POLI SCI 999: UCDC American Presidency

Questions? That's my job.

  • Lynn Jones

  •  

  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Office Location: 212 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

    510 768-7643

About this Guide

The guide will guide you to library resources on the American Presidency.

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.

Find eBooks

Since you are away from your library, electronic books become even more convenient for your research.  All campuses purchase ebooks, and there are various ways you can find them, but these differ by campus. 

A basic approach is to use your library's catalog.  Limit your search results to online resources-- this usually requires an advanced search.  Here's an example, using the Santa Barbara catalog [quick video]

You can also use Melvyl and limit the results to your own campus. 

 

Find books in DC

How can you get books in Washington DC?  Not from your campus library, sorry to say.

But you do have access to academic and professional libraries in DC:

Google Books

Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books.  Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book?  Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.

Why use Google Books?

Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  Try it now:

Google Book Search

Proxy and VPN set up

To use library databases from DC you have to set up your campus proxy server or VPN. Once you do so, you'll be able to get articles from the databases in pdf form after logging with your campus ID.

Click your campus name below for set-up instructions:

B.E.A.M.

What sort of articles and data do you need to find for your paper?  Scholarly, for sure, but there are many others:

It's helpful when doing your research to think about how you will use what you find.  The acronym BEAM helps you make sure you find materials that will do the job you need in your paper. Research papers need materials in all four categories.  

B = Background information.    Do you know the seminal works, major scholars and theories in your topical area?  What about the actual definitions of the disciplinary jargon you're using?  Scholarly encyclopedias are the best source of background information: look in Oskicat under your discipline, with the word encyclopedias, [sociology encyclopedias]. Could also use Wikipedia, a textbook, a newspaper, or any source that fills you in on your big topic. 

E = Evidence   Often called primary sources, evidence is the stuff you are studying in your research.  Evidence could be news coverage, laws, court cases, personal interviews, statistics or data... whatever helps you prove your thesis.

A = Analysis  Here are the secondary sources-- analysis is usually written by faculty scholars or technical experts, who are themselves analyzing evidence that they may include or cite.  As a student writing a paper, you are doing analysis, so it's important to refer to the work of others studying the same topic

M = Methodology  This means the methods and questions you will use to analyze your evidence.  Each discipline has its own favorite ways of asking questions and its own ideas about what sort of information can serve as evidence.  You must know which methods are suitable to the disciplines you are working within.  To find methodology, search for books by using the name of the discipline and the word methodology.  E.g. Sociology method*.

[Bizup, Joseph.  "BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing." Rhetoric Review Vol. 27, Iss. 1, 2008]

Social Sciences Databases

Political Analysis

The following selected journals from both sides of the aisle are good sources for possible topics/research questions.

Political Science Databases

Use these databases as a starting point in political science research.

UC-eLinks

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC eLinks logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available.

Read more

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an easy way to do interdisciplinary research, and with some settings changes can become even more useful.  You need a Google account to use these features.

Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the left sidebar for the Create Alert link next to the envelope icon, and click it.  New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.

Open Scholar.  Click on the gear icon gear icon in the upper right corner, and choose 'scholar preferences'. In the next screen, choose Library Links from the left-hand menu. In the search box, type the word Berkeley.  Choose University of California, Berkeley - UC-eLinks, and Open Worldcat Search.

Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.

Melvyl has articles

Melvyl has become a good place to start your search for scholarly articles because it displays the contents of some article databases.  While it does not include as many articles as the databases like Academic Search Complete or JSTOR, it is easy to use, because it is a one-stop search.

Within Melvyl you can turn on or turn off specific databases if you find the results aren't relevant.

Read more

Find a seminal article

Find an influential article, one that has been cited frequently.  Use the multidisciplinary database Web of Science.

  1. Enter your search terms.
  2. Analyze by Research Area [see left side navigation column]
  3. Choose one or more research areas
  4. Rank the new results by Times Cited, most to least.

Office of the President

U.S. Congress

Supreme Court

Agency and Other Sources

News sources

Here are some general news and newsmedia databases.  For a full listing of the Library's news resources, check this list.

Polls and Public Opinion

The following resources will provide information on polls and public opinion across the United States.

Google Search Tips, Tricks and Hacks

One of the largest hurdles of using Google is the amount you must weed through.  Some searches result in thousands of pages; who has time to go through all that?  You dont need to.  Did you know you can manipulate a regular Google search with a couple hacks to your search.  Its true!  Try these search "tricks" during your next google search.

You can also combine some of these search hacks, such as adding -site:nytimes.com to remove results from the New York Times website.  More search tricks can be found here.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an easy way to do interdisciplinary research, and with some settings changes can become even more useful.  You need a Google account to use these features.

Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it.  New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.

Open Scholar.  Click on scholar preferences [next to the search box]. Under Library Links, enter the word Berkeley.  Choose up to three database providers we subscribe to: Full Text@IngentaConnect; UC eLinks; and Read article via OCLC.

Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Zotero Tips

If you've never used Zotero before, use the QuickStart Guide to get started.

Change your preferences if you want  Zotero to

To use Zotero to find specific articles in our library's databases, set up the Open URL resolver with this link: http://ucelinks.cdlib.org:8888/sfx_local? 

An in-depth discussion of the relative virtues of Endnote and Zotero,

 

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