POL 295 - Introduction to Political Science Research

last modified 2018-03-09T18:30:22-04:00

This guide contains information and sources to help you complete your research assignment. If you need any further help, please contact Amy Gratz (information at right), or ask a librarian at the Ask Jack desk.

Locating Sources

Discovery - an EBSCO service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. Use the "Advanced Search" page to refine your search, or the tools available on the results page.


Library Catalog - Search the library catalog to locate books related to your topic. You can search the catalog through Discovery if you prefer.

WorldCat - Search for books and publications owned by libraries worldwide. You can request these via Inter-Library Loan (ILL).


JSTOR - Use Advanced Search to limit your search to Political Science journals. NOTE: JSTOR is primarily useful for locating older articles. This is due to an agreement with publishers where JSTOR typically does not provide full text coverage for the most recent 2 to 5 years, in exchange for complete archival access. 

Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science) - Covers bibliographic and citation information from 2,474 of the world's leading social sciences journals across 50 disciplines. Note that this database allows you to track other resources that have cited a starting article.

Google Scholar - Google's version of a database searching scholarly articles and books around the world. Remember to use the "cited by" option to help you locate additional resources!

LexisNexis Academic - Includes many types of publications, virtually all in full text: newspapers, legal news, government publications, law reviews, and many more. 

Research Library (ProQuest) - a general database providing access to scholarly journals and general magazines, many of which are available in full text.

Citing Sources

You will be expected to use the guide from the American Political Science Association (APSA), which is available online here. This guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, so you may wish to refer to this guide if any questions arise. 

Zotero is free, open-source software available to help you organize and cite your sources. We have a guide available here, and you can download APSA style for Zotero here. Also, a half-hour workshop on Zotero will be offered TODAY, January 27, at 4:30pm.

Also, remember that you can have librarians look over your citations at the Ask Jack desk!

Other Useful Information

Search Tips and Strategies - some general searching strategies that can help you research more efficiently.

How to Write Annotated Bibliographies - a quick guide to help you get started if you're unfamiliar with this genre.

A guide on Writing in Political Science created and maintained by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Writing Center.

Other guides and tutorials on various aspects of researching through the Mercer University Library are available here if you need a refresher or additional information.