Database of the Month: CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher is a source of in depth, comprehensive reports on a range of social, political, economic, and scientific issues. The reports provide an overview, background and chronology, maps and graphs, and bibliography related to a particular issue. Each report is written by an experienced journalist and addresses a specific question related to an issue. For example, the report titled Campaign Finance Debates poses the question “Should regulations be loosened further?”. The reports go back as far as 1991 and continue to be published every week.


CQ Researcher was originally published as Editorial Research Reports from 1923 to 1956,  before being bought by Congressional Quarterly. During these years, Editorial Research Reports provided in depth reports on current events to subscribing newspapers.  The publication changed its name to CQ Researcher in 1991 and is currently owned by SAGE Publications.

Searching CQ Researcher for Reports

You can search CQ Researcher for reports on the topic you’re interested in in two basic ways: keyword searching and browse by topic. Use the Quick Search box at the top of the screen for basic keyword searching. This will oftentimes be enough to find a report on your topic.  When you’re looking at a list of search results, be sure to check out the date of the report on the right.  If you are interested in up to date information, an older report isn’t what you’re looking for. You can arrange the reports in chronological order from oldest to newest or newest to oldest by clicking on the blue arrows under Date.  There is also an advanced search option available where you can limit your search by date range, topic, and specific section of the report.

You can also browse for reports by topic by selecting Topic from the Browse Reports drop down menu in the upper left hand corner of the screen.  Once you select one of the topics listed, a listing of more specific topics will appear, related to the original topic.  For example, the U.S. Presidency topic brings you to a list of 4 sub-topics: Campaign Finance, Campaigns and Elections, Party Politics, and Powers and History of the Presidency.  When you click on one of the more specific topics, a listing of reports related to that topic will appear.

What’s in the Reports?

Each report has the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Background
  • Current Situation
  • Outlook
  • Pro/Con
  • Chronology
  • Short Features
  • Maps/Graphs
  • Bibliography
  • The Next Step
  • Contacts

The Pro/Con section provides the two sides of the argument discussed in the report, each argument put forth by an individual associated with the issue. The Next Step section lists additional published sources, mostly articles and books, on the topic of the report.  The Contacts section has contact information for government agencies, advocacy groups, and think tanks related to the topic of the report.

Each report also lists related reports in the Issue Tracker for Related Reports area in the upper right corner of the report.  The Cite Now link will create a citation of the report in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Bluebook citation styles.

Connect to this Database

Please visit CQ Researcher to explore this valuable database further or visit our Databases page to view a complete list of our resources.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to an important research database, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases) please contact the Reference Desk.  If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please contact our Coordinator of User Education, Elizabeth Galoozis.