Library Notes for Political Science

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

EZproxy for library resources

Posted by Megan on August 16, 2011

EZproxy® Now Available at the McGill Library

From a library announcement:

EZproxy is now available to McGill Library users. EZproxy is a quick, easy, and convenient method to gain off-campus access to McGill Library subscription databases. Unlike the Virtual Private Network (VPN), it requires no prior computer or browser set-up. All users need to do is to login using their McGill username and password when prompted. Users will be asked to login only once per browser session.

To use EZproxy for accessing databases when off campus, click on one of the library’s online tools, such as the McGill WorldCat catalogue or the McGill Classic catalogue, the eResearch Gateway, and Find an eJournal. The easiest place to start is with the search options on the Library homepage.

EZproxy will not replace the McGill VPN as they serve different purposes: VPN, as part of the university IT infrastructure, will continue to support a broad range of academic activities requiring
remote authentication. For example, VPN will still be needed to download software like EndNote and anti-virus software or to use Microsoft Outlook. EZproxy, on the other hand, is a service provided by the Library for remote access to library-licensed content (i.e., journals, e-books, and databases).

Students and staff can continue to use VPN exactly as they have in the past. Please note, EZproxy will not function when VPN is enabled.

For more information, please visit the Accessing online resources page and EZproxy FAQ.


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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 look for the library website

Posted by Megan on August 2, 2011

The library’s website has been freshly updated for the coming academic year. The content is the same, but there has been a bit of reorganization and streamlining in various sections. The goal has been to reduce clutter and make all of the information more accessible.

If you’re preparing to teach a course in the fall term, take a gander at the Support for Teaching page for reminders about our key services.

Also, if you haven’t visited before, the Support for Research page provides an overview of how to access specialized materials, advice on disseminating your research, information about citation analysis, and more.

Please feel free to send me comments or submit feedback to the library’s suggestion box.

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Failed State Index

Posted by Megan on July 28, 2011

Last month, the American organization The Fund for Peace published the Failed State Index for 2011.

The Index rates countries based on the following indicators:

Social indicators

  1. Demographic pressures
  2. Massive movement of refugees and internally displaced peoples
  3. Legacy of vengeance-seeking group grievance
  4. Chronic and sustained human flight

Economic indicators

  1. Uneven economic development along group lines
  2. Sharp and/or severe economic decline

Political indicators

  1. Criminalization and/or delegitimisation of the state
  2. Progressive deterioration of public services
  3. Widespread violation of human rights
  4. Security apparatus as ‘state within a state’
  5. Rise of factionalised elites
  6. Intervention of other states or external factors

The Country Profiles are also useful overviews of countries’ political and economic situation.

The most recently updated (June 2011) profiles include Guinea, Yemen, South Sudan, and Iraq.

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Updated journals in Project Muse

Posted by Megan on July 24, 2011

The library now has access to the full runs of the following journals via Project Muse:

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New e-books from Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

Posted by Megan on July 21, 2011

The library has recently acquired over 400 new e-books on human rights and international law published by Martinus Nijhoff.

You can find the titles in the catalogue by searching for the publisher’s name. In addition, lists of the human rights and international law collections are available online.

Here is a small sampling of titles:

Akpinarli, N. (2010). The fragility of the ‘failed state’ paradigm: A different international law perception of the absence of effective government. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Woodward, B. K. (2010). Global civil society in international lawmaking and global governance: Theory and practice. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Nafziger, J. A. R., Nicgorski, A. M., & Brill Academic Publishers. (2010). Cultural heritage issues: The legacy of conquest, colonization, and commerce. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Eboe-Osuji, C. (2010). Protecting humanity: Essays in international law and policy in honour of Navanethem Pillay. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

University of Virginia., Nordquist, M. H., Heidar, T. H., & Moore, J. N. (2010). Changes in the Arctic environment and the law of the sea. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Susnjar, D. (2010). Proportionality, fundamental rights, and balance of powers. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Conforti, B., & Focarelli, C. (2010). The law and practice of the United Nations. Leiden, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Laulhe, S. S. (2010). The EU and Cyprus: Principles and strategies of full integration. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Davies, S. E., & Glanville, L. (2010). Protecting the displaced: Deepening the responsibility to protect. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Anagnostou, D., & Psychogiopoulou, E. (2010). The European Court of Human Rights and the rights of marginalised individuals and minorities in national context. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

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Arctic research resources

Posted by Megan on July 18, 2011

The journal College & Research Libraries has published a compilation of resources useful to anyone engaged in the study of the Arctic region.

Among particular interest for Political Scientists are the following:

Source: Acadia, Spencer. “Arctic Research.” College & Research Libraries News 72, no. 2 (2011): 104-07.

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Canadian researcher survey 2010

Posted by Megan on July 14, 2011

Rather old news, but still of interest!

Last year, the publisher Taylor & Francis conducted a survey of 1,500 Canadian researchers on their publishing preferences and information seeking strategies.

The full report can be read online.

Unsurprisingly, when selecting a journal in which to publish, participants considered timeliness of the review process and reputation of the journal to be most important. More than 70% indicated that the “right to circulate the article after publication” to be very important or important, which has important implications for the uptake of open access policies in Canada.

Of interest for libraries in particular was the question “When you look for research articles, where do you start?”

It would appear that respondents could enter more than one option, since the percentages add up to more than 100, but at any rate, 64% selected Google as a starting point. Next in popularity was library websites (54%), followed by JSTOR (31%). It would be interesting to get more nuanced data, though, as to whether researchers took the question to refer to starting points for tracking done known citations or for surveying research literature in general. JSTOR, of course, does not include the most recent issues of most journals, so it’s not usually recommended as a starting point for research.

In other Taylor & Francis news, their online journal platform has recently undergone some updates to refine the search functions and article displays, including mobile access. Note that journals previously accessible from Informaworld are now part of the Taylor & Francis suite. McGill subscribes to 182 Taylor & Francis journals in Political Science and International Relations.

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Information resources South Sudan

Posted by Megan on July 9, 2011

Here are some suggestions for resources on the economic and security outlook for the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan:

1. World Bank country page for Sudan

2. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s reports on South Sudan and Sudan includes daily news, monthly assessments, and backgrounders. [McGill subscription]

3. Jane’s Military and Security Assessments has extensive reference information on Sudan, including political climate, maps, military assessments (budgets, armaments, etc.), presence of terrorist groups, demographics, and external relations. In addition, news features provide analysis on the emergence of the newly independent South Sudan. [McGill subscription]

4. The World Bank data site has an article introducing the the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation, which will collect statistical information for the new nation.

5. The World Bank’s “mapping for results” project also provides a helpful overview of the economic situation of the region.

Incidentally, the New York Times recently published an article praising the World Bank’s many initiatives to make their data freely available, accessible, and generally useful to the public.

See: Stephanie Strom, “World Bank Is Opening Its Treasure Chest of Data,” New York Times, July 2, 2011

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Google Scholar and legal materials

Posted by Megan on July 7, 2011

Google Scholar is clearly a pretty awesome tool for research in many different disciplines. Over on the Slaw blog, law librarian Susannah Tredwell notes that “although the bulk of legal materials on Google Scholar are American, there are enough Canadian resources on it to make Google Scholar a worthwhile tool for Canadian legal researchers.”

However, she goes on to outline some of the difficulties with locating specifically Canadian legal materials with the search engine.

The “site” operator can be used to limit the search to materials published on the .ca domain, restricted to legal opinions and journals. For example:


However, this obviously excludes articles published in journals whose publishers do not have Canadian websites.

Another possible tactic is to include the terms

can OR canada OR canadian

to the “publication” box on the advanced search options. Again, though, this would not retrieve journals that do not have the word Canadian or Canada in the title.

For Canadian case law, CanLII is still the best option, but Google Scholar does include options for limiting by American jurisdiction.

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