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Research Guides

Critical Information Policy Studies

This overview to key topics & resources for the CIPS concentration in the Master of Information program at the iSchool, University of Toronto gives an introduction to this area, and may be helpful for those who are considering studies in this field.

Databases in CIPS subject areas

CIPS is an interdisciplinary field of study. Consult multiple subject-specific article databases, as well as databases that cover all subject areas.

Finding databases

  • Use the Subjects A-Z listing on the University of Toronto Libraries homepage at  
  • Each subject area in the Subjects A-Z listing contains links to selected UTL e-resources e.g., databases, encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, & research guides.  
  • These are licensed resources, for current members of the U of T community only.  
  • Off-campus access is available via UTORid and password.  








CIPS-related subject areas & recommended databases

  • Subject-specific databases, like the ones in the table, focus deeply on the journal literature in a specific area.
  • Explore as many resources as you have time for.  
  • If you have limited time, use the recommended databases below.
    Think about the multiple subject areas in which your interdisciplinary topic may fit, and focus on those databases. 
Communication & mass media Communications Abstracts
Switch to advanced search mode. Covers major journals in mass media, communication, & related fields of study
Library & information science --Library & Information Science Full Text (LLIS)
  Articles from 300+ journals in LIS, which includes copyright, Internet, open access, etc.
--Library & Information Science Abstracts (LISA)
  Similar to LLIS, but with more international content
Law Index to Legal Periodicals & Books
Covers legal journals, law reviews, yearbooks, institutes, statutes, bar association publications, & university publications.
Political science

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Covers journals in political science, public policy, international relations, public administration, & law.


International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)
  Covers 2800+ journals & ~7000 books annually
-- some fulltext content & also abstracts for ~50% of the articles
-- Updated bi-weekly

Public policy PAIS International
Articles, government documents, grey literature, research & conference reports, publications of international agencies, etc. in public affairs, public & social policies, & international relations
Economics EconLit - Economic Literature Index
Articles from 750+ journals, as well as books, dissertations, working papers, and book reviews
Business & management

--Business Source Premier
  Covers thousands of scholarly business journals, popular business magazines, country economic reports.
  Also covers economics, finance, & accounting journals

  Global business & news service with resources from news media, web media, social media, & multimedia.
  Limited # of users.  Try again if you can't get in.

Computer science ACM Digital Library
Major resource in computer & information technology, covering all ACM journals, magazines, conferences, & newsletters

Databases that cover many subjects

Interdisciplinary databases such these cover all areas of knowledge. Good search practice would include searching both subject-specific databases as well as interdisciplinary ones.

  • CBCA complete (Canadian Business & Current Affairs) 
    Articles from 95% Canadian-published journals, magazines, & newspapers in social sciences, arts, science, current events, business, & academic information
    Huge database covering 21,500 peer-reviewed journals in ALL subject areas; also includes conference papers; can do citation searching to see who has cited an article
  • Web of Science
    Similar to Scopus, but older, so coverage extends farther back