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Political Studies Library Guide: Home

Political Studies Library Guide

Some Reference and Stats Databases

World Bank - World dataBank 
The Data Catalog provides download access to over 2,000 indicators from World Bank data sources.
World Constitutions Illustrated - via HeinOnline 
Click on the link, go to Subscribers Click Here to Enter and select World Constitutions Illustrated from the list of subscribed libraries.
World Development Indicators Online 
World Bank Database of economic and demographic indicators for countries and regions of the world, stretching back to 1960.
World Factbook 
The CIA's World Factbook "provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities."

Shelf Numbers

320 Political Science (Politics and Government)
320.3 Comparative Government                         
320.4 Structure and Functions of Government    
320.5 Political Ideologies                         
320.6 Policy Making                                         
321 Systems of Governments and States            
322 Relation of the State to Organized Groups       
323 Civil and Political Rights                              
324 The Political Process
325 International Migration and Colonization
326 Slavery and Emancipation
327 International Relations


328 Legislative Process
335 Socialism & Related Systems 
342 Constitutional and Administrative Law


352 General Public Administration
353 Specific Fields of Public Administration

 

THE BASICS OF SURVIVAL

PRIMO: the Basics of Survival

PRIMO is a tool for searching across the UCT library book catalogue as well as a selection of our databases of full text journal articles, all with one query.

You can find it on the library homepage at www.lib.uct.ac.za

In this example I am looking for a particular book – Hard Times, by Charles Dickens

This quick and dirty search brings up the print and online copies that we have of Hard Times, as well as books about Hard Times. 

Clicking on the TITLE of the top record takes me to the records for the printed books and gives me the shelf number so I can find them on the shelves:

The shelf number works like a street address – just follow the numbers up or down until you get to the address you want.  Shelf numbers keep related books together, so once you have found your book, it is often useful to browse the books on either side of it as well.

In fact, you don’t even have to physically be in the library to do it… If you again click on the title of one of the results, you will be taken to the full record for the book – which has a virtual browse option – so you can see all its neighbouring books…. You never know what you will discover that way.

On the search screen you can use a drop-down arrow to search only for electronic journal articles or electronic books or reference works.

In this example, the top three results are for an electronic encyclopaedia entry, an electronic book, and an electronic journal article:

If I click on the title of the article, I will be taken to a full record for the article, and a link to the database on which it lives:

And so to download the article:

The record also shows me how to cite the book or article – which I will need to do if I am going to use it in an essay:

Or, even better, it allows me to send the record to a program like RefWorks or Endnote, which does my citing for me, automatically, at the touch of a button….

The left hand side of the screen has all sorts of options for refining or restricting your results:

The most useful are probably Peer-reviewed Journals (the most respectable journals, I which every article is vetted by other academics), Subject or Resource type:

If you are getting too many results – and PRIMO can bring up a lot of results – you can use an Advanced Search to search more precisely:

And if you are looking for a very specific book, journal or article – for example from a reading list - PRIMO has a Find By Citation form which can help you find exactly that reference:

Just put in as much information as you have on the reference:

Shaffer, P., 1998. Gender, poverty and deprivation: evidence from the Republic of Guinea. World Development, 26(12), pp.2119-2135.

And this will bring it up in both print and electronic versions:

And clicking on the full text or database link will take you to it.

PRIMO: some advanced tricks

It is possible to create very precise searches just using keywords.

The trick is to combine them with Boolean Operators, wildcards and brackets. Most of our databases, including our library catalogue, take Boolean operators.

Consider this search string:

(child* OR wom?n OR gender) AND poverty AND Africa* NOT “African American”

The * is a wildcard – it calls up anything that follows the root “child” – so it will being up child and children or childhood……

The ? is a mid-word wildcard – calls up women and woman…

The OR expands you options – women or gender must come up in the results, it doesn’t matter which….

The (brackets) keep the OR words together and relate them to the AND which follows – otherwise the search would call up anything to do with women, regardless of whether it had to do with poverty and Africa….

Any words linked with AND must be included in the search results - OR broadens a search, AND tightens it.

NOT excludes a term. Be careful of this. First search without it, to get an idea of what you are missing.

“Inverted commas” enclose a precise phrase.

To use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) in PRIMO, you must enter them in CAPITAL LETTERS, otherwise PRIMO ignores them.

You can restrict the search to electronic journal articles or electronic books only, using the drop down arrow – useful if you are off-campus.

Specialist Databases of interest to Political Studies

Databases for Political Studies

Many of our journals can also be found full text in electronic format on our databases. These databases contain thousands of journals, all searchable by keywords, like chunk of google.

Most of the journals are full text nowadays. In some cases, though, the databases may just give a reference to the journal article, rather than the whole thing. This will tell you which year and volume and pages of a particular print journal to look at to find the article.

You can get to our databases from www.lib.uct.ac.za and mousing over Search & Find and selecting Databases. This takes you to an A-Z list of the databases.

There is a specialist database for Political Studies called PAIS

PAIS International and PAIS Archive
This database chronicles issues in the public debate through highly selective coverage of a wide variety of sources including journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, publications of international agencies, microfiche, Internet material and more. The database includes a historical perspective on many of the 20th century's social and public policies. Though largely American in emphasis, it includes key political matters for other countries – Apartheid, for example.

Two South African databases of specific interest to Political Studies are:

Parliamentary Bills - via Sabinet Legal

Parliamentary Monitoring Group
Access is by password and restricted to certain minutes - please contact the Government Publications Library on 650 3177.

Other databases of African interest, which often have a lot on political matters, are:

Africa-Wide Information- via EBSCOhost
Africa-Wide Information combines databases (African Studies, South African Studies, and African Healthline) to form a multidisciplinary aggregation offering unique and extensive coverage of all facets of Africa and African studies. This resource is essential for those with an interest in African research, and information on and about Africa.

SA ePublications  is a full text database of South African journals.

Africa Development Indicators
ADI is the premier data source on the African economy. It contains 1400+ indicators & time series from 1965 for 53 countries. Data include social, economic, financial, natural resources, infrastructure, governance, partnership, & environmental indicators. It brings an essay on a key topic--the long term growth challenges of the continent.

Some general databases which are often useful in Political Studies searches are:

Academic Search Premier - via EBSCOhost (Full Text)
Provides journal coverage for most academic areas of study—including biological sciences, economics, communications, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences and women's studies.

Sociological Abstracts
Sociological Abstracts provides access to the world's literature in sociology and related disciplines, both theoretical and applied. The database includes abstracts of journal articles selected from over 2500 journals, abstracts of conference papers presented at various sociological association meetings, relevant dissertation listings from Dissertations Abstracts International, enhanced bibliographic citations of book reviews, and abstracts of selected sociology books. Approximately 2500 journals in 30 different languages from about 55 countries are scanned for inclusion, covering sociological topics in fields such as anthropology, economics, education, medicine, community development, philosophy, demography, political science, and social psychology. Journals published by sociological associations, groups, faculties, and institutes, and periodicals containing the term "sociology" in their titles, are abstracted fully, irrespective of language or country of publication. Non-core journals are screened for articles by sociologists and/or articles of immediate interest or relevance to sociologists.

SocINDEX with Full Text - via EBSCOhost
SocINDEX with Full Text, is the world's most comprehensive and highest quality sociology research database.

Communication and Mass Media Complete - via EBSCOhost
CMMC incorporates CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association) and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Penn State) along with numerous other journals to create a research and reference resource of unprecedented scope and depth in the communication and mass media fields.

Social Services Abstracts
Social work and human services - journal articles, dissertations, etc.

Scopus An the incredibly wide-ranging general database, and also good for citation searaching (following a good article forward by finding out who has cited it.)

JSTOR A back file of old and classic articles.

 

 

Subject Guide

Reference Books - Print and Electronic

Examples of some useful printed reference books for Political Studies are:

·         International encyclopedia of political science / R 320.03 INTE

 

·         Encyclopedia of political theory /R 320.03 ENCY

 

·         The international studies encyclopedia / R 327.03 INTE

 

·         Encyclopedia of international relations and global politics / R 327.03 ENCY

 

·         Encyclopedia of political communication / R 320.014 ENCY

 

·         Encyclopedia of the age of political revolutions and new ideologies, 1760-1815 / R 909.703 ENCY

 

·         Encyclopedia of public administration and public policy /R 320.97303 ENCY

 

·         Encyclopedia of government and politics / R 320.03 ENCY

 

·         The encyclopedia of political revolutions / R 903 ENCY

 

We also have a number of electronic encyclopedias. These are useful when you are researching from off-campus, or when a large class is looking up the same subject at the same time.

If you go to the library homepage at www.lib.uct.ac.za and mouse over Electronic Resources, you can select Electronic books and Reference Workls from the drop-down menu.

The most useful of these is Oxford Reference Online  http://www.oxfordreference.com

If you are off-campus you will need to use the off-campus login on the library homepage first.