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Interdisciplinary Research

The increasingly interdisciplinary nature of legal research often requires consulting resources in law-related fields, in addition to using tools for empirical and statistical research. This section is intended to provide starting points for research beyond the law, as well as assistance in conducting research informed by other disciplines.

Penn Libraries

The University of Pennsylvania Library system is an excellent resource for expanding your research. To locate resources to further enrich your legal scholarship, you can search Van Pelt Library’s Franklin Catalog or browse Penn Libraries’ electronic resources by subject area. These finding tools catalog discipline-specific resources available through libraries at the University of Pennsylvania outside of the law school.

Electronic Resources

Suggested databases to expand your scholarship are listed below. A comprehensive list of resources, arranged by subject area, is available on the Penn Libraries website.

  • ABI/Inform
    Covers all aspects of business. ABI/Inform provides in-depth coverage of business conditions, trends, corporate strategies and tactics, management techniques, competitive and product information, and information on more than 60,000 companies. It gives you indexing and abstracts to articles from more than 1800 leading business and management publications, including over 350 English-language titles from outside the U.S. Dates covered vary by source.
  • Criminal Justice Abstracts
    Comprehensive indexing with abstracts of the scholarly literature and applied literature on criminology and related disciplines.
  • EconLit
    Proquest’s scholarly economic resource which contains abstracts and many full-text articles, book reviews, dissertations, and books.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar offers a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Once authenticated through Penn’s proxy, full-text articles to titles Penn Libraries subscribes to will become available within the Google Scholar search results.
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
    IBSS includes over two million bibliographic references to journal articles, books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951. Coverage is strong in the social sciences, economics, and international materials.
  • JSTOR
    JSTOR provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in political science, history, economics, and other fields of the humanities and social sciences. Consult the online tables of contents for holdings, as coverage varies for each title. The most recently published issues (past 3-5 years) are not available. However, users can search JSTOR for citations and go to the publisher’s site or other online source for access.
  • Philosopher’s Index
    The Philosopher’s Index provides indexing and abstracts from books and journals of philosophy and related fields. It covers the areas of ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, logic, and philosophy of mind, as well as material on the philosophy of law, religion, science, history, language and education.
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers
    Historic, full-text editions of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier and Wall Street Journal.
  • PsychInfo
    The American Psychological Association’s comprehensive indexing and abstracting service for the professional and scholarly literature in psychology and related fields. Indexes articles in over 1400 journals, books and book chapters, and citations to dissertations. Coverage is worldwide and sources are in over thirty languages.
  • SSRN
    The Social Science Research Network collects recent research results found in abstracts and full-text working papers and journal articles in the social sciences, including business, economics, finance and politics in addition to law. Abstracts for accepted journal articles from more than 230 scholarly journals, and working paper abstracts from more than 120 academic schools, institutions, and departments and independent research centers.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
    WPSA provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international literature in political science, international relations, law, and public administration and policy. Over 1,432 titles are covered, beginning in 1975.

Statistical Information

Starting points for incorporating statistical data into your research are provided here.

  • Research Guides on Statistical Information
    For assistance with the process of using statistics and data sets, consult one of the research guides produced by the University of Pennsylvania librarians.
  • Statistical and Data Sets Aggregated by the University of Pennsylvania Library System
    The University of Pennsylvania Library System subscribes to a wide range of data sets and other resources for statistical research, and also provides links to freely-available statistics from reliable sources elsewhere. Sources for current and historical data are conveniently aggregated at this portal.
  •  OECD iLibrary
    Full text publications and statistical information from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Covers a wide range of subjects from agriculture and food to science and information technology. Some of the data tools in this resource require Internet Explorer.
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    An index of statistical data published in federal, state, and selected privately published titles, at the table level. Some full text is available.  
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