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Econ 252 Microeconomics Resources: Finding Scholarly Articles & Books

A guide to resources for the research paper assignment.

Good Search Terms

Google gives you millions of hits when you search, many of questionable quality. Use our library resources to focus your search on academic research.

Start with a strategy:

  • write the topic down in the form of a sentence or question
  • identify the key concepts of the question
  • brainstorm at least one or two synonyms for each of these concepts
  • search each of your concepts separately (you can have 2 or more related terms in a concept)
  • use the Boolean operators (and, or, not) to combine the results that you get in the previous step
  • as you find good articles, examine the records for subject headings, which are the descriptors used by the indexers to identify topics. Use these as additional synonyms for your search concepts
  • mine the references and bibliographies of good sources you find for additional ideas

If you are having trouble thinking of search terms, try making a table asking who, what, where, how, or when.


Click the GET IT button in any database to get the full text of an article.  If UST Libraries doesn't own it, you'll be given an option to request it from another library

More information


Search Tips:

  • to focus your search, use the limits on the left side of the result page
  • try the Peer Review limit to focus your results on scholarly articles
  • learn more about LibrarySearch

Use EconLit to find scholarly journal articles in Economics

EconLit Usage Tips

Use the EconLit database to find scholarly content

The EconLit database indexes journal articles, books, working papers, and dissertations in economics. Start with a keyword search on one or more aspects of your topic, review the results for relevant articles, and use the Subject Headings found in the individual items to search for new items. Sample advanced search:

Combine search terms

Search Results: once you've found an item that interests you, click the title to read the abstract and find links to documents, and for journal articles, use the Get It buttons to see if we have an electronic or print copy.  

Get It

You can also narrow by Source, Publication Date, Subject or various other criteria in the left column (click the + sign to open the selection menu), and toggle between displaying results by relevance or by date.

Narrow results by  Narrow results by

Within an Item:

Open up items to read abstracts, which will help decide the relevance of an article. Also, make note of and use the Subject headings (or "Subjects") as useful search terms, either as an alternate search (top section) or to narrow the current one (right side of results page).  

Abstract view

How to Read a Journal Article

Finding Books in Economics

Search:  Use LibrarySearch to perform a basic keyword search.  Once you find a relevant book or two, look within those records for promising subject headings: click on one of them to perform a new search on that term to find more. Be sure to browse the shelves in the area where you find a promising book.

Browse the Shelves by Library of Congress Classifications: the following Library of Congress classifications may be useful when browsing at the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library for books on economics. The 'H' call numbers in Economics are on the second floor.  Anything labeled as Reference will be in that collection on the ground floor.

  • HB --- Economic Theory
  • HC --- Economic History & Conditions
  • HD --- Industries, Land Use, Labor
  • HF --- Commerce
  • HG --- Finance
  • HJ  --- Public Finance

Search for Books and eBooks

LibrarySearch provides a simple, one-stop search for books, articles, videos, recordings, and more. Items from St. Thomas and other regional libraries can be requested online and delivered to the St. Thomas library of your choice. My account

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