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Politics and international relations: Journal articles
A guide to finding information in politics and international relations. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.
Journal articles are usually short papers on specific topics. They are published in issues or parts of journals (also called periodicals) which appear regularly. Use articles to find:
up-to-date research in your subject
reviews of developments in your subject - these review articles include extensive lists of references
Types of articles
Primary - these are first hand accounts of research that has been undertaken written by the researchers themselves.
Secondary - describe, summarise, or discuss information or details originally presented in another source. These include review articles which summarise the current state of the knowledge on a topic (many databases allow you to restrict search results to this type of article). A more specialised secondary source are systematic reviews which use the existing literature to try to answer a specific question, often including a meta-analysis of the all the studies included in the relevant articles.
Finding journal articles
Search the Summon discovery service using the box below to find full-text journal articles available via the Library. Search using topic topic words or for a specific article title.
Search databases covering your subject
Alternatively try the subject-related databases listed below. They will give you references to journal articles - they may also give you the full-text of the article, or at least link you to the full-text if it is available online.
Key databases for finding journal articles
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts is recommended as the primary source for article references, having the broadest politics and international relations coverage. For a longer time span, consider in addition IBSS.
For information on additional article databases, see the E-resources tab above.
Google Scholar is the academic version of Google. It allows you to search for scholarly literature (journal articles, books, patents) from a variety of sources, including academic publishers, professional societies, and online repositories.
Link to our full-text
You can set your preferences on Google Scholar to show links to full-text articles in all of our e-journals.
1) Click on the three lines on the top left of the home screen.
2) Select 'Settings'.
3) Select 'Library Links' on the left of the screen.
4) In the search box type 'Reading' and select the 'Reading University Library - Full-Text @ Reading' option.
5) Save your settings.
When you do a search, look for a 'Full-Text @ Reading' link to the right of references in your results list. This indicates that we have a subscription which will give you access to the article. Click on this link to access the full-text.
If the 'Full-text @ Reading' link does not appear next to a reference it indicates that it isn't covered by our subscriptions and you probably won't be able to access the article.
If you are off-campus you will need to login to access the articles. You will usually be prompted to login as soon as you click on the link to the article. If this doesn't happen you will need to look for an institutional or Shibboleth login link once you reach the journal's website. For more guidance see Accessing e-journals.
Google Scholar Button
Google have produced a plugin for Chrome, Firefox and Safari which allows you to easily search for and cite articles. Highlight the title of an article in the page you are reading and then click the Scholar button and it will search for the article on Google Scholar in a pop up window. To get a formatted reference for a search result press the quote button next to it and the reference will appear in three different styles.
To make the most of this tool set up the University of Reading as a 'Library Link' using the instructions above.
Details of journal articles, including citation data, with extensive subject coverage of politics and international relations, 1996 onwards.
Scopus gives references to peer-reviewed literature in all subject areas. It includes journal articles (including 'in press' items), books, conference proceedings and patents.
It is possible to search for topics, authors (including by ORCID ID), author affiliation and funders.
Extensive analytical tools also allow you to:
-analyse your search results by year, source, author, affiliation, country or territory, document type and subject area
-compare journal impact to help you decide where to publish
-see the citation impact and scholarly community engagement for an article
-analyse the citation trend for any given article, set of results or for a list of author documents
-view an author profile to analyse and track an individual's citation history
Details of article content and citation counts for social science disciplinary journals, including key politics and international relations titles, 1970 onwards.
Includes: Anthropology; History; Industrial relations; Law ; Linguistics; Philosophy; Political science ; Psychology and psychiatry; Public health; Social issues; Social work; Sociology; Urban studies; Women's studies.
You might also consider the Access to Research scheme, which offers you onsite access to a large collection of academic journal articles in local public libraries, including libraries in the Reading and Wokingham areas.