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Political Studies

What's On This Page?

Educational search engines that focus on research-oriented resources.
Use them to avoid the commercial and entertainment debris that surfaces when you use general search engines.
 Computer search


Image from Wikimedia courtesy of Rama.
No changes made. CC License (France)


Educational Search Engines

File:Depois do Carnaval, o Convénio - A Paródia, 1900.jpg
Political cartoon depicting the harassment of Portuguese
colonies by antagonistic European states
Art by Rafael Pinheiro in 'The Spoof' #32, August 22, 1900.
Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain 
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu - when it comes to searching the internet we default to these heavy-weight, global search engines. They do help us find some of the things we want, but they tend to be blunt instruments when it comes to pinpointing academic resources.
Take a break from the general, commercial search engines and try the ones in the list below. They have been mediated (to some degree) to exclude non-educational sources. Explore a couple of them - I think you'll see they are more nimble, they help target your search, and they give you an improved internet experience.
Keep in mind that these are multidisciplinary sites, not limited only to political studies.
And, think of them as starting points - when the academic 'heavy lifting' begins you will need to go to the "Find Books" and "Find Articles" tabs in this guide.
  • AcademicInfo
    A multidisciplinary directory of resources. Scroll through the alphabetical list of topics, or use the search box using names or keywords.
  • Dimensions
    A comprehensive index. For full text and formatted citations, take titles found in Dimensions, access Google Scholar from the library home page, and search for Dimensions titles there. Introductory Video | Tutorial
  • FreeFullPDF
    Feels just like Google Scholar in operation, but uses a customized algorithm to find only free (open access) articles, theses, patents, & posters. Strong in the physical & life sciences, but also very useful for social sciences and humanities.
  • Google Scholar  
    GS accesses open-access (free) academic materials; but since it also links to subscription sites some results might offer only an abstract. The quality of GS’s resources has been questioned, but it does turn up some useful resources.
  • Infotopia
    An academic webpage that accesses sites chosen by educators.
  • Infotrek
    Created by educators as a “search engine for...students” this useful site contains a wealth of data across many disciplines.
  • iSeekEducation
    iSeek is not an exclusively academic search engine, but it has an effective way of dealing with natural language searching that produces decently relevant results.
Anti-government protests in Cairo
began in Tahrir Square January 25, 2011.
Carlos Latuff's political cartoon pictures
the result: on February 11, 2011 Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak "stepped down" from office 
Wikimedia Commons. Released into the Public Domain by the artist.
  • Refseek
    With the huge search engines academic information is often “lost in a muddle of sponsored links”, so Refseek aims to make scholarly resources accessible and visible.
  • SweetSearch
    An educational engine that searches only 35,000 web sites approved by its administrators.
  • VirtualLRC (Learning Resources Center)
    A multidisciplinary site that indexes academic webpages selected by teachers and librarians.