Library and Internet Sources for Research in Political Science

Library and Internet Sources for Research in Political Science


  • CQ Researcher [RR H35 .E35].
    In-depth reports, on current topics. Kept in binder until annual cumulation published. Online index can be accessed at: CQ Researcher. Also, indexed in Expanded Academic – ASAP and PAIS.
  • CQ Weekly [R.R. JK1 .C15] Index is found at the end of each issue and online. Also indexed in Expanded Academic – ASAP and PAIS
  • Congressional Quarterly Almanac [R.R. JK1 .C6] Use the index to access this resource.
  • Congress & the Nation.vol IX: 1993-1996 [R.R. JK1051 C6] Use the index and table of contents.
    These three publications offer comprehensive current coverage on activities of U.S. Congress. Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report provides current information that is summarized annually in the CQ Almanac, which in turn is summarized every four years in Congress and the Nation. While the focus is on the Congress, publications also cover activities of Presidency & Supreme Court.
  • Congressional Digest: The Pro & Con Monthly [Current issue shelved with Current Periodicals. Back Issues: 4th floor]
    “Independent monthly featuring controversies in Congress, Pro & Con. It is not an official organ, nor is it controlled by any party, interest, class or sect.”
  • Lexis-Nexis Congressional Universe
    Excellent source for full text of congressional reports, documents, testimony, bills and the Congressional Record .
  • Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet. Library of Congress’ searchable access to a vast array of congressional information.

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  • Sage:
    • Sage searches for books and periodicals, but not chapters within books or articles within periodicals. Conduct a Subject search if you know the Library of Congress subject headings subject heading . Source of subject headings for Sage (St. Olaf’s online catalog).
  • Muse: Carleton’s on-line catalog similar to Sage.
  • WorldCat A catalog that provides records for materials owned by numerous libraries across the country.

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  • Annual reviews. 1950 -. [R.R. BF30 .A5]
    Annually reviews key areas of research in various disciplines. Each AR contains 15-20 articles written by specialists which cover the theory and research findings on critical issues. Includes lengthy bibliographies. Full-text is available on-line 1996-present. Put quotation marks around terms with more than one word i.e. “human rights”.

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INDEXES & DATABASESListed below are a sample of the indexes to be found in the St. Olaf Libraries. Information on all of the indexes is available from the Libraries’ Home Page.

Databases Accessed through Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

  • Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
    Select “Alphabetical List”and then “Advanced Search.” Then click on specific database titles. See “Search Tips for a guide to searching Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. Also, be sure to check your desired database and select “Thesaurus Search” on bottom left of screen. To use the MEDD system, when requesting ILL for journal articles please type MEDD and your ENTIRE e-mail address in the “Other Information Box.”

    • PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) 1972 – An essential index to public policy and political affairs around the world.
    • EconLit : Contains citations & abstracts for journal articles and books.
    • ERIC database 1963-present.
    • Sociological Abstracts 1963 – Indexes 2600 sociology journals plus book abstracts and review citations.
  • World Political Science Abstracts Go to username zahrt002 password zahrt00257


Multidisciplinary Journal Indexes

  • JSTOR: source of full-text scholarly academic journals up to the last 3-5 years. Searches may be conducted by discipline.
  • Project Muse An index to and full text of journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Expanded Academic ASAP.

Indexes to Region Specific DatabasesLatin America

Middle East and Africa

  • The Middle East Abstracts and Index [RR DS41 .M44]
    Comprehensive index of scholarly materials, gov. documents, newspaper articles etc. Organized by country. Accessible through the subject index. Lengthy abstracts.
  • Africabib.Org [ ]
    Maintained by the Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) in Little Rock, Arkansas, this site site consists of two bibliographic databases covering Africana periodical literature (Bibliography of Africana Periodical Literature Database) and African Women’s literature (African Women’s Database). Selection Bibliography of Africana Periodical Literature Database for individual cts.
  • Index Islamicus [RR DS41 .I523] Use subject index for access.
  • Africa Bibliography [RR DT3. B54] Use subject index for access.
  • International African Bibliography [RR DT3 .I5] Use subject index for access.

Slavic, East European, and Asia

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  • Social Science Citation Index & Science Citation Index on Web of Knowledge
    If you wish to search for an article on your topic, select “Easy Search” and “Topic.” If you already have found the name of an important author or article related to your subject, then follow the directions below to compile a quick source of references based upon the information you have found.

    • Select ISI Web of Science (top of page) and “Go”
    • Choose “Full Search.”
    • Check the box that says “Science Citation Index Expanded” or “Social Science Citation Index” or both
    • Click on “Cited Ref Search.”
    • In the “Cited Author” put your author using the model they provide.
    • In the “Cited Work” put the name of the journal.
    • In the “Cited Year” put the publication year, if you know it.
    • Click on “Lookup.”
    • Click on the box beside the name.
    • Click on “Search.”

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  • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe: Legal Research offers:
    Secondary Literature: Law Reviews: Excellent source for scholarly analysis of current legal issues.
    Get a Case: Will located federal & state legal cases
  • Findlaw
    Comprehensive site used by lawyers for all types of legal materials including full texts of US and State codes. Includes links to other resources.

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Selected U.S. Government Statistical Sources

  • FedStats
    The gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies . “Agencies” link offers an outstanding listing of government agencies and programs.
  • U.S. State Department
    Includes “Countries and Regions” and “International Topics and Issues.” Links to State Dept. documents.
  • University of Michigan Documents Center
  • U.S. Census 2000 Excellent site for state and county data for the nation.


Offers primary source material.

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SELECTED WEB SITESBe sure to check Web sites recommended on the Libraries’ Scholarly & Reference Web Sites and by on your course syllabus.

Megasites with Links to Numerous Web sites

  • Infomine:Scholarly Internet Resources Collections
    Selected and described links to scholarly resources on the Internet. Searchable within each major topic. Maintained by librarians from various California universities.
  • Librarians’ Index to the Internet
    Aimed at public rather than academic libraries. Includes a number of good sites.

Public Policy Web Sites
Be sure to check out the Web sites found through a PAIS search. In addition, the following may be helpful:

  • Foreign Policy in Focus
    FPIF is a collaborative project of the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). Established in 1996, ” established in 1996, seeks to make the U.S. a more responsible global leader and global partner. It is a “think tank without walls” that functions as an international network of more than 650 policy analysts and advocates. Unlike traditional think tanks, FPIF is committed to advancing a citizen-based foreign policy agenda–one that is fundamentally rooted in citizen initiatives and movements.”
  • Moving Idea Network
    Moving Ideas Network is a project of The American Prospect magazine. It claims to be “dedicated to explaining and popularizing complex policy ideas to a broader audience. [Its] goal is to improve collaboration and dialogue between policy and grassroots organizations, and to promote their work to journalists and legislators.”
  • National Political Index
    “The National Political Index is a web site which provides an index of substantive political information for voters, political activists, political consultants, lobbyists, politicians, academicians, and media editors with a wide range of products, information, services, simulations, games, and polling in an interactive communications environment.” Be sure to read critically for particular political slant.
    United Nations
  • United Nations Official Web Locator for the United Nations System of Organizations
    Provides links to all UN agencies and programs.
  • United Nations Site Index
    Official UN site. Click on “Welcome” and “Index” to locate links to all UN agencies,programs, and reports.
  • United Nations Statistics Division
    The Statistics Division compiles statistics from many international sources and produces global updates, including the Statistical Yearbook, World Statistics Pocketbook and yearbooks in specialized fields of statistics. It also provides links to countries, specifications of the best methods of compiling information so that data from different sources can be readily compared.
  • United Nations Documents: Research Guide
    Presents an overview of the various types of documents and publications issued by the Organization (e.g, reports, resolutions, meeting records, sales publications, press releases) and gives guidance on how to work with them. The Research Guide also provides information on actions taken by the General Assembly as well as the Security Council and introduces researchers to major fields of UN activities: disarmament, human rights, international law and peacekeeping.

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  • To discover if either St. Olaf or Carleton owns a particular journal:
    • On Cambridge Scientific Abstracts databases, click on “Locate Document.”
    • On Sage or Muse , conduct a title search for the journal title .
    • You may go directly to World Cat and do a Title Search under Serials in the Advanced mode.
  • Journals at St. Olaf are shelved alphabetically in Rolvaag Library by title on floors 4 (A-Mac) and 3 1/2 (Mad-Z).
  • If you can not find the journal listed in Sage or Muse, you may check Expanded Academic ASAP which may have a full-text verion or check the Periodical Titles List to which St. Olaf subscribes.

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  • To request a book or journal from Carleton, you may request online when you search Muse (Carleton’s catalog).
  • St. Olaf will order anything not available at either Carleton or St. Olaf.
    • If you are searching a database on Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, you may use its interlibrary loan form.
    • To request other books and journals, see the online ILL request form.
    • Note: You may request electronic version of articles to be sent via email by using MEDD option. See request form.

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Consult these for a general overview, background material, names of authorities in the field, bibliographies, and documents.Resources on Individual Countries
Summaries of countries’ key political, historical, economic, & social data. Currency of data varies.


  • The Europa world year book., c1989- [R.R. JN1 .E85 ]
    Organized by country. Includes political & economic data. Past editions in the stacks.
  • World Bibliographical Series.
    ABC-Clio Press has an ongoing series of country bibliographies. They are most easily accessible by doing a keyword search for “World Bibliographical Series [country name]” e.g. World Bibliographical Series Mexico.
  • Africa Contemporary Record. [RR DT1A2]
    Current issues and country-by-country reviews. Current to 1996-1998. Includes statistics and primary source documents .
  • Encyclopedia of African Nations and Civilizations. Facts on File, 2002. [RR DT14 .E43 2002]
  • Encylopedia of Africa South of the Sahara. John Middleton, ed. Scribners, 1997. [RR DT351 .E53 1997] Scholarly
  • Encyclopedia of Third Parties in America. Immanuel Ness & Hames Ciment, eds. 2000. [RR JK2261 .E474 2000.]
  • Latin American Politics. Diana Kapiszewski, ed. 2002. [RR F1410 .E56 2002] Includes Web resources, as well.
  • Political Parties of Eastern Europe: A Guide to Politics in the Post-Communist Era. Janusz Bugajski. 2002. [RR JN96 .A979 B84 2002] See Estonia entry.
  • State Department Publications in Individual Countries:
    • Area Handbook Series [Government Documents D 101.22:550-111]
      Book length introductions to history, politics, economics, and culture of each country. Also known as the Country Studies, available online. Currency varies. To search on Sage, use a KeyWord search: “your country” country study i.e. Mexico country study
    • The World Factbook [Rolvaag Ref Documents PREX 3.15/2: 1998 ]Country-by-country statistics on industry, geography, people, government, economy, transportation, communication and defense compiled by the Department of State, 1980-
    • >Background Notes Series [Government Documents Reference S1.123:]
      “Short, authoritative pamphlets about various countries with information about a country’s people, land, history, governments, political conditions, economy, foreign relations.” Currency varies.

Education & Affirmative Action

  • Affirmative Action. Rachel Kranz. Facts on File. 2002. Overview, legal issues, annotated bibliography, & coverage of Gratz vs Bollinger.
  • Encyclopedia of Education. 2nd ed. Macmillan, 2003. [RR LB15 .E47 2003]

Human Rights

  • Encyclopedia of human rights. 2nd. ed. 1996. [RR JC571 .E67 1996]
    Excellent sources on issues of international law and human rights. Includes articles on traffic in persons,tribunals, etc.
  • Human rights: The essential reference. [RRK3240.4 .H847 1999]
    Offers overview & analysis of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Includes documents, index, and bibliography.
  • War Crimes and Justice [RR K5301 .B35 2002. ]Defines war crimes. Includes “Statute of the International Tribunal.”
  • Amnesty International. London, England : Amnesty International Publications, 1976- [R.R. JC571 .A45 Y1997
    Provides annual survey of human rights violations around the world, as well as other reports & documents. Earlier reports in the stacks.
  • Human Rights Watch World Report [JC571 .H785 Rolvaag Library Stacks]
  • Country reports on human rights practices. 1979 – [ Government Documents Y 4.IN8/16-15:996 ]
    Country reports on human rights practices submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs by the Department of State.


  • Immigration Research for a New Century. [RR JV6013.5 I55 2000] Collection of scholarly essays with bibliographies.
  • Facts about American Immigration [RR JV6465 .B73 2001] Provides historical overview, data, Web sites, legislation, etc.
  • Encyclopedia of American Immigration [R.R. JV6465 .E53 2000]
  • Immigration and the Law: A Dictionary. [RRKF4817 .H56 1999]

Protest Movements

  • Protest, Power and Change. Roger S. Powers & William B. Vogele, eds. 1997. [RR HM278. P76 1997] See “Vietnam War Opposition.”
  • Nonviolent Action: A Research Guide. Ronald McCarthy & Gene Sharp, 1997. [RR HM278 .M33 1997] Incl. bibliographies on civil disobedience.

U.S. Foreign Policy

  • Encyclopedia of American foreign policy. Deconde, A., ed. 2002 [RR JX1407 .E53]
    Offers in-depth essays on concepts, themes, movements, and distinctive policies pertaining to American foreign relations. Includes article on “International Law” and “Intervention and Nonintervention. “
  • Encyclopedia of U.S. foreign relations. Council of Foreign Relations, 1997. [RR E183.7 .E53 1997]
    Articles on US relations with individual countries, as well as key individuals and politices. Articles include references.

United Nations

  • Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. 3rd ed. 2003. Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage.
  • Yearbook of International Organizations: Guide to global civil society networks. [RR JX1904 .A42 2002/2003]
    Covers brief history, aims, structure (in detail), activities, events, publications, members, and IGO/NGO relations of UN agencies.

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  • Assembling a List of Works Cited in Your Paper. Created by the Duke University Libraries.
    This source offers citation examples from four different style manuals for a variety of resources.
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. Joseph Gibaldi. 2000. [R.R. LB2369.G53

Top of the PageCreated by Elizabeth O. Hutchins for Sheri Breen
Updated 3 March, 2003