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Political Science Research Guide: Books and Dissertations

Use this guide to begin your political science research.

Search the Library Catalogs

Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and  audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own. More OskiCat help.

 

Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it. Detailed Melvyl help.

  • Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, and easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we have on our campus.

In every catalog you use, not the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not the item is checked out, library use only, etc.

Call numbers are usually located on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can easily find what you need on the shelves.

OskiCat's Request Button

No time to go hunting around the library stacks to find the books you need?  Use OskiCat's request feature.  Once you find the book you want, click (this button will only appear when an item can be requested). Authenticate yourself with CalNet, and follow the prompts.  OskiCat will ask you where you want the book(s) delivered to.  You will get an email when the books are ready to be picked up (usually within 1-3 days).

You can also use this button to:

  • Request materials from NRLF
  • Place holds on items that are checked out
  • Place holds on an item that has the status "in-process" which means it is being cataloged. 

Google Books

Why use Google Books? Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  You can then use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.Try it now:

 

Discover more about using Google Books and other Google products though the Library's Google Research Guide.
 

Find eBooks

The Library offers over 100 e-book and e-text collections in specific subject areas. E-books in collections marked * are also available through OskiCat and Melvyl. You can limit your search in OskiCat to "Available online," and in Melvyl to "Online resources."

Find Dissertations

There are a couple ways to find and access dissertations done at UC Berkeley and beyond.

Tangible Full-text Access: Online full-text of UC dissertations can be found by searching Dissertations and Theses above, and will also appear in Library catalog search results. UC Berkeley dissertations in print prior to 1996 may be found by searching the Library catalogs. Tangible dissertations done at other UC campuses prior to 1996 or outside the UC system must be obtained through Interlibrary Loan or using the "Request" option in Melvyl.

You may also limit a search in OskiCat to dissertations by changing the drop down from "Entire Collection" to "Dissertations/Theses":

Dissertations/Theses in Oskicat

 

Interlibrary Borrowing

As a Berkeley student you are eligible to use books and articles from other libraries around the United States. 

Check OskiCat  to make sure UC Berkeley does not own the material you want.

Provide a full and accurate bibliographic citation, including author, title, place and date of publication, and series.  You can get citations from professors, from Melvyl, from other articles, from Google scholar.  Verify your citations before submitting them for ILL.

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