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POLI: Political Science

Guide to resources, sources, and research (discovery) tools for those studying Political Science at the University of Calgary.

Tools To Use If Getting Started with Your Research

What is the Library Search Box?

This is used to search for a variety of resources and services at the University of Calgary and is a "layer" that has been created by the U of C Library.  Underneath this layer is Summon.

This search box may also be referred to as:

  • the Big Box
  • Unified Search Interface (USI)

Where is the Library Search Box?

The search box is featured prominently on the Library's Home (Main) Page and on the home pages of the branch libraries.

What is included in the Search Results?

The search results are sorted into "categories" that include:

  • Articles & Book Chapters
  • Journals (titles of Journals not the articles in them)
  • Books & Media
  • Backgournd Information
  • Recommended Databases

Why should I use the Library Search Box?

  • This is a good place to start your search for information.
  • You don't need to know where the information is located
  • You don't need to know the research tool to use for the information that you are looking for
  • This is also a good place to go to when finishing your research

Are all of the databases available at the U of C being searched?

No, not everything is being searched. 





What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a search engine that is used to search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources including:

  • abstracts
  • articles
  • books
  • court opinions
  • theses
  • etc.

Where does the scholarly content come from?

The content comes from a variety of sources including:

  • academic publishers
  • online repositories
  • professional societies
  • universities
  • other web sites

There are 2 ways to connect to Google Scholar:

  1. By going directly to Google Scholar at
  2. By using the listings under Subject Guides from the Library's web pages
    • Choose the Letter G, scroll down to find Google Scholar

Which version is the better one to use?

It is better to search Google Scholar from the listings of databases that may be found on the Library web pages.  This is because there are links to the full-text of the articles to which the Library subscribes.  In Google Scholar via the Web, you will find abstracts (summaries) of the articles but, usually, not the full-text. 

If you do access Google Scholar directly, you will need to adjust the settings so that they will reflect U of C holdings.  Below is a "how-to" on how to do this.

What is Summon?

Summon is a single search interface that searches across collections found in the Library, Museum and Archives at the University of Calgary as well databases available at the U of C.  It also searches items found in the University's Institutional Repository.

Where is Summon?

Summon is found indirectly after conducting a search using the Library Search Box.

It is also found directly in the list of Databases under the letter S

What Does Summon Search?

Summon searches both local and external resources found at the University of Calgary's Libraries and Cultural Resources.

Through a single search interface you now have access to content from:

Local Resources



External Resources

Proquest, the vendor behind Summon, is constantly adding new content partners.  A current list of participants can be found at Databases and Packages Covered By Summon.  This includes:

  • 6,000+ publishers' content included
  • 50,000+ journal and periodical titles
  • 400+ million items indexed so far

More Information

 A guide for using Summon has been created by ProQuest.

What is Citation Mining?

Citation Mining, also called "citation chasing", is a research technique that examines or mines the sources listed in footnotes, bibliographies or references in an article, book, book chapter, dissertation, thesis, etc.

You are using the citations that have been provided by a researcher and following up or trying to find them for additional information.

How do I mine a citation?

There are a number of ways to mine a citation:

    • In the search box, type in the title of the article, book, book chapter, etc.  You will either get a "Best Bet" that matches what you had typed in.  If not, scroll down the list of results until you find one that matches what you had typed in.  If you know that the citation you have is for an article in a journal, you should be able to find it in the column for Journal Articles.  If you know that the citation is for a book, you should be able to find it in the column for Books & Media

Method Two:  Use the Citation LInker

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