Database of the Month: CQ Researcher

Getting started with CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher shines a bright light on the significance and legacy of the events and issues of the day. Use CQ Researcher for assignments in global studies, comparative government, and expository writing classes. Its strengths are international affairs, health, social trends, criminal justice, education, the environment, technology and the economy.  

Here is a small sample of the questions that CQ Researcher has answered for users recently: 

Q: I need sources on affirmative action and need more of the “Con” argument.

Q: Should college athletes be paid?

Q: I have a paper for expository writing on Texas Campus Carry Law and gun control, can you help me?

Q: Where can I find federal and local policies regarding legalization of marijuana?

Q: Can you help me find information on prison reform; I am trying to find two sides to the issue.

Q: I am having trouble choosing a topic for an upcoming research paper!

CQ Researcher offers short reports, long reports of 12,000 words, and “hot topics” which are constellations of all reports CQ Researcher has published on that particular topic, historic or current. Each report has one theme. Entering a search term such as “Brexit” fetches 50+ pieces, including a detailed and current account of the issue containing photographs, charts, and references.

Reports take care to balance the discussion. CQ Researcher is not peer-reviewed, but it is powerful because of its depth of discussion and thorough fact-checking. Embedded in each report are links to the bibliography and several additional readings, making the discovery process efficient and highly relevant.

Hot Topics section
“Hot Topics” are CQ’s most popular research topics

Select and pursue a subject

CQ Researcher displays a list of 30+ topics in the pull down menu under “Browse Topics”. We recommend this section to someone seeking a topic to study. 

Browse topics menu
Rich “browse topics” menu

For topics not immediately displayed under the broad categories, there is a search box at the top of the page and a link to an Advanced Search form.

To search for cybersecurity, your options include:

  • Browse Topics for Science & Technology > Computers > Cybersecurity
  • Enter cybersecurity in the search box
  • Use the Advanced Search form to apply additional search filters and limiters

CQ Researcher is not focused on consumer goods nor industry profiles, but will provide demographic information in the context of a larger report, for example, the number of Europeans who see value in EU leadership in the years 2007- 2018.  

EU Membership chart
Charts and graphs used in CQ Researcher always advance the discussion

Structured arguments

Users can expect to hear the voices of seasoned journalists presenting well-developed arguments in each entry. Debaters will love the valuable talking points in the Pro/Con section, and for users who want to form research questions, the forward- looking statements in each long report’s “outlook” section are especially helpful.  

pro/con essays
Figure showing pro-con section

Their backstory

CQ Researcher has a strong visual aesthetic, reflecting its origins as Editorial Research Reports, a print publication begun in 1923. Co-founded by Richard M. Boeckel and Bertram Benedict, their publication was primarily for the benefit of editorial writers. As a young Capitol Hill correspondent for the New York Tribune covering the League of Nations debate after World War I, Boeckel realized how little he and his fellow reporters knew about the background of the issues they were following, so they formed a publication. It has evolved and changed names twice: first in 1956 to Congressional Quarterly and again in 1991 to CQ Researcher, its current name. Sage Publishing owns CQ Researcher today.


CQ Researcher has been recognized for excellence by the Society Of Professional Journalists and by the American Bar Association (Silver Gavel, 2002) for a nine-part series on liberty and justice issues.  

Connect to the Database

Visit the library’s Databases A-Z page and select CQ Researcher. This database is also displayed in the subject lists for General Topics, Education, History, News, and Politics and Government.

Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library database, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.