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POLS-211 Canadian Government

Once you have identified the main topic and keywords for your research, the next step is to find sources of background information. This is especially important if you are unfamiliar with the subject or not sure how to approach your topic. Background information can be found in textbooks, dictionaries, general and subject-specific encyclopedias to name a few and can give you ....

  • A broad overview of the subject
  • Definitions of the topic
  • An introduction to key issues
  • Names of people who are authorities in the field
  • Major dates and events
  • Lead to bibliographies which provide additional sources of information.

A few politics-related resources that you might find useful include:

To determine which books are available at the Queen's University Library search Omni, the library's search tool. It is a searchable database that lists materials (books, journals, magazines, newspapers, videos, government documents, maps, microfilm and much more) found in all the libraries at Queen’s.

Option 1: Search Omni by Keyword

Enter your search in the Search box

  1. Select the type of search in the within box
  2. Click the Search box to begin searching

When searching for books on a topic, rather than for a specific title or author, use one of the keyword search options. Keywords are taken from many parts of the catalogue record including the title, author, subject headings and table of contents fields.

Option 2: Search Omni by Keyword *Boolean*

A keyword search -- as explained above -- works much the same way as a search in a web search engine; "AND" is assumed between your keywords. A keyword search using Boolean operators allows you to combine your search terms manually and usually retrieves more precise results.

  • Use AND to combine search terms and narrow results
  • Use OR to expand search results by searching for two or more related concepts (or synonyms) simultaneously
  • Use NOT to narrow search results (it is generally better to use "not" sparingly, if at all)
  • Truncate words by using *: cultur* (finds culture, cultures, cultural, etc.)
  • Search phrases by using quotes: "social justice"
  • Group search terms by using parentheses: (child* or teen*) and "social inequality”

Example: a keyword boolean search in Omni for results about 'what effect poverty has on the health of the elderly' could be phrased as:

(poverty or poor) and (elderly or aging or aged) and health?

The book's full record provides you with:

  • citation information: author, title, publisher, place and date of publication;
  • status tells you if the book is available;
  • location tells you in which library the book is located;
  • call number tells you where the book is located on the Library's shelves; and
  • viewing the Full Record indicates the subject headings assigned to an item.

There are thousands of electronic books (or "e-books") available at Queen's Library. There are several ways you can locate them.

You can also search e-book subscription packages directly. The following collections are particularly useful for research in Politics:

  • Scholars Portal
    The platform is designed to provide a single interface for accessing digital texts from multiple content providers. With a single search, you can find books from a variety of scholarly publishers.
  • eDuke Books Scholarly Collection
    Contains books published by Duke University Press. Covers numerous subject areas including political science and political theory.