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Information Literacy Course International Relations: Answers

Question 1 + answer

You only want to find books or articles that are available in the University of Groningen Library. Where can you best find them?

  1. A bibliographic database
  2. SmartCat
  3. Google Scholar


2. SmartCat

In SmartCat you can limit your search to the collection of the University of Groningen.

Question 2 + answer

Open the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) and find the record for the article written by Lawson and Buzan about the global transformation in the nineteenth century.

What is the controlled terminology used for indexing this article?


The indexing terms are:

  • International studies
  • 19th century
  • International relations
  • State building
  • Power
  • Violence

Question 3 + answer

Open the bibliographic database Historical Abstracts and find an article written by Vladislav Zubok in the journal Cold war history about Mikhail Gorbachev in the historical period 1988 till 1990.

In which year was the article published?


This is a complex question where you have to search for various elements in the database. These elements are:

  • author: Zubok
  • the subject: Gorbachev (you are not sure whether Gorbachev is a subject term)
  • historical period: 1988-1990
  • journal name: cold war history

The advanced search is the best option for complex searches.

You search for the term Zubok in the author field

You search for the term "cold war history" in the field for the publication name (=source)

You search for the term Gorbachev in a broad search (=not a specific field)

You search for a historical period that starts in 1988 and ends with 1990

The article was published in november 2014. If you do not put the journal name between quotes, you will find another result, published in 2001.

Question 4 + answer

Open Google Scholar use the advanced search screen to answer the following question.

Christian Reus-Smit wrote an article in the journal Millennium in 2012. How often is this article cited by other scholars (according to Google Scholar)?


You can open the advanced search by clicking on the triangle in the search box.

Type the names of Reus-Smit in the author box and the name of the journal in the journal box and you will find the article, with the title 'International Relations, Irrelevant? Don’t Blame Theory'.

On November 8, 2016 24 citations were counted. It is possible that next week the score will be higher. This depends on whether new citing articles will be added to the database.

Question 5 + answer

What is true about searching on the internet?  

1. You can find all the articles from bibliographic databases with Google Scholar as well. 

2. Google Scholar is suited for broad searching in academic sources.

3. With the 'regular' Google you can also find the articles that are in Google Scholar.


2. Google Scholar is suited for broad searching in academic sources. However, you will find only some of the articles available through bibliographic databases.