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Information Literacy Course International Relations: Non-scholarly publications

Book reviews

Book reviews are a medium of discussion in the academic world. It is common practice that books are reviewed. Researchers within the field write an assessment of the newly published book. Book reviews are short; they normally count two or three pages. These reviews are published in scholarly journals. Books about politics and international relations are also reviewed in newspapers, and on websites.

There are several ways to find book reviews. You can find some book reviews in SmartCat, but the listing in SmartCat is far from complete.


Although they are not academic publications, reports by government organizations, think-tanks and companies are useful sources of information in many fields of academic research. They contain: 

  • the aims and objectives of social organizations
  • policy evaluations
  • effect reports
  • political and ethical interpretations of academic advances
  • survey results
Sometimes we use reports because the person or organization that produced them are the subject of our research. Sometimes we use the information in a report as the basis for a research project. Some reports contain specialist analyses that can serve to substantiate or prove a theory.

Newpapers and magazines

Articles in newspapers and magazines contain information about current events. Although they do not contain academic information, newspapers and magazines can be a useful source.

The University Library has subscriptions (including online subscriptions) to the main Dutch and foreign newspapers. Nexis Uni is an important source for journalistic content.

You cannot find most articles in newspapers and magazines by searching SmartCat. In most cases you have to search databases like Nexis Uni to find them.


Watch this short film about scholary vs popular information