This is a very selective guide to the resources you will find useful as you do research in the field of political science. For more resources, consult the general research guide page for Public and International Affairs or contact your liaison librarian (on the right side of this page). Depending on your topic, you may want to consult the research guides for other disciplines as well. For instance, if you are exploring the role of media in political science, try visiting the research guide for Communication Studies.
When you need a succinct overview, need to browse for topic ideas, or need to know a few key resources about a topic, a specialized encyclopedia such as this one is a great place to go.
CQ Press Political Reference Suite of Online Editions integrates many of CQ Press's reference titles on government and politics into a user-friendly, electronic format.
In-depth news and analysis of controversial issues. Limit to Academic Journals in the advanced search to restrict results to scholarly articles.
Articles & eResources
Below are some databases that you could use when searching for scholarly articles for your literature reviews.
Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive scholarly databases offering many sources unique to this massive collection. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full-text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.
Provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy.
The Public Affairs Information Services database provides information on public affairs, public and social policies and international relations. PAIS includes publications from over 120 countries throughout the world.
Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) is the most comprehensive source for theory and research in international affairs. It publishes a wide range of scholarship from 1991 onward that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs.
Archive of selected scholarly journals in ecology, economics, history, mathematics, music, political science, statistics, and other humanities and social sciences.
Contains current news through a collection of periodicals, academic journals, and other content for all branches of the military and government.
SAGE Journals Online offers full text access to journals in Communication Studies, Criminology, Education, Health Sciences, Management & Organization Studies, Materials Science, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Business, Humanities, Science and Technology.
To identify books and government documents beyond those held at Randall Library. 9,000 libraries contribute. Use UNCW Illiad link to request items through interlibrary loan.
Using the Library Catalog
Use the library's catalog to identify and locate books, videos and government documents. The catalog also contains records with information about what date coverage and volumes and issues the library owns.
Books & Library Materials
A reference work published biennially by the National Journal Group. It aims to provide a detailed look at the politics of the United States through an approach of profiling individual leaders and areas of the country.
Abstract: Public policy as a concept and a field (or fields) of study -- Does politics cause policy? Does policy cause politics? -- Who makes decisions? How do they make decisions? Actors and institutions -- Where does policy come from? The policy process -- What should we do? The field of policy analysis -- What have we done? Impact analysis and program evaluation -- How does it work? Policy implementation -- Whose values? Policy design -- New directions in policy research -- Do the policy sciences exist?
This comprehensive, practical writer's manual is designed to help readers accomplish two goals: 1) improve their writing skills and strategies and 2) learn political science at the same time. The manual considers the different types of papers common to political science at all levels, at the introductory level, and at the advanced level–exploring the purposes and characteristics of each paper, the steps for writing a successful paper, and typical formats. The volume provides a handbook of style for political science, guide to distance learning and the Internet and writing assignments for all levels. For those interested in improving the political science writing.
Key topics include: Essential government resources, the nature of government information, and government rules and regulations; The court system and judicial law; Statistical resources like the Statistical Abstract of the United States; Health information and PubMed General scientific information and scientific publishing agencies like NASA and the United States Geologic Survey (USGS); Environmental and energy resources from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy Consumer information from sources such as the Pew Center on the Internet and American Life and Census data.
The Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress, prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP). It presents:short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district. Committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers for Members of Congress.Lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, and members of the press, radio, and television galleries.
Latinos in the New Millennium is the most current and comprehensive profile of Latinos in the United States: looking at their social characteristics, group relations, policy positions and political orientations. The authors draw on information from the 2006 Latino National Survey (LNS), the largest and most detailed source of data on Hispanics in America. This book provides essential knowledge about Latinos, contextualizing research data by structuring discussion around many dimensions of Latino political life in the US
This Very Short Introduction gives readers a concise, accessible, and sophisticated overview of the vital elements of American democracy, emphasizing both how these elements function, their historical origins, and how they have evolved into their present forms.
While these sites might be less useful for locating scholarly sources for your literature reviews, they still provide useful information for politics and political science research.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan think tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Pew Research does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.
The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality tour of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.
Dedicated to rhetoric and public communication in the United States. Offers an archive of speeches, movie speeches, and audio figures of speech.
Laws acquire popular names as they make their way through Congress. This website provides the popular name and the actual name as it appears in the US Code.
This online guide to the House and Senate members of the current Congress is intended to be a single point of access for member information from several different official sources.
This website allows you to obtain information on NC voting, voter registration, how to check your voter registration status, and FAQs.
In addition to the resources here, use the library catalog to find government documents. Randall Library became a depository library for U.S. documents in 1965, but we did not start cataloging them until 1990. Using WorldCat and the resources listed below, you can find a document's call number (using the Superintendent of Documents, or SuDoc, classification scheme. Then check the shelf to see if the library has it. Otherwise, we can borrow documents for you through Interlibrary Loan.
WorldCat searches for books and other materials worldwide, not just at Randall. If you would like to use a book that Randall does not have, you can use Interlibrary Loan to request it.
Congressional hearings, reports and documents.
A variety of statutes, Congressional and Supreme Court documents.
Bills introduced in Congress
The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and keyword.
Government Printing Office's digital system enabling the GPO to manage government information from all three branches of the US government.
Current and some historical information, including Background Notes (basic country information), Treaties in Force, Foreign Relations of the United States.
Georgetown's Law Library provides excellent research tutorials on their youtube account. Guides include secondary sources research, case law research, administrative law research, and researching statutes tutorials.
Statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States.
Topics ranging from migration and health to crime are each placed in historical context by a recognized expert in the field.
Statistics from more than 100 federal agencies.
Provides access to data about the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas.
Country statistics on everything from obesity to murders.
North Carolina statistical data.
Easy Stats gives you quick and easy access to selected statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau through the American Community Survey. With the American Community Survey, detailed demographic and economic statistics are available every year for the nation's communities and their people.
The mission of the Bureau of Justice Statistics is to collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.
Even though this tutorial is geared towards graduate students, you might find some useful information in this video about writing literature reviews.
Datasets, Maps & Imagery
Citation, Writing & Presentation Resources