Political Science
General Research Guide

Introduction
Reference Materials
Books
Government Documents
Journal Indexes
Websites
Materials from Other Libraries
Writing and Style Guides
Help

Introduction

This guide describes some of the resources available to students, staff and faculty conducting research in the areas of Political Science. Please remember this is just a starting point – there are many more resources available through the Library Homepage and the Library Catalogue. For additional assistance please use the Ask Us Service or contact the Political Science Librarian.

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Reference Materials

Use encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials to identify important concepts, to find definitions, and to gather background information on your topic. Following are a few of the reference resources relevant to the study of political science:

The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World
Level 10 - Reference Collection - JA 61 O95 2001

The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought
Level 10 - Reference Collection - JA 61 S37 2007

The Blackwell Dictionary of Political Science
E-book (click on the link below the title in the Catalogue record to view) - JA 61 B43 1999

Encyclopedia of Politics: The Left and the Right
Level 10 - Reference Collection - JA 61 E54 2005

The Statesman's Year-book
Level 10 - Reference Collection - JA 51 S7 2007

Search the UofL Library Catalogue to access all Online Reference Resources in Political Science (available to UofL users only).

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Books

Search the Library Catalogue to find books, government documents, audio-visuals, and online resources.

Search Tips

Subject Headings are terms assigned to each item to describe its content, using a set of standards that is applied to all items in the database. Below are a few of the standard subject headings used to describe content in area of political science.

To locate relevant Subject Headings for your topic, start with an Advanced Keyword search (e.g., for the topic American-Canadian relations: search for international relations AND America AND Canada). Scan your results and choose a record that is relevant. Scroll to the bottom of that record and examine the hyperlinked Subject Headings. Click on the Subject Heading that best describes your topic.

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Government Documents

Government publications are vital information sources in the field of political science. Many Canadian and Alberta government publications are located in the Government Documents, Main, or Microform Collections in the Library. Many more are available online via the Library Catalogue, the Library Web site, or the Internet.

Library Catalogue
Search by topic and limit to Material Type – GOVDOC

Government Information (Library Web site)
Access links to the home pages of government department, agencies, and organizations at all levels – local, national, and international; Also includes information and examples on citing government documents

Govinfo (University of British Columbia)
Includes links to selected websites and documents worldwide

Government Links (York University Libraries)

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Journal Indexes

The most current information and research on any academic topic is generally found in articles. To find articles in journals, newspapers and magazines (also dissertations, conference proceedings, government documents, and book chapters), search in the Library’s indexes and abstracts.

Most indexes allow you to search for articles by keyword, subject, author, and title. Indexes and databases provide citations (information on where the articles were published) and short summaries or descriptions of the articles. Many also provide links to the full-text of the articles.

The Library’s indexes and databases can be accessed both on and off campus through the Library’s Home Page. Click on the tabs Articles By Subject, By Title, or By Type located in the middle of the Home Page.

The most relevant indexes for finding information on Political Science have been listed under Indexes by Subject. However Political Science is multidisciplinary in nature. Many more indexes are available and may be useful to you, depending on your specific topic. Be prepared to search more than one index.

Important: Access to most of the Library’s indexes and databases is restricted to UofL students, faculty and staff. Off campus users will be required to enter their email usernames and passwords in order to connect.

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Websites

Tip: Some Internet resources can be useful sources of information. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate each Web site to ensure that information is both accurate and appropriate for academic research. See the Library research guide “Evaluating Web Resources.”

Below are some recommended Web sites. However, Web sites are constantly changing and information needs vary. Remember to critically evaluate any sources you use.

Mapleleafweb – developed and maintained in the UofL Political Science Department

Political Science Resources on the Web – directory of sites compiled and evaluated by the University of Michigan

Portals to the World - authoritative, in-depth information about the nations and other areas of the world

CIA – The World Factbook – current information on countries of the world, including government, economy, geography, statistics and comparative rankings

Constitution Finder – Links to constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents for nations throughout the world

ElectionGuide – current information on elections, political parties, and electoral structures around the world

IPSAportal – top 300 Web sites for Political Science, as selected by the International Political Science Association

OpenDemocracy – non-profit independent Web site focusing on global current affairs

Librarians Internet Index – a listing of sites on a variety of topics, including political science

Intute: Social Sciences - a UK-based Web site, with links to Web sites evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists

Rulers – A guide to heads of state around the world from 1700 to present

Political Science Commons™

Open Access resources produces by scholars and published by universities.  Popular Institutions includes Penn State Law, University of Pennsylvania, College of William & Mary Law School, Providence College, Claremont Colleges, University of Rhode Island, University of Iowa, Macalester College and Western University

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Materials from Other Libraries

During your research, you may find relevant resources not in the UofL Library collection - in other library catalogues, in bibliographies or reference lists at the end of journal articles, or in journal indexes/databases.

To support the research of members of the UofL community, the Library will attempt to borrow or acquire copies of research materials (books, journal articles, videos, etc.) from other libraries. This service, called Interlibrary Loans, is available to users who have valid, current Library privileges. Requests for materials should be submitted at least 7 to 10 days in advance of the date by which they are needed.

For more information on the Interlibrary Loans, consult the Borrowing Guidelines for the service.

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Writing and Style Guides

For general information on writing reports and term papers, search by subject heading in the Library Catalogue:

For information on formatting your paper and documenting your sources – in text and in the reference list or bibliography:

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Help

If you need assistance at any time during the research process:

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 Maintained by
 Content Revised: May 13, 2013
 Content Created: July 24, 2007


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