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Where do I find information for my papers?

There is lots of information 'out there'. It may be good to have a quick initial browse through Google or the Wikipedia, but for academic purposes, this is not the right route. To avoid drowning in an overload of information, you need to formulate specific questions. Know what you are looking for. Also, you need to make sure your sources are reliable, so you need to know how to access the scientific literature.

If you are looking for scientific sources on your topic, whether empirical analyses, data, or theoretical resources, here are some good places to start:

1. Picarta

Picarta covers nearly all public libraries in the Netherlands, including all university libraries. It also provides access to many electronic journals, provided the university has a subscription.

Access electronic publications through the SFX button, which will take you to pdf files of scientific articles. (Slow, but effective.)


Loan from other libraries through the Interlibrary Loan (IBL), for which you need an account.


Only available from campus or a university internet connection.

2. Google Scholar

Google's search engine for scholarly publications. Also connect to scientific journals through SFX, but only with a university internet connection.

3. Web of Science

It may not sound grand or scientific, but a quick and useful way look for information is to find one really perfect source and see what it links to. You 'snowball' information. It is easy to snowball back in time: you just look up the interesting sources in the reference list of that perfect article you found. You can also look forward in time, by using the Web of Science to see which articles cite the one you have found.

Web of Science also allows you to look with keywords, author names, or journal names, but the citation indexing is its unique feature. Also only accessible through university internet connections.

4. Statistical agencies

Statistical agencies provide data on many parameters of interest for public policy. Their web-access generally requires some practice and they often suggest more data than is actually available. Do not expect to find statistics on topics of special interest. As a general rule, they collect statistics that are of priority interest to their biggest client: government.

Statistics Netherlands




Stistisches Bundesamt Deutschland


US Census Bureau


OECD statistics portal


List of national agencies

5. Other


LexisNexis has articles from newspapers (UT connection only)


Wet- en regelgeving has Dutch laws and regulations


Parlando has all Dutch Parliamentary documents


Eur-lex has EU legal documents