The library's search tool, Summon,  searches everything in the library catalogue (books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more!), almost all of the articles and other sources in the databases that we subscribe to, plus research by Carleton faculty, staff and students found in our institutional repository, CURVE.

Start with online videos for search techniques and tips -

However, Summon doesn't search everything that the library owns or subscribes to so you may still need to search our other resources to find everything that you need. Summon also doesn't let you do sophisticated searches that you may be used to doing in specific databases or the library catalogue.   

This guide will highlight resources of particular interest for researching topics in economics.

Use the CATALOGUE to find books, government documents, conference proceedings, and journals.  Only the titles of journals are included in the catalogue: use the databases to search for individual article titles.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Handbooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias often give a good overview of a subject area and provide relevant background information, as well as key terms that can be used when searching the databases.  Search for them in the library's catalogue by Keyword:  economics and encyclopedias


For more titles search by keyword in the library catalogue under Economists and Biography

If you know the title of the item you seek, perform a TITLE search.

If you know the author, perform an AUTHOR search.  Enter the author's name with the surname first.

Otherwise, try a KEYWORD search. 
    Search Tips:
Use boolean operators AND/OR to create a relevant search statement.
Use the truncation symbol * when you want to allow for several spellings or variations on a word.
When using more than one operator, use parentheses to group words.

                 Example: united states and financial crisis

When keyword searching, if a keyword exists in the subject heading or in the title, the resource is much more likely to be about that topic.  You can construct sophisticated searches by specifying that your search terms must exist in particular fields of the catalogue record.  Prefix the search term with a: to restrict to authors, t: to restrict to titles, s: to restrict to subject headings, and n: to restrict to the notes (where tables of contents are loaded). 

                  Example: s:united states and recession* and bank*

       Scroll down to see the subject headings.

                  Example:   United States -- Economic conditions -- 21st century
                                     Banks and banking, Central -- United States
                                     Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009

For more information, consult the keyword search help in the catalogue.

Key Databases for Journal Articles: 

Additional Databases: 

Good to know:

  1. Within a database, limit your search to scholarly articles when it is appropriate to disregard other resources.
  2. Never limit to full-text only as we may subscribe to the journal you find from another vendor.  Use the Get it! icon to search for the full text when it is not immediately available.
  3. Use available options to search more than one database at a time.
  4. Look for the option to set up an RSS feed or to Create an Alert.  You are then notified when a new entry is added to the database that meets your search criteria.
  5. Use the Interlibrary Loans RACER form to request items not held at Carleton’s library.  

Citation Searching

Use citation databases to find if a particular author and/or paper has been cited by other authors.


Web of Science    
       Select Cited Reference Search from top tool bar.
You have the article
      Brecher, RA and CF Diazalejandro, 1977.  Tariffs, foreign-captial and immiserizing growth.  J. International Economics 7:4: 317-322

       Enter one author in cited author box
              Brecher R*  (use surname, first initial and truncation symbol)          
       Retrieve abbreviation of journal name from list provided, and enter year of publication.  
               J INT ECON

From the list, select the article and click on Finish Search at the top of the list.
Results show the article has been cited 177 times - the most recent in  2016.
Note the option Create Alert to be notified of any future citings of this article.

       Choose Author Seach from top tool bar.
       Enter author's name and affiliation if known
             Khalaf L*  Carleton University
       Select displayed result.  On right hand side all published articles by the author will be listed.  Click on article for citing references.

Remember to see if an citing article has itself been cited.

Tips for effective searching -

If you find one relevant article for your reseach it can lead to other relevant papers by the following:

  • using the databases, including Summon, look to find all papers & books published by the author or co-authors
  • explore the bibliography in the paper for sources
  • using Web of Science or Scopus, look for articles that cite the article you found.    Remember, some databases will also list citing articles but those lists are limited to the current database.  The Web of Science and Scopus are more comprehensive, with coverage from multiple databases. 


Visit the Data Centre on the basement level of the library and explore their collections.

Statistical consultants are available for SPSS and Stata.  

Corporate & Industry Data

Country Data 

Trade Data

Explore the subject guide Trade: Public Policy and Statistics for additional sources.



Industry and Trade Statistics (Industry Canada)
Statistics Canada 


United States

U.S. Dept of the Treasury
Economic Indicators (U.S. Dept of Commerce)
Federal Reserve Board


China Data Online 
Eurostat Euro-Indicators


Grey literature is an important source of information.

Grey literature is defined as "information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing" ie. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." ICGL Luxembourg definition, 1997. Expanded in New York, 2004


Policy Reports and Working Papers

Think Tanks

  • Hillwatch - provides an excellent listing of Canadian and international think tanks.
  • Harvard Kennedy School provides a searchable database of more tha 590 think tanks and research centres.
Content last updated: February 14, 2019