POLI SCI 190: Political Science Honors Seminar

Contact Your Librarian

  • Susan Edwards
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: Education Psychology Library, 2600 Tolman Hall
  • Contact Info:

    510-643-6224

About this Guide

Resources for researching and writing a Political Science thesis.

Political Science Databases

Core article databases for political science research are below. 

UC eLinks and Citation Linker

Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the UC e-links button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version.  And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

What if there isn't a UC e-links button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Related Databases

The Berkeley Library provides access to hundreds of databases, below are some that might be particularly helpful.

International & Area Studies

Are you focusing on politics outside of the United States? Here are some key resources you may want to consider. More can be found on the subject list, by geographic area.

Off-campus Access to Library Resources

Before you can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile devices, make sure you have configured your machine using one of two simple methods (Proxy Server is the quickest and easiest):

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.  Make sure you check the proxy configuration before you start researching.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network. NOTE: VPN is necessary if using EndNote.

Forward Citations

If an article is a few years old, but relevant to your topic, it can be very helpful to see who has cited it. There are several different ways to do this, and the results will overlap --  no single method is comprehensive.

ISI Web of Science contains the Social Science Citation Index which allows you to do a "Cited Reference" search. This shows other articles (from a prestigious list of peer reviewed journals) which have cited the target article, and it also shows the references for the the original article... both forward and backward citation.

Google Scholar also provides forward citations for some articles. It has a broader range of documents included (not just peer reviewed journals, but reports, pre-prints, etc.) and doesn't eliminate self citation or de-duplicate the results.

Cited Reference links are sometimes provided for articles indexed indatabases such as Social Services Abstracts, ERIC, EconLit, PsycInfo, etc.

 

Find eBooks

The Library offers over 100 e-book and e-text collections in specific subject areas. E-books in collections marked * are also available through OskiCat and Melvyl. You can limit your search in OskiCat to "Available online," and in Melvyl to "Online resources."

Google Books

Why use Google Books? Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  You can then use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.Try it now:

Google Book Search

Find Books

UCB: Use OskiCat to find books related to your topic at UC Berkeley. Oskicat will show you where it's located, and will also show you the Library of Congress Subject Heading -- which can help you find material other relevant books.

UC: Not enough books  at Berkeley? Use Melvyl to find more books at other campuses in the UC system.  Click on the REQUEST button  to get through  Interlibrary Loan.

World: Still want more? You can search thousands of libraries through WorldCat on FirstSearch and then request the material through UC e-links or directly via Interlibrary Loan

Google Books: Library catalogs don't search inside of books. Google Books can help you identify the book you need, then click on "Find in a Library" to see if we have it.

Find Dissertations

Find Dissertations by searching Dissertations and Theses (Dissertation Abstracts) Full Text. Dissertations are a great source for bibliographies -- they contains lots of citations to resources which can help you target your search.

Dissertations completed at UC Berkeley can also be found in OskiCat, using the feature allowing you to limit to dissertations/theses.Older dissertations not available full text may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan or using the "Request" option in Melvyl.

Data and Statistics

These links will guide you to various sources for statistics and data.  If you are interested in manipulating a dataset on your own, please visit the Doe Library's Data Lab in 189 Doe.

Gov Info

These resouces can help you discover and locate information from the government.  More resources can be located in the Library's Government Information pages.

News Resources

Here are some general news and newsmedia databases.  For a full listing of the Library's news resources, check this list.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) can provide you a wealth of information from foreign news sources.  The U.S. State Department ran the FBIS to translate foreign language newspapers, wires, and broadcasts into English.  FBIS only translated information relating to U.S. interests, and only distributed to the public a select amount of what was translated.

At UC Berkeley, we have 2 databases for locating FBIS documents:

World News Connection (covers 1996-present, and is full-text)

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports
1941-1996, fulltext.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand! The Library offers workshops on Endnote, Zotero, and Refworks! Or contact your librarian for individual help.

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central for about $80.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Using Zotero with APSA

Some political science papers require the APSA (American Political Science Association) citation style. If this is not in your default Zotero setup, fear not! You can easily add it by following these simple instructions http://www.zotero.org/support/styles

Plagerism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. The campus issues a guide to understanding plagiarism, which states:

"Plagiarism means using another's work without giving credit. You must put others' words in quotation marks and cite your source(s). Citation must also be given when using others' ideas, even when those ideas are paraphrased into your own words."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action. For more information, consult the following UC Berkeley websites:

Why Cite?

"Ethics, copyright laws, and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked."--
Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press), p. 594

Why cite sources?
Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.

Read more

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics.

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

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Off-campus Access to Library Resources

Before you can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile devices, make sure you have configured your machine using one of two simple methods (Proxy Server is the quickest and easiest):

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.  Make sure you check the proxy configuration before you start researching.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network. NOTE: VPN is necessary if using EndNote.

Google Scholar and UC e-links

  1. Set up your proxy server access by following the directions at http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/. When you get to a point where you are accessing resources that the Library pays for, you will be prompted for your CalNet ID and password.
  2. Change your “Scholar Preferences.” Access these by clicking on the link next to the search box. 
  3. In search box next to "Library Links," type in University of California Berkeley and click on “Find Library”
  4. Check box next to "University of California Berkeley - UC-eLinks
  5. Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page

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