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POLS-590 / POLS-860

Finding Articles

In this module, we turn to finding articles - specifically scholarly journal articles. We will address: 

  • the characteristics of different types of articles (scholarly, popular and newspaper)
  • how to locate a specific article when you have a citation, and
  • how to find articles on a topic using Proquest's Political Studies database

Scholarly journal articles are a critical source of authoritative information, as they contain the results of original academic research or experimentation. Scholarly journals are also referred to as "academic," "peer-reviewed," or "refereed" journals. Using scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles is usually a requirement for university course assignments.

The Library subscribes to hundreds of online article indexes and databases (over 650 databases at last count) on a wide range of subjects. WHY? Students often wonder why the library purchases pricey subscriptions to article indexes ('databases") when it is so much easier to use the web. Yale University Library has compiled an excellent .pdf summary that addresses the question: The Web vs Library Databases - A Comparison.

Political Studies@Proquest

Political Studies@Proquest is made up of a pre-selected group of 4 databases covering literature published in political studies (PAIS, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, Worldwide Political Abstracts, and Proquest Political Science). In addition to full text articles, the collection contains full-text dissertations, thousands of working papers, country reports, and government documents, offering an international perspective from leading and emerging academics, policy makers, and think tanks.

The database makes it convenient to apply limits to searches. The most useful are for "peer review" and "scholarly journals."

Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is a multi-disciplinary index (with abstracts) to more than 10,900 publications including peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, monographs and reports. Approximately 50% of the journal titles also contain the full-text of articles. If the full text of the article is not available in the database itself, click the "Get it at Queen's" icon to search for the article's availability through Queen's Library subscriptions.

Academic Search Complete Widget
Limit Your Results

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a scholarly search engine. It searches for scholarly materials including journal articles, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from a variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. It is useful as a supplementary search tool but not comprehensive enough in the area of political studies to be used exclusively.

Points to Consider:

  • Coverage appears to be strongest in science and technology, and weakest in the humanities;
  • There isn't a way to focus your search on political studies materials (unlike when you search one of the library's specialized article databases);
  • Google Scholar only includes articles that are within reach of its crawler, which is a much smaller subset of scholarly articles than found in some of the databases subscribed to by Queen’s Library; and
  • In some cases the content is freely available in full text, while in other instances abstracts with links to pay-for document delivery services are displayed.

Related Guides

Background Resources

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (2005)
Provides essays on political ideas, ideologies and movements.
Oxford Handbooks offer authoritative and up-to-date surveys of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates, as well as a foundation for future research.
Includes various social sciences dictionaries and guides, including The Oxford Guide to the United States Government and more....
Oxford Companion to Politics of the World
Over 500 contributors from 40 nations have written 672 entries on the people, concepts, countries and events that have shaped the world.
Roger Scruton's Dictionary of Political Thought has been widely acclaimed as a profound and incisive guide to political ideas. This new edition takes stock of the revolutionary political changes that have taken place since the dictionary was first published in 1982, bringing the dictionary right up to date. Some 1790 entries cover every aspect of political thought, defining concepts and ideologies, surveying the arguments on issues, giving capsule histories of political institutions, and summarizing (with newly expanded treatment) the thought of major political theorists. The dictionary provides a readable and impartial survey of political thought, of immense value to students of political science, government, philosophy and jurisprudence as well as to the general reader with an interest in ideas.

Canadian Party Platforms 1867-1968 JL195.C3. Provides a compilation of the platforms and policy statements issued by Canadian political parties for federal elections from 1867-1968. Also Includes election results for each province.

Canada Votes, 1935-1988 JL193.A54 1989

The Language of Canadian Politics: a Guide to Important Terms and Concepts (2006). Lists over 500 cross-referenced entries that describe the institutions, concepts, public policies, events and laws in Canadian politics.

With 150 accessible articles written by more than 130 leading experts, this essential reference provides authoritative introductions to some of the most important and talked-about topics in American history and politics, from the founding to today. Abridged from the acclaimed Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History, this is the only single-volume encyclopedia that provides comprehensive coverage of both the traditional topics of U.S. political history and the broader forces that shape American politics — including economics, religion, social movements, race, class, and gender. Fully indexed and cross-referenced, each entry provides crucial context, expert analysis, informed perspectives, and suggestions for further reading.
Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy
REF JX1407.E53 2002. In-depth scholarly essays with extensive bibliographies on the concepts, themes, movements, and distinctive policies found in the history of American foreign relations. (Online edition available at EBSCOhost.)
Encyclopedia of the American Left
HX86.E58 1990t. People, organizations, and events associated with movements for radical social change and leftist positions on general topics ranging from abortion to utopianism are discussed in some 600 articles. Each article is followed by a brief, well-chosen list of references, and there are name and subject indexes plus a glossary of terms and acronyms
The United States Government Manual
This manual is the classic historical and official source for general information about the U.S. government. Online access is available 1935-2018 via HeinOnline.
This book provides detailed and engaging narratives about 25 pivotal events in Asian American history, celebrates Asian Americans’ contributions to U.S. history, and examines the ways their experiences have shaped American culture.
African Studies: Oxford Bibliographies
Oxford Bibliographies is a tool designed to help researchers find reliable sources of information quickly by directing them to chapter, book, website, archive, or data set selected by experts in the subject. It features a selective list of bibliographic citations supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult.
This comprehensive Dictionary provides descriptive and analytical coverage of the turbulent political history and striking changes which have occurred both regionally and in key countries since the end of the Second World War. Substantially rewritten to take into account the dramatic political events and developments since 1995, the third edition of this acclaimed Dictionary will provide non-specialists and specialists alike with an essential resource on this constantly changing and volatile region.
Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World

This two-volume work is unique in that it provides a worldwide, comparative perspective on forced and voluntary mass migrations and the refugee cultures they engender. 

Handbook of Federal Countries, 2005
This resource describes the history and development, constitutional provisions, and current political dynamics for 21 countries that are federations (as well as four the book cover says have "significant elements of federalism"), adding some basic political, geographic, social, and economic data, and a list of sources.