your friendly research/instructional librarian, and I'm here
to help you!
How to get help:
office, BL128 (best to make an appointment)
By phone: 410-677-0118
By IM, send a message to blackwellref via yahoo, gtalk, AIM or MSN during regular Research Desk hours.
At the Research Services Desk,
open from 10am-10pm during the week
Find books in
Blackwell Library using our
library catalog. Books in our library are arranged using
Congress Classification. The books you can check out are
located on the second floor of the library. If you ever have
trouble finding a book you want, PLEASE ask for help at the
You can also
borrow books from any of the USMAI libraries by selecting the
"choose campus" link at the top of the catalog page and then
selecting "USMAI All Campuses." When you find a book you want
that is not in Blackwell, click the "request" button and use
your ID number to login. You can have the book delivered to
Blackwell within 3 or 4 days.
This tutorial shows you how it's done!
Why should you use the library
databases and not Google to find
Most of the time,
scholarly publications are not available to the
general public, nor are they available for free on the
internet. Individuals or organizations (such as a library) subscribe to these
publications. Because subscriptions are expensive, many choose to access
this content through libraries.
Often, content from scholarly journals
is indexed in databases that the library
subscribes to. The content is on the web, but it is
not accessible unless you are affiliated with the institution
that is subscribing. It isn’t the same thing as just finding a website
through a regular Google search. Sometimes the full
text of the article is available through the database; other times it is only a
citation to the article and you will need to find the print version of the
article in the library or order the article through interlibrary loan if we
don’t subscribe to it.
So, basically what I'm saying is that
the only way you can access this scholarly information for free is by using the
Scholarly v. Popular Sources
are the basics: (Check out this
handy dandy chart
for more information!)
glossy, pretty pages with lots of
advertisements and pictures
written by hired reporters for a
short, easily read articles
somewhat dull looking - very few
pictures or advertisements
written by experts in the field and
reviewed by other scholars before publication
long articles with citations and
bibliographies at the end
Here are some databases
that may be useful for topics in Political Science:
You will be asked to log in with your Gull Card barcode number
if you are off campus.)
Complete - a
multidisciplinary database containing both scholarly and
popular sources, many of which have full-text available.
ASP is a good place to start your research. Use the
FindIt button to locate articles that are not available
Lexis-Nexis Academic - a great source
for full-text world news and legal information.
National Newspapers - a source of
U.S. news from major papers including The New York Times
and The Washington Post
JSTOR Arts &
Sciences - a huge, wonderful database
of scholarly communication from a wide variety of
disciplines, including Political Science. All of these
sources are full-text, but the newest documents are 3-5
CQ Weekly - Congressional Quarterly's magazine on
government, commerce and politics.
International Affairs Online) -
full-text access to journal articles, working papers and
case studies in International Affairs from Columbia
America: History and Life
- U.S. and
Canadian historical sources. Use the FindIt button to
locate articles that are not available full-text.
Social Sciences Abstracts - covers
all the social sciences. It's an EBSCO database, same
as Academic Search Premier, so the interface will look
familiar. There are some full-text articles; for
others, use the FindIt button.
Alternative on campus database access
Find It Button
WHAT DOES THAT CUTE LITTLE FIND IT
BUTTON DO, ANYWAY?
It's a bit like magic,
really. The Find It button does three things:
Looks in all of our
databases to see if the document you want is available
full-text in another of our databases. If so, it links you
Links you to the library
catalog when we have the item you want in print or
Links you to ILLiad
(interlibrary loan) so you can borrow the item from another
library if we don't have access electronically or in print.
The Find It button is YOUR
tutorial lets you see the FIND
IT BUTTON in action!
gives you a little insight about Interlibrary Loan!
Always make sure
that internet resources are appropriate for your project.
If you have any doubts, check out the criteria listed on
If the link above doesn't make things crystal clear, and you're
still questioning the appropriateness of a website, please check
with your professor or a librarian.
Citing your Work
not cool. Of
course you want to make sure you give proper credit to any
source that you use to write your papers, whether you directly
quote or paraphrase.
This guide helps students understand what plagiarism is and
how to avoid it:
For citation help, check out the SU's
Citation Style Guide.
Also check out the Political Science Department's
Paper Documentation Guide. And, I'm very fond of the
Online Writing Lab
from Purdue University.