Blackwell Library

 

Holloway Hall

POSC300 Class Guide - Hoffman

Getting help:

Hi, I'm Gaylord Robb, your friendly research/instructional librarian, and I'm here to help you!
The best way to get ahold of me is probably email:
ggrobb@salisbury.edu.

When I'm not teaching classes or rushing off to meetings, you can find me in my office in Blackwell Library 127 or at the research services desk.  My hours on the desk are

  • Mondays 8am-12pm

  • Wednesdays 8am-10am

  • Thursdays 10am-2pm

Stop by and say hi!  And, if those hours aren't convenient for you, then drop me an email so we can set up an appointment in my office!

You can also get help at the Research Services Desk from 8am-10pm most days either in person or virtually by sending an IM to blackwellref on any of the major IM providers.

You can also get help 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the Maryland AskUsNow chat reference service:  http://askusnow.info/


Background information:

Reference sources are a good place to start your research.  What is a reference source?  A reference source is something you consult for a specific piece of information, not something you read from cover to cover.  Reference sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, thesauri, atlases, almanacs, directories, etc.  Blackwell Library's reference collection is located on the main floor.  Consult the Library of Congress Classification outline to see the call number area for your topic.

Why can't I just use Wikipedia, you ask? Well, anybody and their brother can get on Wikipedia and write whatever they want, for starters!  Plus, there are tons of more reliable, authoritative sources out there for you to use.  And, I just can't resist sharing my favorite Colbert Report clip about the downfalls of Wikipedia.  View it here (and please ignore the brief commercial at the beginning!).


Finding books:

Find books in Blackwell Library using our online library catalog.  Books in our library are arranged using Library of 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 Research Desk!

Find books from other USMAI Libraries.  You can also borrow books from any of the USMAI affiliations 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.

Borrow books from Interlibrary Loan/Worldcat.  Interlibrary Loan is a great tool that allows you to borrow a book from libraries outside the USMAI system.  Before you submit a request, make sure that we don't own the book here at SU or at one of the other USMAI institutions.  If not, you can submit a request through ILL Express

You can also search Worldcat, which is a huge catalog of materials from libraries all over the world.  If the book you want is in a library, chances are pretty good you will find it in Worldcat! 
If you find the book you want and you know it is not available at SU or any USMAI campus, then you can click the Find It button and then request the book through Interlibrary Loan.  The advantage of doing it this way is that you don't have to fill in all the information about the book!

Click here to go to the Interlibrary Loan webpage.
 


Finding articles:

Ask yourself if you need scholarly sources or popular sources for your assignment.  Many times, your professor will insist on scholarly sources.  What does that mean?  Find out using this
handy-dandy
chart.

Here are some databases that may be useful for topics in Political Science:

  • Academic Search Premier - 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 full-text.
  • 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 years old.
  • CQ Weekly - Congressional Quarterly's magazine on government, commerce and politics.
  • CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online) - full-text access to journal articles, working papers and case studies in International Affairs from Columbia University Press.
  • America: History and Life  - U.S. and Canadian historical sources.  Use the FindIt button to locate articles that are not available full-text.
  • Military and Government Collection - You guessed it!  Military and government stuff!
  • 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.
     

  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 to it!

  • Links you to the library catalog when we have the item you want in print or microform.

  • 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 FRIEND!!!

You can also use the Citation Linker, another fabulously cool tool.   It is useful when you are reading an article and it cites another article that looks like it would be super useful for your research.   You plug in the citation information for that article and can find out how to access it, whether it be electronically, physically in the library, or through Interlibrary Loan.  It works the same way as Find It, but you don't have to be in a database.

Learn more about the Citation Linker!


The Find-It Button

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 to it!

  • Links you to the library catalog when we have the item you want in print or microform.

  • 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 FRIEND!!!

You can also use the Citation Linker, another fabulously cool tool.   It is useful when you are reading an article and it cites another article that looks like it would be super useful for your research.   You plug in the citation information for that article and can find out how to access it, whether it be electronically, physically in the library, or through Interlibrary Loan.  It works the same way as Find It, but you don't have to be in a database.

Learn more about the Citation Linker!


Evaluating Websites:

Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project.  If you have any doubts, check out the criteria listed on this website.

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:

Plagiarism is 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:

Here is the Political Science Paper Documentation Guide.


 
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The librarian liaison to Political Science is Gaylord Robb,
ggrobb@salisbury.edu | 410-677-0118