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Researching Urban Atlanta

A guide to locating current information about the Atlanta urban area.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search tool from Google, separate from its main search engine, with its own URL ( Its purpose (says Google) is “to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research.”

Google Scholar is an excellent resource BUT it does not always connect to Emory sources. A book or journal article may be in the library. Never purchase purchase an item without checking. Remember you can also borrow items from other libraries for free.

What is a Scholarly Journal?


Scholarly journals review submitted articles before they are published. Many professors require students to use scholarly journal articles as resources when writing research papers. 

Peabody Library of Vanderbilt University has produced a helpful video explaining how to identify a scholarly journal article.

Public Policy Think Tanks

  • Brookings Institute is another think tank that has produced reports on urban issues and Atlanta.

Tip: Locate other think tanks at Harvard Kennedy School's Think Tank Search

Public Policy Databases

Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS)indexes books, periodicals and selected local, state, national, and international government documents in the areas of public policy, social policy and the social sciences

CQ Researcher Plus Archive Excellent introductions to major public policy issues.

Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe major source for the latest info from thousands of sources including papers throughout the world.

PolicyFile contains abstracts and indexes analytical papers and policy research from think tanks and research institutes, primarily in the U.S., from 1990 to the present. Full-text is linked to the abstract when available.

Social Sciences Abstracts indexes journals in the social sciences, including anthropology, political science, sociology, economics, and related fields.



.Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals.

Econlit is the principal Economics database. Search here for issues relating to economic policy at different governmental levels

ERIC from EBSCO (1966-date)
Indexes published and unpublished sources on all aspects of education and educational research. ERIC also indexes library and information science. Incorporates ERIC Digests, full-text short reports on topics of current interest in education.   Endnote compatible. ED numbers are available in microfiche 411.

Index to Current Urban Documents is a online resource for local government publications in the US and Canada. Emory currently owns only the online index for Current Urban Documents, not the full-text documents. URLs are provided for issuing agencies/metropolitan governments, but some searching may be necessary within the site to locate the indexed document.

International Index to Black Periodicals (part of Black Studies Center)covers cultural, economic, historical, religious, social, and political issues of vital importance to the Black Studies discipline. Full-text coverage of over 30 core Black Studies journals (most titles full-text coverage begins 1998 to present).

National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts
Contains summaries of more than 170,000 criminal justice publications, including federal, state, and local government reports, books, journal articles and unpublished research.

Political Science Complete indexes over 2000 political science journals.

Sociological Abstracts (1952-date)
Indexes and abstracts the international literature in sociology and related fields. Covers almost 2000 journals, plus relevant dissertation listings, abstracts of conference papers, and selected books. This is a smaller, more academic database with more foreign language material than SocINDEX. A print edition of this title is available at Ref. HM 1.S6.

SocINDEX with Full Text (1895-date)
Indexes and abstracts over 2500 journals, conference papers, and relevant books and dissertations in sociology and related fields. Includes some popular literature. Includes additional full-text for many (but not all) citations. Provides deep historical coverage for major journals, e.g. American Journal of Sociology is indexed back to 1895.

City Journal is an urban policy magazine published by the Manhattan Institute whcih can be searched online.

For other useful resources check the research guides for Sociology and Public Policy.

Finding the Actual Article

Many databases only contain citations - information ABOUT the article, but not the article itself.


To retrieve the full-text of an article, use the Find It @ Emory button found on every Emory-owned database.

This button will link you to a menu. It will tell you:

  • Whether we have the article online and where to get it
  • How to search for the journal in Library Search if we don't have it online
  • A link to Interlibrary Loan to request the article if we don't have it

Subject Librarian

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Amber Prentiss