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CQ Researcher


Unlike many of our other databases, CQ Researcher does not hold articles, but rather reports, which are more like very in-depth researched encyclopedia articles than scholarly articles. These reports can only be found in CQ Researcher and are excellent starting points for research, especially on controversial or current topics.

Things to know about these reports:

  • Written by professional journalists (not scholars in that field, but thorough researchers nonetheless)
  • Include three pro-con debates, giving balanced reporting on all their issues
  • Give background and chronology on the topic (much like an encyclopedia, only these reports are updated multiple times every year and include far more than this)
  • Assess the current situation and climate of these issues/topics
  • Include tables, maps, and photos when available
  • Include bibliographies with links to their sources

Reports from CQ Researcher are excellent starting places for research, and their bibliographies can give you direction as you continue your research!

For more on CQ Researcher, see their about page at the link below:


To begin searching in CQ Researcher, simply go to the top right corner of the page and either start typing into the search box or click on "Advanced Search" just below it. The search box has been outlined in red in the screenshot below:

CQ Researcher Homepage screenshot


If you click on Advanced Search, your screen will look like this:

CQR Advanced Search screenshot\

If you're having trouble deciding whether you should use the basic or advanced search:

  • If you're just looking to browse articles on your topic without much concern for specificity, you may want to use the Basic Search function.
  • If you're looking to pinpoint exactly the kinds of articles you would like to see in your results (specific dates, topics, etc), you may want to use the Advanced Search function.

Searching in CQ Researcher is much like other databases: you can type your keyword(s) into the search box, narrow by date or by topic in the dropdown menus, have the database only search in certain sections of the articles. There are fewer options in CQ Researcher than in other databases mostly because CQ Researcher only houses those reports, and they're published by the same people (CQ Press), so there's no need to refine your results by type of resource or publisher.


Your Results

When you click the search button (in either Basic or Advanced Search), your screen will look like this:

CQ Researcher Results screenshot


By default, your results are displayed by relevance, much like other databases.

At the top of the page, you'll see a few things:

  • Your search terms on the far left (just after the displaying numbers)
  • You can choose to display 10, 25, or 50 results per page
  • You can sort by relevance or chronologically

On the right side of the page is a checklist of topics that might pertain to your topic - you can filter your results by clicking on these checkboxes. The number in parentheses beside each topic is how many articles from your initial search have that topic listed.

You'll also see a little flame icon with the words "Short Report" next to some of your results - Short Reports are simply condensed versions of their normal 12,000 word long reports. These usually are more focused on a single narrow issue than their longer counterparts, and are helpful if you're looking for something more focused or just shorter in word count.


To read a report, simply click on the title and you will be brought there.

Browsing Topics and Reports

Another helpful way to look for articles through CQ Researcher is to browse their topic and report lists. This is especially helpful if you're having trouble choosing a topic and want to just explore what reports are written on different topics. 

To browse by topic, simply click on the menu heading "Browse by Topic":

  • You can either hover over the menu heading with your mouse or click on it to see the same list of broad topics you can look at.
  • From there, you can choose a topic, and there will be a number of sub-topics to choose from.
  • Once you click on a sub-topic, a list of reports will appear (both full and short reports), and your screen will look like this:

CQ Researcher Browse Topics Screenshot


Reports will be listed chronologically, and if they have been updated with information, there will be a note next to the title of the report.

At this point, all the links will bring you directly to the reports, so you can click on whichever one interests you most!




To browse reports by date or issue (meaning a more specific problem, rather than the issue number you'd put in a bibliography) or Pro-Con Sections (if you want to see what particular questions are investigated in any given topic), click on or hover over the "Browse Reports" menu, then click on how you'd like you browse.

The page will look the same as when you searched through topics, but the results will differ slightly. For instance, if you're searching by Pro-Con arguments concerning AIDS, this is what your screen will look like:

CQ Researcher Pro/Con Browse screenshot


You can click on either the question itself and you'll be brought to that section of the report, or you can click on the name of the report and you'll be brought to the top of that report.

Reading Reports

The main difference in navigating a short report versus a full report is that a full report will give you the ability to jump to different sections of the article.

As you can see below, on the left side there is a navigation bar that will bring you to different sections of the article - so if you just want to look at the Pro/Con discussions, you can skip all the other stuff and go right there. The short report, being a condensed version, will not have that same navigation bar available:

CQ Researcher Full Report screenshot



Other than the lack of navigation bar, the short reports will look exactly the same and have the same features as the long reports.

Things to notice about these reports:

  • On the right side is a list of related topics with their date of publication - these are great if you want more information, or want to track the information and issues regarding your topic over time
  • You can view the report as a PDF (only available for long reports), Cite this report (see below for more information), Print, Email, or Save this report - by clicking on the circles towards the top of the page
  • There are yellow speech bubbles throughout the article - these are citations done by the writers. They'll always link to the original articles they've cited (when available), and these are excellent sources for you to investigate, as well. Hover over the speech bubble in the report to see the citation and any other information they may have:
  • CQ Researcher pop up citation footnote
  • Sources used by the report writers are also duplicated in the footnotes at the bottom of the report
  • There are many images within these reports - photos, tables, maps, etc. Take a look at these! They're usually chalk full of good information and data, and it's always cited.

Citing Reports

If you want to cite a particular report, there's a handy icon in the top right corner of the page that says "Cite Now!" beneath an X.

When you click on it, a box will appear that looks like this:

CQR Cite screenshot


APA is the default style, but if you want to cite in a different style, simply click on the blue link at the top of the box, and the citation will change automatically.

You can export the citation to a citation management system, or you can just copy and paste the citation into your own document.


NOTE: Double check the citation to make sure the information and formatting is correct!!! Our databases pull information automatically from places it thinks the information should be and may not be able to format it correctly. Always always check the citation given to you by the database against the regulations given in the respective handbook for your citation style.

If you have any questions about citing sources, you can check out our Research Guide on the topic.


BE CAREFUL, THOUGH! The citations in the footnotes are NOT necessarily in the style you need! Or even in a particular style at all! Don't copy and paste those into your document! Go to the original document (which will always be linked, when possible) - find the information you need directly in that document. Then cite it from there.

More Help from CQ Press

Video Tutorial