Use this guide to locate sources to help you research military operations, either national or international, and develop presentations and research papers discussing those operations. Use a combination of official documents, background on an operation from an official source (for example, something from the Center for Military History), and peer-reviewed articles you should use to justify your information/stated positions.
Best Bets - Start with a couple of quick searches of Spartan Search and a subject-specialized database likeProquest to get a feel for the type and quantity of sources available. Play around with the suggested search terms.
Background Information - Sometimes you need a definition or basic fact for your paper that you can't find in a scholarly article. Or perhaps you need a more basic understanding of your topic before diving deeper into scholarly research. This is where reference sources, such as encyclopedias, come in handy.
The key official documents for US military operations are listed below. The National Security Strategy out of the White House, and the National Defense Strategy from the Department of Defense are both unclassified. The National Military Strategy from the Joint Chiefs of Staff is classified, and only the summary is publicly available.
Finding Background on an Operation From an Official Source
Official sources are official publications of the branches of the military or government. In the United States this would include the Department of Defense.
Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles
There are some important indicators to look for to see if the article you're looking at is peer-reviewed.
many databases will have some information around the actual .pdf of the article that says it is peer-reviewed,
the paper itself may say whether it is peer-reviewd, or thank the reviewers in an acknowledgement. (Acknowledgements can be found at the beginning, at the end, or separated from the article in a section at the beginning or end.),
almost all peer-reviewed articles will have a page for references (aka citation page or bibliography),
most (but not all) academic journals have the word Journal in the title,
check the database Ulrich's to see if the journal you're using is peer-reviewed.
Search by ISBN, subject, publisher, or language. Over 300,000 journals with 900 subject specialties.
Provides data points such as ISSN, publisher, language, subject, abstracting & indexing coverage, full-text database coverage, tables of contents, and reviews written by librarians. You can narrow OA results by clicking on the "Open Access" option. OA journals are also indicated with the bright blue "unlocked" icon.