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Political Science Research Guide

Welcome to the Libraries!

This guide is designed to get you started with your research at the Libraries. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or need some additional guidance. My contact info is below the Related Guides tab. Email is the best way to contact me initially. I'm always happy to meet in person, by phone, or online to discuss your research.


QuickSearch is the simple search option at the top of the Libraries homepage. It provides quick access to the library catalog and most (but not all) of the databases. There are pros and cons. It searches a very wide range of resources in a variety of formats. But your search options are somewhat limited. And searching across so many resources can produce are very large, even overwhelming search result.

See the Refining your Search box below. See also the Find Articles, Laws, etc. tab to learn about searching in political science and legal databases .

QuickSearch: Some Quick Tips

If you are looking for a specific book, article, etc. and you know the exact title, QuickSearch is usually the quickest way to find it. Simply type the first several words of the title in the search box, in "double quotes" to search as a phrase: "domestic politics and us-china trade disputes".

You can also search for words and phrases in the millions of books, ebooks, articles, etc. indexed in QuickSearch.
- The asterisk is a wildcard, lets you look for different forms of a word: politic* retrieves politics, political, politician, etc.
- Use AND (in caps) to combine terms and search more narrowly. Searching "united states" AND politic* is more specific than searching simply for "united states"
- Use OR (again, caps) to broaden a search by searching for alternative terms: trade OR tariff*
- If you're using AND and OR together, put the OR terms in parentheses so they are searched separately: "united states" AND politic* AND (trade or tariff*)

In many cases, QuickSearch is searching in the full text of sources, so it's not uncommon to retrieve hundreds of thousands of results. See the box below on how to gain better control over your search result.

QuickSearch: Refining Your Search

Once you've completed your initial search, browse through the results. This may help you refine the search, perhaps suggest terms to add to the search.

To the left of the results are limits you can add to the search. Peer-Reviewed Journals, for example, is very useful. Under Resource Type, you can limit your search to books, articles, newspaper articles, etc. You can also limit by Subject, Creation Date, etc.

For additional search options, clicked Advanced Search in the upper right of the search results screen.


Political Science Collections in the Libraries

Rutgers University Libraries comprises over twenty libraries and centers in New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark, but the most substantial collection in political science is located in the Alexander Library on College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick. There are also significant resources for women's and gender studies in the Douglass Library  on Douglass Campus in New Brunswick.

See the Find Books tab to learn how to have books delivered from one library to another.


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