Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects and assignments in the course Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Retaining, Re-tooling, or Re-building?. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Karen Marotz, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.
Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place. Try our Library Search engine from the home page to quickly find books, articles and information on the library website in one search.
Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.
Search the catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Fraser - Surrey).
- Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start. Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
- Try the following SUBJECT headings:
The main SUBJECT heading for information about British Columbia is British Columbia
Limit your search to items at Belzberg Library by checking Belzberg Library (Vancouver) under "Keyword search with optional limits."
- If the item is not available at Belzberg Library, or is out on loan, please request it!
- For a step-by-step interactive guide to searching the SFU catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.
Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request copies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic.
Suggested article databases
- Academic Search Complete - Multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
- Canadian Newsstream - Full text of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
- Canadian Points of View Reference Centre - Series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue, each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument), counterpoint (opposing argument), and Critical Thinking Guide.
- Canadian Public Policy Collection - Publications include primary research and opinion from Canadian public policy institutes, research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centres.
- International Political Science Abstracts - Provides abstracts of political science articles published in scholarly journals and yearbooks worldwide.
- Political Science Complete - Has a worldwide focus, reflecting the globalization of contemporary political discourse.
- PsychINFO - Psychological aspects of governance and political participation.
- Sociological Abstracts - Index to major sociology journals and research resources.
- Sustainable Organization Library - Ebooks and journals on sustainability, CSR, corporate governance, ethics, environmental policy and management.
Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database. For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.
- BC Stats - search Area Profiles, including Socio-Economic Profiles and Community Facts. Includes A-Z subject index.
- Canadian Research Index - lists all depository publications of research value issued by the Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments.
- City of Vancouver - local government information. Browse the city's bylaws, council meetings and decisions, Open Data catalogue, building community initiatives, and neighbourhood planning projects.
- Metro Vancouver
- Open Data for Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver
- Statistics Canada - Canadian national statistical information. Subjects include Government, Information and communications technology, and Society and Community.
- Union of BC Municipalities - publishes resolutions and policy papers
- World Governance Indicators - provides statistics and datasets related to international governance.
In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use a web search engine such as Google, Google Scholar or Ask.com to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's Internet Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.
Useful sites for Governance for the Twenty-First Century
- America Speaks - Now defunct; published reports and toolkits, facilitated projects and town meetings related to citizen participation in the United States.
- Canada's Public Policy Forum - publishes reports, policy statements, and reading lists about Canadian governance.
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - publishes reports, commentaries, and fact sheets related to social justice in Canada.
- Centre for International Governance Innovation - independent Canadian think-tank focused on international governance.
- Government Innovators Network - a portal of ideas and examples of government innovation produced by Harvard's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
- GovInn: Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation - Research institute at the University of Pretoria
- Innovation in Governance - Research group at the Technical University of Berlin studying the emergence, development and expansion of new forms of governance.
- The National Democratic Institute - publishes statements, reports, and surveys related to the promotion of democracy in developing nations.
- Open Government Partnership - developed the Open Gov Guide to highlight practical steps that governments are taking in various areas to promote transparency in governance.
- Social Innovation Generation - Knowledge Hub provides learning resources for creating conditions for social innovation, tailored to different levels of experience.
- Social Science Research Network (SSRN) - both working papers and accepted papers across various policy areas.
Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions:
- If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.