or an issue (ex: gender pay gap). You will probably touch upon all three eventually in your research, but one of these will be your first way in.
  • Read carefully. As you read news articles, reports, blogs, and so on, look for words that will point you in the right direction for other research (i.e. "A recent World Bank research report states..." Make a note to go and find that World Bank research report).
  • Bibliographic Mining. Look at the bibliographies of the sources you already have. This is a great place to find additional sources that might be relevant and helpful.
  • Use the Full Text Finder. If you have a journal article citation, search for the journal in the Full Text Finder to see if it is available through one of the OWHL's databases. If it isn't available, simply stop by the library and ask for helping submitting an inter-library loan (ILL) request.
  • Books and articles will only get you so far. Economics research takes many different forms (policy reports, original research, working papers, statistics...) and much of it can be found through an effective Google search. Remember to always evaluate any sites you find before incorporating the information into your own research.

Reference Databases: Country Information

Reference Databases: Specific Topics & Economics

Current News Coverage


Want to read the New York Times?

All members of the PA community – faculty, staff, and students – have free digital access to the New York Times through the OWHL. Once you register for an account, you will have unlimited access to the Times for one year and can read it via the website or the app (both iPhone and Android).

To register for an account, go to nytimes.com/grouppass while physically on campus and connected to PA's network. Then create a free NYTimes.com account using your PA e-mail address.

If you have any questions or trouble registering, just stop by the OWHL.