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Political Science

This is guide is an introductory guide to Political Science research and resources..

Evaluating Websites and Sources

Consider the following criteria when evaluating articles, websites, and other information. Depending on the type of research you're doing, you may want to reconsider your sources if you answer these questions a certain way. It can be hard to determine that answers to these questions and how they will affect your research. This skills takes time and practice. Feel free to email me with questions about the evaluation process at brea.henson@unt.edu.

  • Currency: The timeliness of the web page
    • When was the source published and is that recent enough for the scope of your assignment?
  • Relevance/Coverage: The uniqueness of the content and its importance for your needs
    • Is the source addressing the needs of your research?
    • Does it provide a unique perspective of the topic or is like another one that you have?
  • Authority: The source of the web page
    • Who is the publisher?
    • What is the name of journal?
    • What are the credentials of the author?
    • What is the reputation of these persons or organization?
  • Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content
    • Is the information true?
  • Purpose: The presence of bias or prejudice/The reason the website exists
    • Is the information trying to persuade or inform?
    • Is it bias against or for the topic?
    • Does the language use a political or moral/religious perspective?
    • Does the language provoke an emotional response from you regardless of what the topic is about?

Need More help? Visit the Media Literacy Guide.

Fact Checking Websites

  • American Political Science Association: "Founded in 1903, the American Political Science Association is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 13,000 members in more than 80 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments, and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe to deepen our understanding of politics, democracy, and citizenship throughout the world."
  • Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN): "C-SPAN’s Mission is to provide C-SPAN's audience access to the live gavel-to-gavel proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and to other forums where public policy is discussed, debated and decided––all without editing, commentary or analysis and with a balanced presentation of points of view."
  • Constitute: "A portal for state and national constitutions."
  • Fact Check: "Fact Check is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Their goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."
  • Follow the Money: "The nation's only free, nonpartisan, verifiable archive of contributions to political campaigns in all 50 states."
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): "ICPSR advances and expands social and behavioral research, acting as a global leader in data stewardship and providing rich data resources and responsive educational opportunities for present and future generations."
  • Presidential Library Explorer, National Archive: "PLE contains permanent records from presidential administrations are held by NARA at their respective Presidential Libraries. This visualization presents the holdings of the Presidential Libraries in descending order from the library with the largest number of textual records to the smallest."
  • League of Women Voters"The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy."
  • Monkey Cage: "What’s the Monkey Cage? H.L. Mencken said “Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.”  Here at The Monkey Cage, we talk about political science research and use it to make some sense of the circus that is politics."
  • Open Secrets: Center for Responsive Politics: "The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and it effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, involved citizenry and more transparent and responsive government."
  • Oyez Project: "The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955."
  • Project Vote Smart: "Project Vote Smart is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides information about candidates running for public office in the United States."
  • SCOTUS Blog: "SCOTUS Blog is a law blog about the Supreme Court of the United States written by lawyers, law students, and law professors.
  • Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), & Think Tanks (Westmont Political Science LibGuide)"

Additional Links

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