your friendly research/instructional librarian, and I'm here
to help you!
The best way to get ahold of me is probably email:
When I'm not
teaching classes or rushing off to meetings, you can find me in
my office in Blackwell Library 129 or at the research
services desk. My hours on the desk are
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
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.
can also get help 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the
Maryland AskUsNow chat reference service:
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
Congress Classification outline to see the call number area
for your topic.
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
View it here (and please ignore the brief commercial
at the beginning!).
Find books in Blackwell Library
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
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
Borrow books from Interlibrary
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
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.
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
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
- 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
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.
Military and Government Collection - You guessed it!
Military and government stuff!
Social Sciences Abstracts -
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
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
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
Everyone's Favorite: Statistics!
And, even more fun, Government Info!
Statistics can be really tricky to
track down...so if you are looking for something specific,
let me know and I will help! Here are some websites that
may have what you're looking for!
For Polling Data, try these sites:
Always make sure that internet resources are
appropriate for your project. If you have any doubts,
check out the criteria listed
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.
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.
guide helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to
Here is the
Political Science Paper Documentation Guide.