Political Science Research

Finding Articles


Journal articles are an important way in which new political science research is disseminated.

Where you search will depend on the emphasis of your paper, but you can always start with Academic Search Premier via EBSCOhost. This database is useful for political science research for several reasons:

  1. Political Science can be multidisciplinary, which is a strength of this database.
  2. This database covers scholarly journals and news magazines. If your topic is very recent, there may not be many research studies on it yet, but you will find information in magazines.
  3. This database has a lot of full text, meaning that you can view and print articles from your computer.

The Library provides access to a number of databases that will help you find research in journals. Where you search depends on the emphasis of your topic.

If your topic relates to:

Dissertations may give you some useful information. Use ProQuest's Dissertation & Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection.

If you are looking for current news stories, EBSCOhost and ProQuest provide good coverage of major newspapers. 

Finding Books


Books can contain excellent summaries of existing research and can be an important component of your research. Just remember to look at the publication dates and note that journal articles may give you more recent research.

To locate books owned by Niagara University Library, use the Library Catalog.

The ebrary electronic book collection offers full-text access to many titles.

If you want to search for books owned by other libraries, too, then try searching WorldCat, a catalog that contains references to more than 57 million items owned by 9,000 libraries worldwide. Don't worry - if you need a book owned by another library, you can request it. To learn how, jump to the section called Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own.

Finding Films


There are three places to look for educational video and documentaries owned by Niagara University Library.

  1. The Educational DVD Collection is located on the first floor of the Library.
    This collection exceeds 1,500 titles and can be viewed and searched via the NU Library Catalog.
  2. Films on Demand. More than 6,000 video titles are available for streaming anywhere on campus.
  3. The web is a good source of video as well. Refseek links to some of the best sites: http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html

Finding Facts, Statistics, and Web Sites


The Library has a number of useful reference books in the field of political science. For example:

  • Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy (Ref E183.7 .e52 2002)
  • Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System (Ref JF501 .E53 1994)
  • Encyclopedia of American Political History (Ref E183.E5 1984)
  • Encyclopedia of Cold War Politics (Ref E 840 .T57 2000)
  • Encyclopedia of Republican Party/Encyclopedia of Democratic Party (Ref JK 2352 .E56 1997)
  • Encyclopedia of the United States Congress (Ref (JK1067 .E63 1995)
  • Encyclopedia of Women in American Politics (Ref HQ1236.5 .U6 E53 1999)
  • Political Parties and Elections in the United States (Ref JK2261 .P633 1991)
  • World Encyclopedia of Political Systems and Parties (Ref JF 2011 .W67 1990)

Needless to say, in today's age, a lot of statistical information is available, but given the great variety of political science topics we can't provide a complete list here. Here are some:

Public Opinion and Datasets

Roper Center Public Opinion Data (iPoll)
A comprehensive database of 500,000+ questions and answers asked in the US since 1935. Includes access to datasets.

Dataset Tutorials

Free Online Resources for Statistics

Statistics By Continent

Contact the Library subject specialist for political science, Jonathan Coe, for more assistance with statistics. A link to his contact information is located at the side of this page.

Finally, here are some web sites recommended by NU political science professors:

Political Research Online (a searchable archive of conference papers presented at a number of associations over several years)

University of Mississippi (scroll down and use "Free Online Resources for Statistics" and "Statistics by Continent.")

Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own


If you need an article or a book that NU Library does not own, you can make use of Interlibrary Loan to obtain it.

Tip: In a hurry? If the article or book you need is owned by another library in Western New York, you can visit that library and use their resources on site (view a list of Western New York library web sites).

Please note: If you wish to borrow a book from another Western New York library, you can get an InfoPass card at the Reference Desk.

Citing Your Sources


Format your paper and cite your sources according to the Style Manual for Political Science, published by the American Political Science Association (APSA).

This manual is the definitive source and is available online.

The APSA Style manual is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, which the Library owns (Ref LB2369 .C45 2003). If you want to see examples of APSA style in action, take a look at recent issues of "American Political Science Review," which is available in the Library.

Tip: Please talk to your professor if you have questions about how to cite your sources.