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Graduate Research in Public Policy and Political Science

A guide to the best resources and best research practices for graduate research in Political Science

Not enough results? --- How to find more.

To increase the number or results on your topic you can use:

  • the asterisk to search for all the variations of a word with different endings,
  • the Boolean Operator OR to search for various synonyms for your topic,
  • search either larger databases or multiple databases at one time.


Use the asterisk * as a suffix to find all the variations of a word.

The search politic* finds:

political, politics, politician, politician, etc.



Use the word OR to search for various synonyms for your topic.

You can combine both the asterisk and OR to increase your results even more.

The search above looks for the phrase "white house" as well as various forms of the word president (president, presidents, president's, presidential).



The EBSCO databases such as Public Affairs Index, Academic Search Elite, and PsycINFO, can be searched in combination to increase your number of results.  To do this first open a single database such as Public Affairs Index and then click on the "Choose Databases" option at the top of the search page.

Then check the box in front of every database you want to search simultaneously ... and then click on OK.


Alternatively you might try searching larger databases such as Google Scholar or OneSearch. 
Warning - though these databases are both huge - they are much harder to focus. 

Too many results? --- How to narrow and focus your search.

Three options for focusing your search include:

  • searching for your topic in the Title (TI Title) 
  • searching for your topic in the Abstract (AB Abstract)
  • finding a designated Subject Heading for your topic (SU Subject)









Finding More Articles: Snowball Forward - Snowball Backward