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Political Science Research Guide: Home

Provides and introduction to key resources used when looking for research materials in the field of Political Science

Welcome

The library has lots of resources for people doing research in Political Science.   This guide will point out the ones that I think will be most useful .

If you have any ideas about how to make this guide better, please get in contact with me (my contact information is just to the right).

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Introduction to Research Tools in Political Science

Political Science is a broad field of study which is typically broken down into many sub-fields including Political Philosophy, the Role and Operations of the State, the Role of Law Politics & Elections, Theories of Political BehaviorNational [e.g.Canadian] Government and Politics, Public Administration and International Relations.  Given the breadth of the field,  it is not surprising that what you use to do research depends upon which area of the discipline you are covering.  In particular:

  • Issues dealing with government policies and decisions may require you to access Government Publications, Statutes and Regulations,  Political Web Sites (for the Stance of Political Parties on policies), Political Advocacy Groups, Data, & records of the Debates around an issue within Parliament or a Legislature. 

  • Complex issues requiring in depth analysis should lead you to Books.

  • For highly specialized topics you should consult Journal Articles.

  • When dealing with current or recent events, consult Newspapers, News-magazines, Blogs -  or even view some Online Webcasts as debates take place in real time.

  • Electoral Analysis may require that you follow historical or current Polling Data, Economic Indicators, Census Data, the role of Political Advocacy Groups, etc.

  • Topics dealing with International, National and Regional Laws and Treatises, may require that you consult Legal Resources. 

  • International Relations topics dealing with the role of International Organizations may require you to find information on International Organizations  by consulting documents mounted on their websites.  (NOTE: Books or Articles about International Relations are also extremely  useful.)

  • For a paper that deals with a Historical Political Science topic, consult Books, Journal Articles and Primary Sources.

If what you need to locate is Journal Articles, you will need to use a Database to locate them. As the library has many databases of relevance to different types of Political Science Topics, the Databases section of this guide is broken down into different areas of Political Science and will recommend important databases for specific areas.

This guide also provides you with sections that discuss how to find specific types of resources - like Books, Journal Articles, Legal Resources, Polling Data, News, Government Documents, etc.