Doing Research

Doing research in economics, whether you're preparing a policy memo or writing a research paper, generally involves coming up with the idea, finding your information (written sources and data), analyzing that information, writing up your findings, and then sharing those results with others.

This page includes some of the resources you might find helpful for accessing written sources. For data sources, check out our data sources pages. For help with writing, check out our tips for general writing, writing policy memos, or writing research papers. For help with data analysis, check out our software pages. For tips on presenting your findings, check out our presentation tips.

Let us know at crl2 (at) williams (dot) edu if there are other aspects you would like to see covered, or with any other feedback.


Williams alumni have access to JSTOR, one of the biggest collections of scholarly journals and articles our there. To get access, check out this link here.

Research article resources recommended by the Williams College Economics Department

(reproduced directly from the Williams College economics website)

  • EconLit.  The best search engine for finding scholarly economics literature.
  • Williams College Library Economics Subject Guide.  Guide to resources to help you conduct research in economics, assembled by Walter Komorowski, library liaison for economics.
  • Search the Williams College Library collection (includes an extensive collection of economics journals).
  • EconPapers - Extensive archive of economics working papers online.
  • National Bureau of Economic Research -- Hosts the leading working paper series in economics.
  • Here are some places to find literature reviews and overviews of the economics research on particular topics (these are often a good place to start when conducting research):
    • Journal of Economic Literature -- A good source for survey and review articles on economic topics.
    • Journal of Economic Perspectives -- "...aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use..."
    • Annual Review of Economics -- "Each year, Annual Reviews critically reviews the most significant primary research literature to guide you to the principal contributions of the field and help you keep up to date in your area of research."
    • Handbooks in Economics series.   There are handbooks of economics in various different fields of economics, produced by publishers such as North-Holland and Edward Elgar.  These provide overviews of economic research in particular fields and are periodically updated with new volumes.  Try doing a keyword search in the library catalog for "handbook" "economics" and the general area of economics you are interested in (e.g., "development").