Many of the records of the articles you find in the databases to the right will have direct links to the fulltext of the article. If not, click on Get It @ R. Get It @ R will (usually) provide links to fulltext outside of the database. If you don't see those links, click Sign-In, then Article Delivery. We'll provide a PDF copy, usually within a day.
Most of the databases to the right default to Advanced Search. Type the term or terms you want to search in the search box on the right. Select where you want to search in the drop-down menu on the left. In Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, PAIS, and others, the default search on the left is Anywhere: searching the fulltext of the articles in the database, as well as the record of the articles- the title, author, abstract (synopsis), subjects, etc.
Advanced Search searching in a nutshell:
- Use "double quotes" to search for a phrase: "civil war"
- * is a wildcard, will search forms of a term: africa* also searches african, africans, etc.
- There are two rows of search boxes in Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, PAIS. By default, your search terms in each row are connected with and; connecting terms with and means that all of the terms have to show up together in the fulltext or the record of an article in your search results. You can narrow your search by clicking Add a Row. The more rows, the more terms you search together, the more specific your search becomes:
--- africa* and "civil war*" is a less specific search, will pull up more articles, than: africa* and "civil war*" and women
- You can also combine alternative terms with or. It's simplest to combine them in the same search box. The more ors you use, the broader you search becomes, because any of the terms can appear in the fulltext or record of an article in your search results:.
--- africa* or congo* or zaire* retrieves more items than africa* alone
Most of the databases to the right default to an Advanced Search. Advanced searching is not difficult. It just gives you more options, more flexibility in setting up your search. If you click into a database that defaults to basic search (just a single search box), clicking Advanced will give you better control over your search.
Type your search term or terms in the search box on the left (see the box above for making effective use of and, or, the wild card). In the drop-down menu on the left, instead of the default, Anywhere (or some databases will say All Fields, Keyword, etc.), you can select a specific field to search. Especially if you need something relatively specific, this is often a more productive search strategy. For example, if you're looking for articles by a certain author, type his/her "last name, first name" in the first search box and select Author in the drop-down to the left. In the second box, you could search for a word or words Anywhere, in the abstract, in the title, etc.
If you're searching by topic, searching by Subject in the drop-down menu will give your search more focus, specificity. A good strategy is to start out with a well thought out Anywhere/keyword search. Then look at the records of the articles that you think will be helpful. You can click one of the subject headings and search just one subject, but often that's too broad, will get you hundreds, even thousands of articles. Instead, try a subject in the first search box, terms Anywhere in the second; or search two subjects; or a subject in the first line and an author in the second. Try different combinations of terms and fields and see what works best for you.
QuickSearch is the simple search option at the top of the Libraries homepage. It provides quick access to most (but not all) of the the Libraries' article databases, as well as the catalog, and other resources. There are pros and cons. It searches a very wide range of sources. But your search options are somewhat limited. Searching in one of the databases listed below, you will conduct a more specific search and you will have a wider range of search options.
See the Home tab to learn more about searching across resources with QuickSearch. Once you've completed a search, one of the limits to the left of the search results will be Peer-Reviewed Journals.
My contact information is on the right if you have any questions.
To see the full list of databases, from the Libraries homepage, click on Databases under the Resources column.
The three most important databases for political science research are:
Other important Databases:
Some other databases that are often useful for political scientists:
For a full list of all the databases, see the Databases page.
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