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Management of Complex Systems - Information for Graduate Students


This guide is intended for graduate students in the UC Merced Department of Management of Complex Systems (MCS) and the Management of Innovation, Sustainability and Technology (MIST) graduate group.

Interdisciplinarity and the unique position of Management of Complex Systems

    • In recent years, researchers have come to rely on publications and resources outside their specific disciplines. Management researchers look to Psychology to answer questions about groupthink, human resources management, labor management, and other issues. Sociology researchers will look to Anthropology to examine aspects of historical cultures not immediately apparent to contemporary scientists.
    • All disciplines are increasingly reliant on other disciplines. For example, ocial sciences researchers have looked to STEM disciplines and the humanities to answer questions and examine issues that are cannot easily be addressed in a social science paradigm.
    • For both of the above reasons, it's important for researchers to be familiar with and comfortable with resources in many disciplines, not only those in their specific area of inquiry.
    • There's no such thing as a complexity database or complex systems database.
    • Because MCS is by definition so interdisciplinary, any and all databases are potentially MCS databases. Any database may have the information you need.
    • The MCS researcher must become familiar with as many databases as possible -- an arduous task at best (!).

How to proceed?

  • Make an appointment with a librarian! See the last tab in this guide on the left for more information on how to schedule an appointment. You can also contact me directly (my contact info is to the left). We can help you choose databases, craft search queries, and be useful guides to resources and services.
  • Familiarize yourself with the controlled vocabulary of the database you're searching!
    • "Controlled vocabulary" refers to the official subject headings for the database you're searching. These will vary from database to database. They're usually found on the initial webpage or search interface for each database under "Thesaurus," "Subject Terms," "Subject Headings," and so forth.
    • You can also find subject terms listed in the database records for each article you're looking at.
  • Think outside your area of research or expertise! You can find management information in IEEE Xplore, an engineering database. You can find articles about marketing and consumer choice in PsycINFO, a psychology database.s" in
  • Look for the "Best Bets" in the databases list! The Library's A-Z databases list ( can be searched for databases by discipline. Click the "All Subjects" pulldown menu to see databases by discipline or topic:

    At the top of each list of discipline-specific databases is a yellow box marked "Best Bets." These are the databases that the librarians believe are must useful in each field. Here are the best bets for computer science: