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Best Databases for Political Science and International Affairs Research
Political Science Complete
Provides full text for more than 520 political science / international affairs scholarly journals, and indexing and abstracts for over 2,900 titles, (including top-ranked scholarly journals).
Search scholarly journals on many topics (including political science), 18th century - present.
Articles less than five years old are not available. (For recent articles, use Political Science Complete)
NOTE: UMW provides access to certain, but not all, subject collections within JSTOR.
Annual Review of Political Science
Covers significant developments in the field of Political Science including political theory and philosophy, international relations, political economy, political behavior, American and comparative politics, public administration and policy, and methodology.
Background Information on US Elections
The Research Process
Research is a step-by-step process. Here are some procedures you might want to keep in mind:
Step 1. Identify Your Topic
- Read your assignment carefully to make sure you know what you need to do to complete it.
- Talk to your professor if you are unsure about your topic.
- Make sure your topic is not too broad (so much information you can't even begin to cover it in a single paper) or too narrow (not enough information or resources available for you to understand and write about your topic).
- Most importantly, pick a topic you find interesting!
Step 2. Obtain Background Material on Your Topic
- Subject encyclopedias and other reference works can be useful in locating background information.
- Background on your topic can help you understand and refine your topic and find the best words to use in your searches.
- Check out the "Background Information" box in the left-hand column for a couple of suggestions.
Step 3. Find Books
- Use the "Search the Catalog" search box on the "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab to look for books in the library's collections.
- This will include the books on the shelves in Simpson Library as well as thousands of eBooks.
Step 4: Find Articles
- The "Best Databases for Political Science and International Affairs Research" box on the upper-left side of this page has links to some specific databases that you may find helpful.
- Quest, the library's discovery tool, allows you to search across many of the library's databases. The "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab has a search box for Quest.
Step 5: Evaluate Your Sources
- Think about what kind of resources are the best for your research. Do you need scholarly sources?
- This page about Types of Sources will help you identify them.
- You may also want to refer to this page on Evaluating Resources.
Step 6: Cite Your Sources
- Don't forget that you will have to cite and document the sources you use.
- See the UMW Libraries' guide to Citing Resources for more information.
- Both the library and the Writing Center can help you in citing resources correctly.