Research Workshop

POLS 004: Intro. to International Politics

Sarah Elichko - Social Science & Data Librarian

Question 1:

How do you find articles from major newspapers, without having to search each one individually?


Use news databases that pull together articles from multiple publications.

Finding News:
Get into pairs (or groups of 3)
Go to the POLS 004 Library Research Guide.

One person in each group will search LexisNexis
The other person will search Access World News

Choose a topic and run a very broad search:

1) NATO intervention in Libya;
2) international dimension of the Syrian conflict;
3) US policies during the “Arab Spring”;
4) implications and repercussions of the 2008 global financial crisis,
5) nuclear (non)-proliferation;
6) US-BRIC relations (can focus on 1 BRIC or all four);
7) how Trump’s election relates to the course’s themes

Question 2:

How do you improve your search results and find articles that are more relevant to your interests?

Some search elements you can modify:
• Sources / Publication Titles
• Dates
• Article Sections (Headline, Full Article)


Re-sorting results

Source / Publication Titles
Limit your search results to articles from a specific set of newspapers and magazines

Not all news databases include all publications


Limit your search results to only include results from:

- Foreign Affairs
- The New York Times
- The Wall Street Journal
- The Guardian (London)
- The Economist
- Washington Post
- The Atlantic
- New Yorker

Narrow your results to include articles published within a certain date range


Article Sections
By default, LexisNexis and Access World News will search for your keywords anywhere in the article.

Try limiting your results to keyword matches in the Headline of articles.

If this narrows your results too much,
try running a synonym search:

keyword 1  OR  keyword 2

Recap:  finding news

News databases let you be more precise and efficient in your research.

- Sources

         Search multiple sources at once

- Date ranges

         Useful for narrowing your results 

- Relevance

          Limit your search to headlines, lead paragraphs



Question 3:

How do you find scholarly journal articles on your research topic, without getting too many irrelevant results?


Use specialized research tools that facilitate searching
multiple scholarly journals at once:
• Web of Science
• Political Science Databases (through Proquest)

Narrow down your results by source/publication titles,
date, and other elements



Finding Scholarly Articles:

How to search Web of Science

- On the Research Guide, select How to Find Journal Articles.
- Go to Web of Science

- Enter your search terms (drop-down: Topic)

Narrowing down your results:
After searching

- Limit to articles from only Political Science journals.

- Look at articles published within a certain date range

- Re-sort by relevance, times cited, date


Searching Web of Science

Narrowing Your Results
Before searching


Searching only for articles from specific journals:

- Enter a topic in one search box
- In another search box, set the drop-down to Publication Name
- Enter the publication title or titles:


       "Foreign Affairs" OR "International Security"
       OR "International Organization" OR "European Journal

       of International Relations"


Specialized research tools for political science

Three databases:

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

Public Affairs Information Service

Proquest Political Science

Run a combined search on all 3 databases at once.

Save your results using "Recent Searches"


Research advice:

Sarah Elichko

- Office Hours:

          T, 11-1 and W, 1-3 PM
          Held at the Research & Info Desk in McCabe

- Email -

- Make an appointment

POLS 004 - International Politics - Spring 2017

By Swarthmore Reference

POLS 004 - International Politics - Spring 2017

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