Skokie Public Library's Guide to...
CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher issues comprehensive reports devoted to timely topics ranging from school violence to homelessness in America.  This database is useful for finding in-depth information on political or social issues such as teaching the theory of evolution or reassessing foreign aid.

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Why Use CQ Researcher?

Each issue of CQ Researcher is a unique work written by a seasoned journalist on a topic of current interest. 

The CQ Researcher is a great resource for students and citizens who need a place to begin research on current topics ranging from the growing global AIDS crisis to the future of books.  This database is particularly helpful to students interested in writing position papers or researching debate topics, because many of the issues covered in the CQ Researcher are thought-provoking, timely, and often controversial.  Each issue provides complete summaries, insight into all sides of the issues, chronologies of events (if relevant), presentation of the current situation and future steps to be taken, and bibliographies you can use to take you further in your research. 

Most CQ Researcher articles include useful tables and charts that clarify some of the statistical information involved in the discussion of various issues, as well as color photographs to enhance the stories.

Browsing and Searching

CQ Researcher opens to a page that offers immediate access to the current issue and to several recent reports.  This page also offers links to a feature called "In The News," which highlights earlier reports on topics that are once again in the news, and to a section called "Coming Up," which introduces the next three topics scheduled for publication.

Browse by Topic

The easiest way to use the CQ Researcher is to "Browse by Topic."  Simply click on the "Browse by Topic" link on the blue bar on the left side of the screen, and choose your topic from the alphabetical list there.  Access the full report by clicking on the title of the report you are interested in.

Browse by Date

If you would like to browse through the current issue or skim through topics previously covered in CQ Researcher, select "Browse by Date," also from the blue bar on the left side of the screen. This will provide you with a list of topics covered in the past six months, arranged in reverse-chronological order (the most recent appear first on the list). You can access those topics by selecting the titles from the list.

In the News

CQ Researcher provides you with a listing of current events with summaries and links to relevant issues of the magazine.

Coming Up

If you’d like to get a preview of topics to be covered in the coming months, select the "Coming Up" section. Each topic will have a paragraph of description.

Quick Search

Use "Quick Search," accessible from the box in the blue bar on the left side of the screen, to find which issues of CQ Researcher include your very specific keyword.  For instance, if you are interested in the mommy track but cannot find an issue with that title, "Quick Search" will help you locate which issues address the topic.

Your search results will be returned in relevance order, that is, the articles that are most likely to be the ones you are interested in will be listed first. The results will be listed by title and your search terms will appear highlighted within each document. You may change the order in which your results appear by clicking on the Arrow image at the head of each column.

Advanced Search

"Advanced Search," accessible from the blue bar on the left side of the screen, allows you to customize your search by selecting particular sections of reports to search, by using operators such as And, Or, and Not, and by selecting a range of dates to search.  You may also choose to sort by relevance, date, or title.

Tips for Effective Searching

  • Phrases can be searched by putting the phrase in quotation marks, for example, use "gun control" or "white house" to search for articles about the issue of gun control or articles about the White House, respectively.
  • An asterisk (*) can be added to the end of a word to search for multiple forms of a word (including plurals). For example, searching using the word environment* will retrieve articles containing words such as environmental, environmentalism, and environmentalist, as well as environment and environments.
  • Use the word "not" to narrow your search. For example, if you enter alcohol not driving, your search will return only those articles that include the word alcohol and exclude the word driving.
  • CQ Researcher has an instructive help section, accessible through the "Find A Topic"  link on the blue bar on the left side of the screen, and through the "Search Tips" link at the top of the "Advanced Search" screen.

Special Features

CQ Researcher has several special features which can help you use the database more effectively. 

  • "My Profile," accessible from the blue bar on the left side of the screen, allows you to create an account with an email address and a password.  This profile allows you to save your documents and favorite searches for up to two years. 
  • The "Document History" feature, accessible from the blue bar on the left side of the screen, links to the last twenty-five documents viewed in each session. 
  • "How to Cite," again accessible from the blue bar on the left side of the screen, links to a help screen that gives examples of various citation formats.
  • "Cite Now!," available on the first page of every report, will actually create the citation for you in a variety of formats, all exportable to several citation managers or as a rich text file for word processors.

Handling Results

To print an article in CQ Researcher, select the printer icon Publication image on the top menu bar.  This prints the entire report, which can be quite lengthy. If you would like to select only specific text to print, use the mouse to highlight the text, select "Print" from the File menu, then check off the Selection box so that the computer will only print the text you’ve highlighted.

You may also choose to print the report as a color Publication image or black-and-white Publication image PDF.  This also prints the entire report.  You must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer in order to view or print reports in this manner.  If you have difficulty viewing an article in the CQ Researcher you may need to install Adobe Reader software on your computer. This software is available free at Adobe Acrobat icon

To save or download an article, insert a computer disk in to the computer’s disk drive, then select "Save as" from the File menu.  From the "Save as type" box, select either Web page, complete (*.html, *.htm), if you would like to save the information as a Web page, or select Text file (*.txt) to save the information as plain text. This second option will use up less disk space and will enable you to open the document in word processing software such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect.

To email the report, select the Email icon Publication image in the upper right corner of the screen.

Other Resources

There are numerous other resources available both in print and through the computer that will provide you with up-to-date information on important social and political issues.

  • General Reference Center is an online index of popular periodicals, many of which are full text. With a straight-forward, keyword search interface, this database is often the best place to start a periodical search.
  • Chicago Tribune via NewsBank contains the full text of articles from the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Coverage begins in 1985 and continues to the present.
  • eLibrary provides easy access to a wide variety of general information publications as well as some scholarly journals in health, education, science, and other fields.
  • Factiva is an extensive database that includes the full text of articles from thousands of newspapers and business periodicals.
  • WilsonSelect Plus is an index of more than 1,600 full text journal articles from a variety of popular interest magazines.

Additionally, the librarians at Skokie Public Library have compiled a list of useful websites for locating current news information.

If you are interested in finding more information on particular issues for writing position papers or preparing for a debate, we have many books and other resources to help you. Please contact the Information Services Desk in person, at 847.673.3733, or via for more information.