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University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Political Science: Books

Subject Searching

The basic Library Catalog search is a keyword search--you simply type your search terms into the box, and the catalog retrieves all the items that have your search terms in their catalog records.

Searching by subject is another way to find materials that focus on your topic. Each item in the Library Catalog has one or more subject terms (headings) assigned to it, When you search by subject, you retrieve only the items that have the subject for which you searched. To make a subject heading more specific, subheadings are added after it. A subheading is separated from the main heading by a double dash (--). Once you have your subject terms, to search by subject in the Library Catalog, in the dropdown list under "Search for," select "Subject."  Here are some example subject headings for political science topics:


Comparative government


Constitutional law 


Ethnic relations




Political campaigns

Political parties

Political science


Representative government and representation


Searching by Nation or State

United States--Politics and government
Substitute the name of any country for United States.  

Oklahoma--Politics and government
Substitute the name of any state for Oklahoma.

Presidents--United States
This structure can be used to find information about political leaders of various nations. Substitute the leader's title and the name of the country. For example, use Prime Ministers--Great Britain to find information about British Prime Ministers.

United States. Congress
This structure can be used to find information about legislative bodies. Substitute the Name of the country and the name of the legislative body. For example, use Great Britain. Parliament to find information about the British Parliament.

Searching by Nation and TIme Period

Often, a time period will be added to the above structure. For example,

United States--Politics and government--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 

The time periods correspond to political shifts in each country, so there is no single rule for how they are built. 

To find subject headings for a subject you are studying, first use keyword searching to find some books on your general topic. Then look at their records and see what subject terms they have. You can use the subject links in the catalog records to retrieve all the items with the same subject. However, this linking scheme has some quirks, so if it seems like it is returning far too many (or too few) items, try using the Library Catalog (aka Advanced Search) screen and a Subject or Subject Phrase search with your terms.

Call Numbers

If you want to browse the library stacks, you can use these call numbers to find books on political science. Note that they are primarily organized by region:

J Political Science

JA Political Science (General)

JC Political Theory

JF Political Institutions and Public Administration

JJ North America

JK United States

JL Canada, Central America, Caribbean, and South America

JN Europe


JQ 21-1852 Asia

JQ 1870-3981 Africa

JQ 3981.-3986.7 Atlantic Islands

JQ 3995-6651 Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands

JS Local and municipal government

JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and Immigration.

JZ International Relations 

These books can be found on the second floor of the library stacks. Remember that given the interdisciplinary nature of liberal arts studies, you may find useful books with other call numbers too. 

Interlibrary Loan--WorldCat

To find books from thousands of other libraries and request them through interlibrary loan, use WorldCat FirstSearch. You can search for books, journals, audiovisual materials, dissertations, and many other material types. When you find a resource you think would be useful in your research, you can fill out an interlibrary loan form, and Nash Library will request the book from another library. 

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