10 online resources for Politics students.

We’re studying in unprecedented times right now and when completing upcoming assignments, you may need to look beyond your reading list to explore quality resources available online. Here are some of our suggestions to help you find the information you need.

1. Library Search for ebooks and articles

When working off campus, you can still access the full collection of ebooks, electronic journals and professional magazines, newspapers, conferences and more, from Library Search.

Additional ebook titles are being added to the collection every day while we are all working remotely. Search by author, title or keyword to find books to help you with your essay topic.

We’ve put together a page of tips and help videos all about Library Search on our finding information skills guide .

To find academic journal articles from across our collection that match your topic keywords, use the everything search option and filter your results on the left to peer-reviewed journals.

Watch our introduction to the main Library Search features.

2. Your Subject Guide

The Subject Guide for Politics draws together in one place, the resources available from the library to help you with your academic work. Use the Journals and Database page to access subject databases such as Social Sciences Premium Collection and JSTOR.

The Social Sciences Premium Collection is a brilliant place to start if you would like to refine your results to politics and the social sciences, while still searching broadly across different information types.

Find out more about the Social Sciences Premium Collection, how to search it successfully and use the advanced features. It is a brilliant resource for politics.

You can contact the Liaison Team for one-to-one support or send your questions to Library Help, where there are staff logged into our live chat service, 24/7.

Between Library Search and your Subject Guide, you will be able to find excellent information to use in your academic essays, but there are many other resources you may want to try.

3. JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text collection, giving you online access to scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

4. Scopus

Scopus is a large, multidisciplinary database, which indexes peer reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings and trade publications.

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  

You can also set up citation alerts so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically. Other useful tools include citation overviews, author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools (if you are interested in publishing work).

Watch this video from Scopus about how to expand your search from a known article reference.

5. Government publications

Government publications provide information in a variety of subjects. Statistics, White Papers, Parliamentary Bills and a whole range of Official Legislation published by the Government provide a good, reliable, source of accurate statistics, and can give support to your argument in essay topics.

We have put together a resource guide for government publications that will give you quick access to the United Kingdom gov.uk publications search and the Office For National Statistics, European and international official publications.

6. OECD iLibrary for statistics and global reports.

OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and gives you access to booksanalytical reports and statistics, covering a broad range of topics relevant for studies in politics.

  • Agriculture and food
  • Development
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Energy and nuclear energy
  • Environment
  • Finance and investment, taxation and trade
  • Industry and services
  • Science and technology
  • Social Issues / Migration / Health
  • Transport
  • Urban, Rural and Regional Development

OECD iLibrary is certainly worth searching to provide reputable supporting information for your academic work.

7. Statista for easy statistics and global outlook

Statista is an extensive statistics platform covering over 1.5 million data sets. It includes reports, statistics and forecasts on a range of topics. So if you want to know which social media platforms are most popular across the globe, compare homelessness statistics, explore industry trends or how many people play video games, Statista is a brilliant place to start.

Statistics and reports can be exported in a range of formats including images and PowerPoint, giving you flexibility to include the visuals in your assignments. The statistics source is included, giving you the information that you need to cite it successfully.

Find out more about Statista with this brief introduction.

You will find a similar sources on our Statistics and Market Research resource guides.

8. Current newspapers with LexisLibrary

Newspapers are an excellent resource to explore, to provide a range of perspectives on a topic. You can find opinion pieces, social commentary and identify trends in public opinion.

We have a range of newspaper resources available from the Library, and LexisLibrary is an excellent place to start. It provides access to UK national and regional newspapers, from the 1990s to today. It includes the copy text without the images or formating and all of the details you need to create a citation are on the article page.

Once you have followed the Library Search link to access Lexis, make sure you click on News at the top of the page for full text access to all UK publications.

As so many articles are published every day, you will need to refine your searching using date ranges, combined keywords or by selecting specific newspapers or publication type (i.e. broadsheet or tabloid).

Remember to use your critical skills when using newspapers however, and watch out for Fake News. They are so biased sources and are best used in balance with other sources. You can find our tips on our Evaluating Information skills guide.

9. Newspaper archives and international news

We have a huge range of newspaper archives, historic newspapers and international sources such as Nexis that can mostly be access online and off campus. Our Newspapers resource guide collates all of our resources and will guide you through how where to look.

If you want to search across a range of newspapers, we suggest you start with Gale Primary Sourcesas this gives access to nearly all our British newspaper archives, except for The Guardian and The Observer.

10. Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource to use to find documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. 

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

We are here to help (even when you’re working off campus)

As the University monitors the situation around the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Library is working to ensure that you have access to the resources and academic skills support you need to continue your studies while off campus. 

The information and links on this page provide guidance on how to engage with our wide range of online materials and how to make the most of our helpful online guides and tools from wherever you choose to study. 

Library Search: your first point of call

Use Library Search to quickly and simply access a wide range of eBooks, eJournals, and databases off campus. Check out our Library Search video on how to get the best out of this resource. 

Subject and Resource Guides

If you are not sure which resources are best to use for your subject or what you can access off-campus, visit your Subject Guide . The guides bring together links and help for the specialist information sources in your discipline. Access our Resource Guides for different types of information you may need in your research. These include guides to business casescompany and market informationgovernment publicationsgrey literaturemapsnewspaperspatentsstandards
statistics,  theses and dissertations, plus much more.  

Develop your skills, at a time that suits you

Use our FindingEvaluating and Managing Information guides to boost your search skills and help you achieve the best results in your assignments whilst working remotely. If you are needing help with academic writing and reading or even numeracy, maths and statistics, then don’t forget their are lots of downloadable resources available at the ASK website.

Dissertation support

If you are in the midst of writing or planning a dissertation then our our Dissertation Guide is a great place to guide you with your literature search.  Not only do we have videos, quizzes and advice, but we also have an interactive Proposal Planner and Search Planner to help you get organised and create a focus for your research.  We can even give you feedback once you’ve filled the planners in. Just send them through when prompted or email them to your supervisor for advice and help.

Have a question? Check the FAQs

We have an extensive database of frequently asked questions available on the Library website. You can search by keyword or browse by topic area and find answers to the most common questions. So whether you want to know how to access newspapers or get help with EndNote, check the FAQs to see if we have already answered your question.

Contact Library Help

If you need help or have a question, use Library Help to get in touch with us. We are still here for you 24/7 and you can chat with us online or email us as normal. You can also keep in touch with us via social media.

So remember, you can access all of our online resources, journals and ebooks from the Library website.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

Sustainability

We are rather proud of our new Sustainability Guide, created in collaboration with one of our quite brilliant SAgE PhD students, Georgios Pexas – actually he did all the hard work by providing all of the content!

This guide looks at Sustainability regarding the key resources available from the Library around the three main pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economy and Society. We particularly like Georgios’ opening paragraph for our guide explaining what sustainability is and its relation to these three pillars:

“As defined by the “Brundtland Commission” in 1987, sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In other words, it describes living within the limits of available natural, physical and social resources and in ways that allow our environment to thrive in perpetuity; a concept that can be summarised as: “enough, for all, forever”. Sustainability approaches the issue of resource depletion holistically, unifying Environmental, Economical and Social concerns.”

The Guide also points to researchers on campus that are focusing on sustainability. It has a useful RSS feed of ‘sustainability’ in the news and invaluable links regarding careers and development in sustainability: professional associations, funding opportunities, where to look for jobs, and some upcoming events.

You will find the Sustainability Guide in the SAgE section of the Subject Guides, as it focuses on natural sciences and engineering side of sustainability, however we would love to have a section on how we as individuals can be more sustainable. We are trying to keep this Guide concise, yet useful, yet we welcome any new ideas for this guide, so please contact lorna.smith@ncl.ac.uk if you think of anything worth adding.

Waltzing with EndNote

What is EndNote?

The official blurb on EndNote is that it is “…the industry standard software tool for publishing and managing bibliographies, citations and references.”

Have you drifted off yet? Don’t – read on!

EndNote takes a little getting used to and we recommend you familiarise yourself with it at the start of your research process. But as Library Staff, we wouldn’t spend a significant amount of time demonstrating and training our academic staff and students on what EndNote is, and how to use it, if we didn’t think it was valuable. It will save you a huge amount of time in terms of writing up your assignments.

Essentially, you can use EndNote to create and organise a personal library of resources relevant to your research. You can import references from Library Search, and a huge range of databases such as ScopusWeb of ScienceIEEE Xplore and Business Source Complete. You can ask EndNote to locate the full-text PDFs of the resources you are going to use in your research, and you can annotate them as you wish too. Did you know you can instruct Google Scholar to import references into EndNote? No? Try it. Finally, if you already have materials stored in your home folder (H:\) then you can attach them to a manually-created reference within EndNote, bringing all your research together in one place.

In addition to organising your references (and this is the clever bit) you can then get EndNote to ‘talk’ to your word processing software, e.g. Microsoft Word, and insert the citations into your work for you in your chosen referencing style, e.g. Harvard at Newcastle, Vancouver, APA or MLA. If you don’t want to do that, then EndNote will also allow you to create an independent bibliography of your references, saving you an awful lot of typing.

Using EndNote

Intrigued? You should be. Take a look at our EndNote Guide. It contains all the introductory information you need, step-by-step workbooks to train yourself on the use of EndNote (the Desktop and Online versions), videos, useful FAQs, and contacts for help, should you need it.

Finally, Newcastle University provides support for EndNote but it is not compulsory to use. You may prefer MendeleyZoteroRefWorks or another piece of bibliographic management software. That’s fine, whatever makes your referencing lives easier. Go on, give them a try.

It’s all a matter of style

There are lots of different referencing styles, but which one is right for you?

Once you start creating citations and references, you need to consider referencing styles. There are hundreds of them out there and each has a slightly different set of rules about how citations and reference lists should appear in your text.

Most Newcastle University students use the Harvard at Newcastle style, but there is also Vancouver, IEEE, OSCOLA, Chicago, and many more. Your lecturers will expect you to use one specific style and all of your citations and references should conform to that style accurately and consistently; same punctuation, same capitalisation, same everything. 

We have lots of help about using some of the popular referencing styles in our Managing Information guide. The Cite Them Right website is also a valuable online resource that will show you how to hit all of the right steps on your way to mastering an individual referencing style.

Referencing top tips: the basic steps

Learn the basic steps of a reference, and you can hit the rhythm with any style you need.

Referencing – why is it so important?

When you are writing a piece of work and you use someone else’s thoughts, words or ideas, you must reference them. But why do we talk about referencing so much at University, and why is it so important? Why should you bother spending time on ensuring that your references are consistent, accurate and correct?

It all comes down to why we reference in the first place:

  • To make your contribution clear by showing which words and ideas are yours, and which have come from your reading.
  • To acknowledge the work of others and to demonstrate how you have built on the knowledge that you’ve gained from your reading.
  • To ensure that the reader can follow up on your references for themselves.
  • To avoid being wrongly accused of plagiarism.

Watch our short video to find out a little more about why we should bother with referencing.

Find out more on our Managing Information skills guide.

Finding Information: Knowing Where to Look

Photograph of several closed doors, one painted yellow the others painted white.

When you’re looking for information to help you write your essays, assignments or projects it can be tempting to turn to the source of information you use every day – Google.  While Google can be useful in some ways (such as finding company websites or journal author’s profiles), it wasn’t exclusively designed to help you find good quality, academic information that is reliable and relevant.  This means you’ll likely have to spend more of your time wading through huge amounts of information and fact-checking resources for accuracy.

Thankfully, Google isn’t your only option – there are a number of different places to look that have been created with the aim of providing you with the information that you need, such as your reading lists, Library Search, and key Subject Databases.

Take a look at this video to find out more about how these sources can help you:

For more help on finding information, take a look at our Finding Information Guide.

Search and reserve on the go

Library Search and your personal Library Account are never further than a fingertip away when using the Newcastle University Mobile App.

Available on iOS and Android platforms the App can be easily downloaded and installed onto your mobile device allowing you to search the library for that key text or article anytime anywhere.

It’s so quick and easy to use that you’ll be Boolean searching resources AND reserving books at home, on the Metro, or when walking between lectures and seminars, in no time.

If you hit trouble there is information and support available via the Mobile Apps and Resources Subject Support Guide, the Library Website and NUIT.

But before you get started why not watch this quick video which tells you all you need to know.

Hello from your bibliothēkē

An image of the Venus de Milo

Welcome to all new and returning Classics students from the University Library!

We have a new look library website for you, alongside our Subject Guides with lots of resources for you to explore.

Our Subject Guides give you access to:

  • subject databases and other specialist information sources for your discipline, such as digitised archives and multimedia resources.
  • links to great new learning resources to help you refine your academic skills.
  • our latest blogposts: regularly updated news, tips and features from your Library’s Liaison Team.

You may want to seek out images from the Bridgeman Education database which provides access to over two million images, including paintings, posters, artefacts and photographs, from galleries and collections worldwide. All images are copyright-cleared for educational use, and cover a wide range of themes.

Perhaps you want to browse the Classical Studies eBooks section from Oxford Scholarship Online, or search our Special Collections and explore their Classics resources using their new search function.

If you’re tired from exploring the Campus then kick back and watch a programme dedicated to The History of Empire, the blossoming of art and philosophy in the Ancient World, or listen to Melvyn Bragg discuss the Greek Myths on Box of Broadcasts.

Whatever subject you are reading, explore the possibilities through Library Search, our Library Guides or ask a question via Library Help and we look forward to seeing you in and around the Library soon.