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Political Science Research Methods

Political Science Research Methods

Citation Checking and Tracing

1. Determine the type of item (e.g. a book, book chapter, journal article). There are clues in the citation that will help you verify the type of item.

The style of a citation (i.e., italics, bold, parentheses) are not always an indication of the information you’re looking at.  For example, just because something is italicized does not automatically mean you are looking at a journal title.

  • A journal article citation will include author(s), 2 titles (one for the article; one for the journal), volume and page numbers, publication date, and possibly a DOI or other information.

Oliver, Mary Beth and Stephen Green. “Development of gender differences in children's responses to animated entertainment.” 
Sex Roles 45, no.1-2 (Jul 2001): 67-88.

  • book chapter citation will contain author(s) of the chapter, editor(s) of the book, 2 titles (one for the chapter; the other for the entire book), publisher information (publication place and publishing company), a publication date, and page numbers of the chapter. E-book chapters can also have a DOI so don't let that fool you into thinking it's a journal article.

Turow, Joseph. “Family Boundaries, Commercialism, and the Internet: A Framework for Research.”  Children in the Digital Age: Influences of Electronic Media on Development. Eds. Sandra L. Calvert and Amy B. Jordan. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 2002. 215-230.

  • book citation will contain the author(s), one title, publisher information (publication place and publishing company), and the publication date.

O'Barr, William M. Culture and the Ad: Exploring Otherness in the World of Advertising.  Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994.

2. Now that you know what kind of material you are looking for, you have an idea of where to look.

  • If you have a book or chapter citation, search the Emory library catalog. The chapter title may be too specific for a catalog search.
  • If you have a journal article citation, search the either the library catalog or ejournals for the title of the journal. The article title will be too specific. Ejournals only searches for electronic content so use the catalog to also find volumes that we have on paper.