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Political Science: Books

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to Political Science research and resources

Finding Political Science books at the U of L Library

Search the Library Catalogue to find books, government documents, audio-visuals, and online resources.

Search Tips:

  • If you know the item you want, search by title or author.
  • If you are looking for information on a topic, search by keyword or by subject heading.
  • Subject Headings are terms assigned to each item to describe its content, using a set of standards that is applied to all items in the database. Below are a few of the standard subject headings used to describe content in area of political science:
    • Political science
    • Political science - Philosophy
    • Political psychology
    • Political sociology
    • Political Parties - - Liberals (or other political party)
    • United States - - Politics and government
    • International relations
    • Representative government and representation
    • Public administration
    • World politics
    • Elections
  • To locate relevant Subject Headings for your topic, start with an Advanced Keyword search (e.g., for the topic American-Canadian relations: search for international relations AND America AND Canada). Scan your results and choose a record that is relevant. Scroll to the bottom of that record and examine the hyperlinked Subject Headings. Click on the Subject Heading that best describes your topic.
  • You may also wish to browse the Library’s print collections. Many of the political science books and journals are shelved in the following call number ranges:
    • J (legislative and executive papers)
    • JA (general political science)
    • JC (political theory)
    • JF (general political institutions)
    • JK (US political institutions)
    • JL (North & South American political institutions – not US)
    • JN (European political institutions)
    • JQ (Asian, African, & Australian political institutions
    • JS (local and municipal government)
    • JV (emigration and immigration)
    • JZ (international relations)
    • KE (Canadian law and legislation)
    • KZ (international law)


Understanding the Catalogue Record

After you have completed your catalogue search and selected a particular item from your results, you are presented with a catalogue record. A catalogue record provides information about a particular item in the library. Here is an example of a catalogue record for a print book in the library's main collection:

To find a print book in the library, record the book's location (collection) and call number. Once you have these, proceed to the Find a Book on the Shelf page for further instructions.

The catalogue record for an e-book is similar to that of a print book, except that a link is provided to view the book online:

After clicking on the link, how you proceed to the book and navigate through the book will depend on the particular platform through which the e-book is available.

Basic Search in the Library Catalogue

To begin, under the search tab on the library's homepage, select "Library Catalogue" to display the library catalogue search box.

This box is used to perform a basic search of the library catalogue. Select the dropdown menu to search by keyword, title, author, journal title, or subject heading.

  • Keyword: Keyword searches return all items that contain your search terms anywhere in their records.
  • Title: Title searches return all items that contain your search terms in their titles. This is particularly helpful when you are searching for a specific book that you already know the title of.
  • Author: Use this search option when you are looking for a book written by a particular author. Enter the author's last name (e.g. Smith) or last name, followed by first name (e.g. Smith, John) in the search box.
  • Journal Title: Journal title searches return only journals containing your search terms in their titles. Do not use this option when searching for books.
  • Subject Heading: Use this search option when looking for items catalogued under a particular subject heading. Subject headings are standardized throughout the catalogue, so relevant items, including those that do not contain your search terms in their titles, will be returned.

Having selected from the above options, enter your search terms, then click on "Search" to display your results.

Advanced Search in the Library Catalogue

To begin, under the search tab on the library's homepage, select "Library Catalogue" to display the library catalogue search box.

Next, select "Advanced Keyword" under the search box to display the advanced catalogue search page.

The advanced search lets you perform more complex searches, which may return more relevant results than a basic search. Here is an overview of the advanced search page:

Once you have entered your search terms and selected search fields, Boolean operators, and limiters, click on "Submit" to display your results.

For more information on field-specific searching, subject headings, Boolean operators, truncation, and wildcards, visit our search tips page.