Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Archive for the ‘Database’ Category

Canadian TV news transcripts

Posted by Megan on August 10, 2011

Print news sources, their current decline notwithstanding, are fairly conducive to preservation in comparison with other types of news media. The question of how web-based news will be preserved for future study has yet to be addressed…but some progress has been made in documenting TV news broadcasts.

Canadian material of any genre is often difficult to come by, but several of the library’s article databases now provide access to transcripts from CBC and CTV broadcasts.

CBCA Complete from ProQuest includes transcripts from several CBC and CTV programs from the early 1990s to the present, including The National. To browse the sources, click on the Publications link near the top of the screen.

Lexis-Nexis includes articles from CBC websites with coverage from 2006 onward as well as CTV transcripts. From the main page, click on the Sources tab near the top left of the screen (next to the red Search button). Then on the right side of the page, there will be a box where you can search for the name of the broadcaster. After you select CBC News or CTV, click the red “Ok-Continue” box.

Another database with CBC transcripts is CPI.Q (Canadian Periodicals Index). From the main screen, click on the Publication Search link at the top, then search for CBC. Again, the coverage is from 2006 on.

Canadian Reference Centre has CBC transcripts for the National (2004-present) and the Saturday and Sunday reports (2009 only). In addition, there are transcripts of CBC radio from 2003-present. Click on Publications, then search for CBC.

Finally, WestLaw has a few CTV and CBC transcripts. To search them, click on the WestLaw International tab and type the name of the broadcaster in the Directory search box.

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New ProQuest interface

Posted by Megan on June 15, 2011

Many of the McGill’s library’s databases are now available through a new search interface from the company ProQuest. These databases include several products that were formerly on the CSA-Illumina interface. Among others, some databases of interest to Political Science include:

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

Canadian Newsstand

Canadian Research Index

Index Islamicus

ProQuest Research Library

British Humanities Index

CBCA Complete (Canadian business and current affairs)

The new interface is designed to allow searching across multiple databases as well as facilitate browsing and limiting by broad subject area, standardized vocabulary, and document type.

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International Political Education Database

Posted by Megan on June 13, 2011

A recent find: The International Political Education Database (IPED) is a great resource for educators, managed and made available by the Teaching and Learning Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association in the UK.

IPED is a bibliographic index of “journal articles relating to teaching and learning in politics, international relations, public administration and related fields.” 800 citations are currently included.

Journals included are:

  • PS: Political Science and Politics – from volume 24 (1991)
  • Journal of Political Science Education – from Volume 1 (2005)
  • International Studies Perspectives – from Volume 1 (2000)
  • European Political Science – from Volume 1 (2001)
  • Politics – from Volume 1 (1981)
  • ELiSS: Enhancing Learning in Social Science – from Volume 1 (2008)
  • LATISS: Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences – from Volume 1 (2008)
  • LATISS: Learning & Teaching in the Social Sciences – Volume 1 (2004) to 3 (2007)
  • Australian Journal of Political Science
  • Innovative Higher Education
  • Public Administration
  • Perspectives on Politics

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Paper of Record

Posted by Megan on May 16, 2011

The historical newspaper database Paper of Record is now back online.

Originally launched as a fully searchable digital archive of historical newspapers, Paper of Record was dearly loved by researchers before being acquired by Google in 2009. Much of the content disappeared as Google developed its own newspaper archive.

Last month, however, Paper of Record reappeared on its original Canadian website. The archive contains newspapers from Europe and the Americas, chiefly from the 19th century, but with some running up to the 2000s.

The titles can be browsed by country in addition to the full text search functions.

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Illustrated London News Archive

Posted by Megan on May 2, 2011

The library now has access to the Illustrated London News Archive online.

I’ve reposted the information about the resource from the trial announcement last year:

This resource is a full digital facsimile collection of the famous illustrated newspaper from 1842-2003.


  • Includes over 260,000 pages, including specials and presentation pieces
  • Colour imaging of every page
  • Search every word of the complete text
  • Browse individual issues, including specials and supplements
  • Save articles and pages in the marked list; bookmark, e-mail and print results

Sample article from 1946

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Better know a database: Web of Knowledge updates

Posted by Megan on April 17, 2011

Thomson Reuters (formerly ISI) recently announced updates to its Web of Knowledge (aka Web of Science) search interface. Some changes include:

  • Improved author searching to distinguish by affiliation, middle initial, subject area, etc. Citation reports now include a total count for Citing Articles.
  • All search terms are searched. “Stopwords” are gone so a search on Vitamin A gets Vitamin A.
  • Both right- and left-hand truncation using wildcards. For example: *oxide matches peroxide, sulfoxide, nitric oxide, etc.
  • Support of the NEAR proximity operator that find records where terms are within a specified number of words of each other.
  • Automatically search for spelling variations (such as U.S. and U.K. spelling differences)

The old interface with still be available throughout 2011.

The Web of Knowledge suite is the granddaddy of citation databases. Although better known in the natural sciences, it is an important tool for social science research, particularly for tracking cited references and analyzing citation patterns. Over 6,000 humanities and social sciences journals are included in the index, which can be searched separately from the natural science content.

Sample citation report for an author

Sample search results page. Noticed "cited by" links

Report of top cited articles amongst search results for a keyword

Top institutions amongst search results for a keyword

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SUDOC: French theses

Posted by Megan on April 8, 2011

SUDOC is a useful place to search to find recent theses from France:

…il a pour mission de recenser l’ensemble des thèses produites en France.

Links are included for materials that are available online. A union catalogue project of French universities, SUDOC also includes books, journals, and various other online resources. The search interface is available in French and English.

This page on the McGill library website has many more links to resources for finding theses and dissertations.

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Human geography resources

Posted by Megan on April 3, 2011

The library has acquired the following resources for its human geography collection, but all are highly relevant to Political Science!

Urban Studies Abstracts (EBSCO)
Covers journal literature in areas essential to urban studies, including urban affairs, urban design and history, community development, transportation, housing, social issues, and urban and regional economics.

Encyclopedia of Urban Studies
Useful for urban geography, planning, anthropology, economics, sociology, history, politics, and architecture, as well as social work and environmental studies. Excellent, in-depth entries for everything from “Apartheid” and “Urban Politics” to “Geopolitics” and “Gentrification”. Extensive “Further Reading” sections, cross-referencing, and indexing.

International Encyclopedia of Human Geography
Comprehensive source of information on the often difficult to contain discipline of human geography and its many related subject areas. Covers philosophy and theory, key concepts, methods and practices, biographical information, and geographical thought and practice in different parts of the world. The detailed entries (average length: 5 to 6 pages) include excellent “Glossary”, “Further Reading”, and “Relevant Websites” sections. Good cross-referencing. Sample entries: “Communist and Post-Communist Geographies”, “Critical Geopolitics”, “Ethnic Conflict”, “Economic Development, Rural”, and “Irredentism”.

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Canadian Open Data

Posted by Megan on March 21, 2011

Last week, the Government of Canada launched its Open Data Pilot Project:

The Open Data Pilot is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to open government, which is being pursued along three streams: open data, open information and open dialogue, and aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians.

The Open Data Pilot seeks to improve the ability of the public to find, download and use Government of Canada data. You are invited to search the catalogue, download datasets and explore the possibilities of Open Data.

The website currently includes 781 “general” datasets and 260296 geospatial datasets. The advanced search function allows for searching by agency, topic category (e.g., labour, military, education), and keyword.

For further reading, David Eaves provides interesting commentary on the promising outlook of this initiative but notes concerns about the overly restrictive license attached to the data:

The launch of is an important first step. It gives those of us interested in open data and open government a vehicle by which to get more data open and improve the accountability, transparency as well as business and social innovation. That said, there is much work to be done still: getting more data up and, more importantly, addressing the significant concerns around the license. I have spoken to Treasury Board President Stockwell Day about these concerns and he is very interested and engaged by them. My hope is that with more Canadians expressing their concerns, and with better understanding by ministerial and political staff, we can land on the right license and help find ways to improve the website and program. That’s why we to beta launches in the tech world, hopefully it is something the government will be able to do here too.

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ICON: International Coalition on Newspapers

Posted by Megan on March 15, 2011

Doing serious newspaper research? ICON just might be able to help.

The International Coalition on Newspapers’ database is a freely index of bibliographic information for more than 25,000 international newspaper titles that are held by its member institutions.

The index includes some of the earliest newspapers published up to the present time. This information can be very useful for the task of simply identifying the titles of papers published in particular countries. Further, the database often includes information about major North American collections that hold the newspaper. In addition, the records often note if any or all of the publication has been digitized.

While this is not a full-text archive, it can be very helpful as a first step in identifying publication titles, dates, and possible means of access.

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