Annual Reviews, in particular Annual Review of Law and Social Science and Annual Review of Political Science - are great for getting comprehensive summaries of research on specific topics in various field. Look at the bibliographies to lead you to the original works cited.
CIAO features a wide range of scholarship from 1991 onward that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs.
Gender Studies Database, produced by National Information Services Corporation (NISC), combines NISC's popular Women's Studies International and Men's Studies databases with the coverage of sexual diversity issues. GSD covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia.
This database includes full text works from contemporary scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, books, booklets and pamphlets, conference proceedings, and government, NGO and special reports from 1970 to present.
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. It is also very useful for seeing if other scholars have cited a book, article, etc. Search on the title, and then follow the "Cited by ..." link.
Provides access to scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, books, book reviews and more. It includes legal journals, law reviews, yearbooks, institutes, statutes, bar association publications and university publications from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
JSTOR provides the full text of back issues from core scholarly journals in political science and other fields in the humanities and social sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. Please note that, generally, this database does not include issues published in the last few years. You can search just the political science journals in JSTOR by using the Advanced Search "NARROW BY DISCIPLINE AND/OR JOURNAL" feature.
Provides indexing and abstracts of worldwide literature on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, as well as full text for more than 50 journals, magazines and regional newspapers and dozens of monographs; also includes a specialized LGBT thesaurus with over 6,400 terms. Contains indexing and abstracts for GLBT-specific core periodicals and GLBT-specific core books and reference works. Indexes important historical GLBT publications, including ONE, The Ladder, Mattachine Review, The Advocate, Christopher Street, Body Politic, The New York Native, and much more. Includes some monographs and reference books, as well as grey literature, including newsletters, case studies, and speeches.
Features public affairs research, including references to journal articles, books, government documents, statistical sources, research reports, conference proceedings, and publications of international agencies.
Includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. Records are selected from many of the top titles within the discipline, including Race, Ethnicity & Education and Ethnic & Racial Studies.
If you find an article or a book that is relevant, the bibliography/works cited page can be a useful road map to other relevant literature that was previously published.
If you find an article or a book that is relevant, you can use Google Scholar and some other databases to find out whether it was cited by other scholars after it was published. Search for the title of an article/monograph and search and click on "Cited by" to generate a list of publications that have referenced that source.
In many databases, you can narrow your results to scholarly publications only. Look for "limit to ... scholarly publications/peer-reviewed/refereed publications only" or similar language. This will help you find articles from journals that have gone through a rigorous peer review process.
Search CLIO for articles
CLIO is the library catalog for the Columbia Library System (including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and some information from the Law Library). In CLIO you can find books and media materials, search for different kinds of databases, and find articles within those databases as well.