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PSC 316 - Research Starting Points (Fall 2013). Michael pasqualoni – Political science librarian. SU Libraries. SU Libraries Web Site

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psc 316 research starting points fall 2013

PSC 316 - Research Starting Points (Fall 2013)

Michael pasqualoni – Political science librarian

su libraries
SU Libraries

http://library.syr.eduSU Libraries Web Site

SU Libraries Online Subject Guide for PSC316 (portal that highlight links to relevant databases, etc. AND COPIES OF THESE SLIDES!)


Online databases are libraries too

  • Name What You Have Used In The Past
  • one subscription database – by name?
  • one “political science” OR “legal” OR “news” database?




The content type refinement in SUMMON for “case” – is important for PSC 316 – and will link into court case decisions hosted by LexisNexis Academic database

Be sure to browse and search within LexisNexis Academic directly – for more powerful control over searchresults (e.g., to review only U.S. Supreme Court decisions – linked out to prior decisions, relevant U.S. laws and regulations, etc.)


Navigate to a specific database via an SU Libraries subject guide or via the Databases list (NOT via the SUMMON search window)

Navigate to back issues of a specific periodical or journal via the Journals list – (NOT via the SUMMON search window)


Collections (book location - highlights)Library of Congress Call Number Classifications

4th Floor – Bird Library J: Political Science (includes international relations & public administration)4th Floor – Bird Library K: Law Additional tips:

  • Browse same call number prefixes – for reference book titles shelved on 2nd floor of Bird Library- non-circulating collection & 3rd floor – government info-reference collection > 3 examples of titles:

KF 4550 V55 2006 – 2rd floor, Bird Library – Reference Collection;Barclay Law Library has 5th edition, 2010

JK 4 O94 2012 – 2nd floor, Bird Library – Reference Collection

KF 4550 F54 2008 – 2rd floor, Bird Library – Reference Collection


Collections (book location - highlights)Library of Congress Call Number Classifications

Additional tips: Many of your SUMMON results may lead to book locations at the Barclay Law Library (unless otherwise indicated on each book’s item record, non law students can borrow books from Barclay) – TAKE NOTE OF BARCLAY’S ACCESS POLICY FOR NON-LAW STUDENTS


Law Review articles on topics tied to federal courts and the Supreme Court – can be terrific, scholarly overviews of those issues, loaded with citations and written in a highly readable – generally persuasive - narrative style.

SU Libraries ProQuest Central database is filled with these also.

LexisNexis Academic – Open up “US Legal” to access:

>Supreme Court Decisions (under “Federal & State Cases”)

>Landmark Cases

>Supreme Court Briefs

>Federal Statutes, Codes & Regulations

Use “Look up a legal case” to navigate to specific cases (or – try the list of cases considered “landmarks”… Most direct route is to enter a case citation – e.g., - 347 U.S. 483


Full text of articles from law reviews and journals—more than 800 publications

  • Federal and state cases and statutes, including U.S. Supreme Court Decisions since 1790
  • Federal regulations, including The Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, and Federal Acquisition Regulations and Supplements
  • Shepard’s® Citations Service—the leading citator for more than 135 years
  • More than 1,500 legal newspapers, magazines, and newsletters
  • Tax materials, including IRS Bulletin, IRS regulations, The Tax Lawyer (ABA), The Tax Adviser (AICPA®), and more
  • Patents from 1790 forward
  • European Union law from the LEX EU law database and international case law from a number of other countries
  • Law school directories, including Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory and NALP Directory of Law Schools

LexisNexis Academic –

In addition to legal research content LexisNexis lists @ left –

the database also contains significant general interest newspaper article content (including some news media transcript text and also web-based news content) and substantial resources for researching and comparing companies, business publications and country information.


An online series of several public policy/political science e-reference books from Congressional Quarterly - contained within the SU Libraries database called:

  • “CQ Press Political Reference Suite”
    • CQ Almanac
    • Guide to U.S. Elections
    • Historic Documents Series
    • Political Handbook of the World
    • Politics in America
    • Supreme Court Yearbook
    • Vital Statistics on American Politics
    • Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788-2009
    • Washington Information Directory

“United States Reports” – Print Volumes

Official record of the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, arranged chronologically. Although content is available online via LexisNexis Academic – over 70 years of print volumes also available at Bird Library:

KF 101 U586 - Govt Info – Reference – 3rd Floor, Bird Lib. (1921-2007)Barclay Law Library has a more comprehensive set in print form – 18th century thru present


“United States Reports” – via LexisNexis Academic

  • Case law from the United States Supreme Court from 1790.
  • from the United States Courts of Appeal from 1789
  • from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuitfrom October, 1982.
  • Selected unpublished decisions from 1939 for Supreme and from 1990 for Court of Appeals.

“Supreme Court – Oral Arguments”

  • Not available via LexisNexis Academic (law school’s LexisNexis includes – but not available to non-law students)
  • Oral arguments source to consider – for PSC 316:
    • U.S. Supreme Court Website
    • Transcripts of oral arguments – Oct 2000 term thru present
    • Online Audio of oral arguments – Oct 2010 thru present



“Supreme Court – Oral Arguments”

  • http://www.oyez.orgin addition to containing 60 years worth of recorded oral arguments before the court available online, is a highly user friendly tool for obtaining concise summaries of decided cases, how justices voted, and sometimes - key facts and legal issues addressed. Covers 1792 thru present. Visit the “about” link for extensive historical discussion about how the U.S. National Archives has collected ”most” oral argument audio since 1955, and related technological and preservation challenges. Except for great work the Oyez project has done here, and what the Supreme Court site is hosting for very recent digital recordings, a bulk of the older analog tape recordings National Archives possesses are not otherwise available online, and some National Archives audio content is not available to the public at all.

“Supreme Court – Oral Arguments”

On microfiche via Barclay Law Library:Complete Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court although the bulk of this will be covered via the more easily accessible Oyez website, the Law Library has this content on microfiche (1952 thru 2006/7). KF 101.9 C66 (Law Library, Floor 2, Microforms)


“ProQuest Congressional”

Subscription Databases

  • U.S. Congressional activity (tracking bills, laws, committee testimony, etc.)

Or…visit – replacing the former web based platform known as


Subscription Databases

  • “iPoll Databank”- U.S. Public Opinion

For a database strong in U.S. and international opinion polling…also visit “Polling the Nations”


A bit more of a graduate student /facultydatabase – but if interested in citations to scholarly literature on broader contexts behind laws and legal systems (U.S. and beyond) – do not rule out “Annual Reviews”

Annual ReviewsSelect the volumes for Law and Social Science

Covers 2005 – thru present (but itsliterature reviews may cite much older publications and/or legal issues)

Subscription Databases

…The Annual Review of Law and Social Science, in publication since 2005, strives to enhance the understanding of the complex connections between law, culture, social structure, and society by focusing on social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules, institutions, processes, and behaviors.


Many of these fertile ground for locating coverage of the Supreme Court, the Justices, related arguments and public reaction, etc.

  • Database Examples
  • And lots of news and news media databases besides LexisNexis Academic – visit the databases menus at - and the categories for “news & newspapers” AND “video”
    • Access World News
    • Television News Archive (streaming video for NBC evening news, 1968-present; CNN, 1995-present)
    • SCOLA
    • NewspaperArchive
    • Proquest Historical Newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Defender)
    • NBC Learn Higher Ed (additional NBC news content, as well as online recordings of “Meet the Press,” etc.)
    • Library PressDisplay(60-90 day rolling archive of U.S. and international newspapers)
  • ALSO – see the SU Libraries newspaper databases subject guide portal at

SU Libraries:Website

PSC 316 Subject Guide

Political Science (General) Subject Guide

Political Science Librarian (Michael Pasqualoni – Room 200, Bird Library) (315) 443-3715

*in person consultations by advance appointment (mon-fri- start times 10am thru 4pm)

>Michael’sCV/Resume as Wordle cloud