Political Science 151: Library research guide

This research guide is intended to help you get started with course assignment research for POL 151: Justice and Law. 

If you need help, please contact Baharak Yousefi, Liaison Librarian at or byousefi@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

Getting started

Background information

Do you need some basic definitions or background information?  Try these subject-related resources:

Or check out our Online Reference Sources page for links to general encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, etc.

Journal articles and databases

See Databases in Political Science for a complete list of subject-related journal article databases online.  Some recommended databases for course-related research topics include:

Other general databases that they also be of interest include:

  • Academic Search Premier:  A large, multidisciplinary database that can be a good starting point for most research topics.  It has articles from both popular and scholarly journals.  Can you distinguish between the two?  See What is a Scholarly Journal? for help.
  • Google Scholar: Allows you to search for scholarly publications in a wide variety of subject areas via Google.  *Tip: Make sure to connect through the library website's Journal articles & databases page (instead of through the web) for access to additional content available to SFU users.

Facts and data

For additional facts and statistics to support your research, try some of these recommended resources:

Country profiles:

  • Canada e-Book: Published by Statistics Canada, the electronic version of Canada year book is published annually and gives a statistical overview of Canadian life.  Provides discussion, graphs, tables and media files.
  • World Factbook: U.S. government profiles of countries and territories around the world. Information on geography, people, government, transportation, economy, communications, etc.


  • Crime & Justice Statistics: Canadian criminal justice-related statistics.
  • CANSIM: Canadian time series of socioeconomic data.
  • UNdata: A compilation of United Nations and agency statistics, covering economic, social, financial and development topics.

Government information:

Other SFU Library research guides

For more help and additional resources, you may also wish to check out these related SFU Library research guides:

Citing and writing

Once you decide you want to use a particular article, book, or website, make sure to save the citation information. This is very important, as you will need to cite all your sources (i.e., create a reference list / bibliography) that gives accurate information about where you found the information you are using in your paper. Citing is important because:

  • your professor or another researcher can use your citations to find the original sources you read for your paper
  • you are acknowledging that your ideas were borrowed from someone else

For help, check out the library's quick guides to APA, MLA, and other styles listed on our Citation & Style Guides page.

Good luck -- and don't forget to Ask A Librarian for further help!