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Research Guides

Political Science

Get started with key print and online resources in political science.

Why use government information?

Government information can be wonderful primary sources. They provide information on a wealth of social, economic, and political issues, in both contemporary and historical contexts.

Robarts Library houses government documents on the 4th and 5th floors.  These publications are arranged according to CODOC, a call system developed specially for government documents.

General

PAIS International, 1914+

  • Indexes articles from scholarly journals and magazines, such as the Atlantic, Economist, Commentary, Policy Review and Public Interest
  • Indexes books, government and other reports and statistical compilations addressing important political, economic and social issues
  • Includes publications from over 120 countries throughout the world, some in languages other than English

Canadian government resources

Canadian Government Publications: Research Guide 

  • Contains information about the government publications collections at the University of Toronto Libraries, and includes links to public policy resources, statistics, government finance, provincial resources, and more
  • Complied by Sam-chin Li, Robarts Reference

Canadian Parliamentary Publications: A Research Guide 

  • Guide to the major publications produced on behalf of Canada's Parliament since Confederation (1867) 
  • Compiled by Sherry Smugler, Robarts Library

Canadian Government Documents: Google custom search 

  • Via Carleton University
  • Google custom search tends to pull more accurate results than the federal government's own search engine
  • Searches across federal, provincial and municipal sites; results can be broken down by level of government

Government of Canada (primary site)

  • Excellent starting point for current Government of Canada research
  • Includes links to government departments and agencies, programs and services, and provincial sites

Government of Canada Web Archive 

  • Library and Archives of Canada harvests the Federal Government of Canada websites on a semi-annual basis since December 2005
  • Access is provided through searching by keyword, by department name, and by URL 
  • Also possible to search by specific format type, e.g. .pdf
  • Useful for tracking disappearing documents, earlier versions of websites, etc.

Canadian Research Index (CRI), 1982+

  • Indexes depository publications of research value by Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments (excluding Nunavut)
  • Also indexes non-depository policy, social, economic, and political reports issued by hundreds of Canadian government agencies and departments; Statistics Canada monographs and serials; and scientific and technical reports issued by research institutes and government labs
  • Excellent resource for Canadian political science research
  • Note that the CRI is useful as a starting point, or when library or web searches produce disappointing results
    • However, users must manually search the library catalogue/web to locate titles found in the CRI
    • If you can't find a title, try using the Mircolog number (e.g., 99-1234) in the Microlog (CRI) fiche set; these are held in the Government Publications Collection, 5th floor, Robarts

Federal Science Library 

  • Searchable portal to the print collections and repositories of seven federal science-based departments and agencies.
  • Some departmental publications, reports, data sets and other content are freely available for anyone to access or download. 

United States and other countries

LibGuide: U.S. Federal Government

  • Identifies major print and electronic United States federal government information sources
  • Compiled by Sam-chin Li, Robarts Reference


Catalog of United States Government Publications (GPO), 1976+ 

  • Indexes web and print U.S. federal documents
  • Print documents are available in microcard/fiche in the Government Publications Collection, 5th floor, Robarts Library; to access please see staff at the Reference desk, 4th floor, Robarts, for assistance
  • The Congressional Record, Bound Edition is available online (1961 - 2006)


Digital National Security Archive 

  • Contains significant primary documents central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945 
  • Core collections focus on a single topic, e.g.:
    • Afghanistan: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1973-1990
    • China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960-1998
    • Iraqgate: Saddam Hussein, U.S. Policy and the Prelude to the Persian Gulf War, 1980-1994
    • Presidential Directives on National Security from Harry Truman to George W. Bush (Part II)
    • Terrorism and US Policy 1968-2002
    • U.S. Military Uses of Space, 1945-1991.


LibGuide: British Government Publications

  • Identifies major print and electronic resources
  • Compiled by Sam-chin Li, Robarts Reference


House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (British) 

  • Current material includes bills, committee reports, etc.

DataLumos

  • An archive for government data resources. 
  • Accepts deposits of public data resources from the community and recommendations of public data resources that ICPSR itself might add to DataLumos.

Municipal by-law portals

Foreign Government Publications

  • Provides excellent starting points for research
  • Compiled by Sam-chin Li, Robarts Reference


Research Guide: Global Information Resources, University of Michigan

  • Compiled at the University of Michigan Documents Center

Official Gazettes and Civil Society Documentation

  • A collection of official gazettes and other key historical government documentation from countries where the integrity of the public record is known to be at risk

IGOs

LibGuide: United Nations

  • Provides excellent starting points for research
  • Compiled by Sherry Smugler, Robarts Reference

AccessUN

  • Comprehensive index to United Nations documents and publications from 1946 onwards, including UN periodical articles and treaties listed in UN Treaty Series (University of Toronto only)

Official Document System of the United Nations (ODS)

  • Provides full-text access to most UN parliamentary documents from 1993 onwards


OECD iLibrary

  • Organisation for Economic and Cooperative Development's (OECD) online library of statistical databases, books and periodicals; contains all publications and data sets released by OECD
  • University of Toronto access only


Europa: The official web site of European Union 

  • Documentation Centre provides links to EU publications, treaties, legislation, statistics, opinion polls, and archives