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GL/POLS 2920 Introduction to International Relations   Tags: c:gl/pols2920  

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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The Research Process

Below are a series of tools that will help you find appropriate information sources to complete your research assignment for the course.

As covered in the library session, in order to properly locate, evaluate and use the information sources you need, you should plan your search strategy by:

  • Identifying the variety of terms that correspond to the essence of your question. To achieve this, consider the following questions:
    • What are the main ideas/concepts I want to investigate?
    • How can I describe these ideas in common/popular vs. specific/disciplinary/technical vocabulary?
    • Do I need advanced reference sources to understand how to describe these concepts?
    • Which keywords can I use to describe my concepts to ensure my search is as specific as possible?
    • Which limits (in terms of geography, theory, etc.) do I need to integrate into my search?
  • Running targeted searches in subject indexes/databases to find scholarly articles relevant to the question you have chosen to analyze.
  • From your research, consider other sources of potentially useful information (relevant popular periodicals, government documents, grey literature, statistics, full monographs, press, etc).

Need to learn more on research and writing for your academic paper?

Consult SPARK by clicking on the image below:

Reference Sources

  • Oxford Bibliographies - International Relations
    "Developed cooperatively with scholars and librarians worldwide, Oxford Bibliographies offers exclusive, authoritative research guides. Combining the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia, this cutting-edge resource guides researchers to the best available scholarship across a wide variety of subjects." Includes sections in political science, geography, international relations, international law and many others.
  • International Relations: The Key Concepts
    Comprehensive subject encyclopedia from Routledge on key concepts within IR.
  • International Encyclopedia of Political Science (Sage) Pub. 2011
    Provides comprehensive articles on various aspects of political science, including international organizations.

Research Tools - Scholarly Articles

Want to verify that the journal you have chosen your article from is peer-reviewed? Click here to find out how.

  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
    Indexes scholarly journals and books in political science and related fields such as international relations, political theory, law, public administration and public policy. Coverage is from 1975 - present.
  • PAIS
    Indexes scholarly journal articles, books, government publications, web sites, and reports of public, intergovernmental, and private organizations. A useful source for public policy, environmental and social issues. Coverage is from 1972 to present.
  • IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
    This is an essential online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research. It includes nearly two million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters. It is unique in its broad coverage of international material and incorporates over 100 languages and countries. Over 2,700 journals are regularly indexed and some 7,000 books are included each year. Abstracts are provided for half of all current journal articles and full text availability is continually increasing. Coverage is from 1951 to the present.
  • Social Science Citation Index (part of Web of Science)
    Allows you to search for scholarly articles by subject, author, journal and author address as well as for articles that cite a known author or work (citation searching). 1945 to present.

Citation Management Workshop Feb 23rd 2016

Bibliothécaire/ Librarian

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Relevant subject terms for books from the catalogue

Need a refresher on how to use the library catalogue? Consult this video from SPARK for an introduction.

Depending on your topic, the below subject search examples may be of use for your research. However, remember to interpret your results in relation to the PARCA test we discussed and apply the necessary limits to locate sources that have the levels of authority and relevance you require.

Research Tools - Press

  • Factiva
    This index provides access to over 1,000 newspapers including the full text of the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star and National Post. It indexes more than 6,500 magazines, including industry-specific journals and newsletters, 270+ newswires, including Dow Jones, Reuters and The Associated Press, 160+ Media Programs, with transcripts from BBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and more, 9,000 Web sites in more than 20 languages and more than 20,000 Company Reports.
  • Lexis Nexis Academic
    Indexing and full-text access to over 6,000 news, business, and legal sources from around the world.

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