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Political Science & Public Administration

Information and research help for the discipline of political science and public administration.

Which Source Should I Use?

This page is designed to help you figure out which source of information you want to use to find the information you may want to consider using. You can use the box right below this one to go directly to the section of the page you are interested in, or you can scroll the page to browse the information. 

Which Type of Source Should I Use?

Types of Sources

This table talks about the pros and cons of different information types.
Source What are they? Pros Cons

Political Science Databases

Legal Databases

Scholarly (peer-reviewed) and popular articles. They contain reports, statistics, and e-books, as well as other information related to the discipline.

They are discipline-specific. 

Contains authoritative, peer-reviewed publications.

Some very recent articles may not be available due to the time it takes for the peer-review process.

The articles contain very specific and narrow topics. If you are looking for more general information sources, consider looking in encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries. 

Interdisciplinary Databases Find databases in other subject areas by looking at our other LibGuides in the sciences, social sciences, arts, fine arts, and humanities. 

Good for if you are unsure of which discipline your topic falls in.

Good to use if you are not finding information in a discipline-specific database. 

You can see how other disciplines cover the topic. 

Some very recent articles may not be available due to the time it takes for the peer-review process.

The articles contain very specific and narrow topics. If you are looking for more general information sources, consider looking in encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries. 

Think Tanks

Institutions that are typically affiliated with universities, government agencies, advocacy groups, foundations, non-government organizations, non-profit organizations, and businesses that generate public policy research, analysis, and activity. 

Most think tanks are non-profit organizations that perform research advocacy concerning topics such as social policypolitical strategyeconomicsmilitarytechnology, and culture.

Great for topic development and information to support your thesis. 

These reports typically do not go through the peer-review process so the information is more current than in scholarly publications. 

Great for discovering how institutions are looking at and solving national and global problems. 

Think tanks can sometimes have a political agenda. Use these carefully and check who, or which organization, researched and published the report. 

Statistics & Data

Polling Data & Public Opinion

Resources that compile information and/or data and publish statistics on many topics and disciplines.

Organizations such as universities, government agencies, businesses, research groups collect data in a variety of different methods and use it to create a report or prediction of election outcomes, public opinion on issues, or a variety of other outcomes on social, economic, or political issues. 

Use of statistics and polling information can be very helpful in supporting your thesis. Similar to Think Tanks, there can be bias or data manipulation so look carefully on who and how the information was compiled. 
News & News Papers Newspapers, news websites, blogs, videos, and any other source that writes broadcasts, or reports about current issues.  They are very current and trending issues are reported quickly, sometimes in real-time.                                                                                                                                                     There is no peer-review process so analyze these sources with caution. Especially in the fake news era, many publish information that is either false, misleading, or inaccurate. 
Government Information  Primary source information published by the U.S. government or international governments. Government information can be in the form of a report, statistics, research, legislation, legal documents and much more.  You will find original legislation, legal documents, and other forms of information which is very important for political science, public policy, and public administration topics.  Sometimes government reports require supplemental information to provide context for the information. It is a good idea to use government information with scholarly articles. 
IGOs & NGOs Reports, policy information, and data from non-government organizations.  This type of information is very up-to-date.  These sources do not go through the peer-review process. Evaluate these sources carefully and look for any potential bias, agendas, or data manipulation. 
Source What are they? Pros Cons


Think Tanks

What is a Think Tank?

Institutions affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy groups, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and businesses generate public policy research, analysis, and activity. Be aware that they usually have an agenda or bias.

Think Tanks & Research Centers

These are just some of the dozens of Think Tanks in the U.S. and worldwide. Search Google for your topic + think tank for more.

Think Tank Directories


Polling Data & Public Opinion

Public Opinion Data

Elections & Voting (For the Elections page with more detailed information.)

Government Information


What is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization)?

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is neither a part of a government nor a conventional for-profit business.

Usually set up by ordinary citizens, NGOs may be funded by governments, foundations, businesses, or private persons. Some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by volunteers. NGOs are highly diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in different parts of the world.

What is an IGO (Intergovernmental Organization)?

An Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) is a coalition of foreign governments that work together to promote common ends. That can be for humanitarian, political, economic, educational, or social good. The biggest and oldest example is the United Nations. There are many dozens of these organizations now; several of the largest began within the UN but are now semi-autonomous (such as the World Bank, World Health Organization; and the International Monetary Fund).

IGO & NGO Directories

News and NewsPapers ProQuest (CSU Only)

Selected National Papers

Addtional Titles Available via GALILEO

Logo for the New York Times Washington Post Logo
Los Angles Times Logo Wall Street Journal Logo
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Logo Ledger-Enquirer

Newspaper Databases

Databases Are Not Limited to Titles Listed Below

News Bank Logo Proquest News and Newspapers Logo

Georgia News Sources

International Newsstream

US News

Global Newsstream

America's News

Global Breaking Newswires

Browse All Newspaper Databases

Click on the link below and view all the newspaper databases accessible to CSU faculty and students. 

Browse All Newspaper Databases GALILEO Logo