Skip to Main Content

Economics Research Guide

Welcome! This guide will point you to research resources for a variety of economics related topics.

Introduction: ECON3315 Labour Economics Research

The information provided on this page will help you complete course assignments for ECON3315 Labour Economics successfully. For further research assistance, please contact Dr. Joyline Makani.

Basic Search Tips

  1. Select words to search. This can can be tricky as there is some variation in search words between databases. To ensure best results when searching, brainstorm several search words e.g. economic recession can be expressed as financial crisis, depression, debt crisis, bust, crash, etc .
  2. Consider using a database thesaurus to figure out the correct subject term for a concept e.g. the EBSCOHost  Thesaurus (select "Business Source Complete," Continue, and Thesaurus on the top bar) states for "income inequality Use income distribution" .
  3. Construct a search statement and  conduct the search (see tips below)
  4. Narrow your results, if needed. 
  5. Evaluate your search results. Verify whether  the article you have found come from a newspaper or popular magazine or scholarly (academic) journal? To learn how to distinguish between types of journals, go to Identifying scholarly works.
  6. Access the full-text article.

Construct a search statement using various techniques such as Boolean operators and truncation.

Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT,

  • AND narrows a search by requiring that both terms be in the results e.g. education AND "labour force participation"
  • OR broadens a search by looking for either of the words e.g. labour force OR labour market
  • NOT narrows a search by eliminating a certain aspect of a topic - use very carefully, it's easy to exclude relevant items.

Truncation & Wildcard: *, ?

  • e.g., in ECONLIT the truncation is represented by an asterisk (*);  e.g. type econ* to find economy, economical, economics, etc.
  • e.g., in ECONLIT the wildcard is represented by a question mark (?); e.g. type lab?r to find all articles containing labor or labour.

Phrase Searching: " "

  • " " (double quotation marks) combines terms so that they are found next to one another and in the same order e.g. “labour market participation”

Alternate Spelling

  • consider alternate spellings: e.g. globalisation(UK) and globalization(US).

Parentheses (Nesting)

  • Use parentheses to clarify relationships between search terms, e.g.

("economic growth" OR "productivity growth") AND ("lab?r force participation" OR "lab?r market participation") AND (wom?n OR female)

Sources for Peer-reviewed Research Papers

Search for articles on your topic in the following databases. To retrieve the best results before searching, take sometime to identify the topic concepts/keywords, and design your search string/statement e.g.:

("lab?r force participation" OR "lab?r market participation") AND (wom?n OR female) AND (income OR wage* OR earning* OR salar*) AND (Nova Scotia OR Halifax OR Canada)


The following working papers series facilitate quick dissemination of research in economics.


Academic Integrity & Citing Sources

When completing your assignments, you are expected to be contributing to disciplinary knowledge building by sharing your own ideas, evaluations and arguments. In other words you are expected to submit original work and give credit to other peoples' ideas, i.e., citing your sources of ideas.


  1. Acknowledge ALL Sources from which you use ideas. This includes books, journal articles, blogs, e-mail communication, videos, websites, etc.
  2. Take careful notes on what you read and where you found the ideas. 
  3. Always provide a citation when you:
  • Direct quote ideas taken from a source
  • Paraphrase ideas and opinions taken from someone else's work.
  • Summarize ideas taken from someone else's work
  • Present factual information, including statistics or other data – except when the fact is considered common knowledge (i.e. a well known fact like "Donald Trump is the current President of USA").

To cite sources use the citation style recommended by your instructor. The following links provide you with useful quick guides to citing sources using different styles.

Citing Data/Statistical Sources

It is important to cite not only the literature consulted but also the data or statistics used. The elements of a data/statistics citation include:

  • Author(s)/Creator
  • Title
  • Year of publication: The date when the statistics/dataset was published or released (rather than the collection or coverage date)
  • Publisher: the data center/repository
  • Any applicable identifier (including edition or version)
  • Availability and access: URL or other location information for the data/statistics

The following links provide you with useful guides to citing statistical data. Use these along with the citation style guide recommended by your instructor.