UCB Libraries

Resources for PSCI 3032: Latin American Politics

Starting Your Research

Research and Subject Guides Database


This database provides a complete listing of guides in the library. It ranges from guides to finding primary sources and economic information to how to use particular databases and how to create a citation.

Search Tips

When starting your research, brainstorm the terms that can be used to describe this type of research. Some examples of keywords:

Location: name of country, names of regions, names of international organizations
General: politics and government, political parties, elections, immigration, migrants

Most of the library catalogs and databases you'll be searching will use subject headings or descriptors, which are specific words or phrases that subject experts have assigned to best describe the content of materials. Using these terms can help you find similar books or articles and get ideas for additional search terms. Use the Search Worksheet to record this information.

Searching for Books

To find books that the CU Libraries have, you want to search Chinook, the library catalog. You may want to start by doing a keyword search and then checking some of the catalog records to find specific subject headings appropriate to your topic.


Some library subject headings relevant to your class are listed below. This is NOT a complete list but, rather, a few examples.

Book Chapters

Book chapters' titles often reveal hidden treasures in a book. For an example, take a look at Social Security, the Economy and Development. To search these book chapter titles you need to use the keyword search. If you want more chapter titles, check out WorldCat or Google Books.
Searching for Articles

Articles, especially peer-reviewed or scholarly ones, can form a good start for your research. If you are trying to figure out where to start, use Find Articles and More.

  • Find Articles and More The databases are arranged alphabetically by name, or you can find databases in a particular subject area by choosing a subject from the drop-down menu on that page. Here are a few databases to try first:
    • Click on the + next to Political Science
      • Choose the link for Scholarly Sources.
        • Choose either International Political Science Abstracts CU, an index of political science articles from around the world or PAIS International CU, an index of publications by international bodies and U.S. and foreign governments on global policy and social issues. You'll want to do keyword searches similar to the ones you used to look for materials in Chinook. Instead of the subject headings provided in Chinook, you can use the descriptors from article databases to try to find articles.
      • Choose the link for Country Analysis and Policies.
        • Choose CIAO CU, Columbia International Affairs Online. Go to the Advanced Search screen and put in your terms. The CIAO database contains full-text working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs. Dates back to 1991.
    • Click on the + next to International Area Studies.
      • Choose the link for Latin America.
        • Pick one of the databases listed. You may want to check out HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index CU, a source for over 275,000 journal article citations about Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, and Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. There are over 60,000 full-text articles. Many of the articles are not in English, however.
  • Not having luck? Here are a few other more-general resources (not focused on political science):
    • Academic Search Premier CU Index of nearly 4,000 academic journals, with full text available for many.
    • Web of Science CU This interdisciplinary database allows you to not only search for an article but to find other articles in which it's cited.
    • Google Scholar Uses Google search technology to search a wide variety of sources for academic material.

Primary Sources for Policy and Issues

Country Pages
These pages link to information from individual countries, including links to government bodies.
International Organizations
This page provides links to international organizations and a custom search that only searches international organizations. Here are some selected international sources that may be of interest:
Citing Your Work
  • RefWorks
    RefWorks is a database that lets you save your citations and then format them in the style of your choice. Check out this quick guide for help using this resource.
  • Citing Sources
    This guide goes over the various formats you can use to cite material as well as providing links to quick citation sheets.
Need More Help?

Our subject guide to Development has links to other international organizations that might help you with your research.

We are always happy to answer questions or set up appointments to have a more in-depth discussion of your research.

Salem Martin Leanne Walther Govt. Publications
salem.martin@colorado.edu leanne.walther@colorado.edu govpubs@colorado.edu
303-492-3900 303-735-3750 303-492-8834