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Political Science

What is the difference between a popular and a scholarly source?

If you are not familiar with scholarly publications, it can be difficult to tell the difference between scholarly and popular periodicals. There are no definitive rules for distinguishing between the two, but here are some guidelines:

Scholarly (e.g., academic journals):

  • Are written by professionals within an academic field or discipline.
  • Contain research projects, methodology, and theory.
  • Have few, if any, advertisements.
  • Use college-level or specialized vocabulary of the discipline.
  • Include articles with extensive bibliographies, footnotes, or other documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often black & white and consist of tables, charts, and diagrams.
  • Are peer-reviewed or refereed.

Popular (e.g., magazines, newspapers):

  • Are written by journalists.
  • Contain general news articles written to inform, update, or introduce a new issue.
  • Have many full-color, full-page advertisements.
  • Use a general, non-technical vocabulary.
  • Include articles with little or no documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often full-color pictures and illustrations.

Interlibrary Loan

What if the library does not have a journal article that you need? We can still get it for you via our interlibrary loan service. It's free! And articles often come electronically within a few days. For more information see the interlibrary loan page.

Why Use A Database?

Search a database to find journal, magazine, or newspaper articles. Some databases also provide access to other materials such as dissertations, book chapters, books, datasets, sound recordings, videos, etc.

This page lists databases that cover:

See also the tabs to the left for Current Events and News and Congress / Legal Research

Some databases have the full text of articles. If not, follow these instructions to figure out if the library has the journal, or call the Learning Lab at 405-325-4142 for assistance.

 

International and Area Studies

These databases are useful for finding articles and other materials about international affairs and individual regions of the world. Also see this guide to International and Area Studies Resources.

Journal Citation Reports

Political Science

These are the major databases for finding articles in political science journals.
  • These databases are hosted by Proquest. Search them at the same time by clicking "change databases" once you are in either one of them, and then select the other database from the list.

Multi-disciplinary & Selected Subject Specific Databases

These databases cover political science and other disciplines.

Video and Images

These databases cover still images and video.