DSEM: Who’s In Charge? The Politics of Local Communities

All Items by Source


Credo Reference Restricted Resource Some full text available
Useful for finding encyclopedic entries on topics and places. Check the date of the publication (some are old) and follow up on the references at the end of the entries.
Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations
Print Location: Reference HM 716 .E53
Social science related disciplines use specific definitions for terminology. If you are struggling to parse terms like "Collective Self," "Distributive Justice," "Social Dominance Theory," etc. you may want to look them up here.
Key Concepts in Community Studies Restricted Resource
What does "community" mean in academic social science? What are the elements of community studies? How do we define "communities"? This work sets out to define and explicate them.

Finding Articles

GreenFILE Restricted Resource Some full text available
Indexes scholarly, government and general-interest titles covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. For peer reviewed materials, check the box for "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" found under Search Options -- Limit your results. (Through NJ State Libraries )
Proquest Political Science Restricted Resource Some full text available
Full text of 150 leading political science and international relations journals, especially those indexed in Worldwide Political Science.
Sociological Abstracts Restricted Resource
“Indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.”
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts Restricted Resource
Scholarly articles on national and international topics in Political Science.

Web Sites

Governing: States and Localities
"Since 1987, GOVERNING has provided state and local leaders with the non-partisan information, insight and intelligence needed to govern effectively.   As a catalyst for innovation, GOVERNING is dedicated to covering the politics, policies and programs essential to this audience.  See www.governing.com.
GOVERNING is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation. See www.erepublic.com."

Census Data
The United States Census, and the Department of Commerce, collects demographic data as part of the Decennial Census. It also collects business data. Finding that data for the past can be somewhat tricky, as the U.S. Government's official census website  American Factfinder  retains limited historical data.

Printed Census documents from various time periods, such as the Census of Population and Housing for particular states, can be found in our government documents section on Level A (1980 census GovDocs call number  C 3.223/7:980/C)
Many can also be found on the Internet Archive https://archive.org/index.php by searching 
Census [year] [state]

The County and City Data Book series, to be found in the Reference collection, Ref HA202 .A35 , also has a lot of summary data from Census, industrial and other sources, mostly for counties and large cities.

On the other hand, at least for the Decennial Census,  Social Explorer  gives you the information you want online!
Choose the Tables option and drill down to the data you want. You'll need to arm yourself with the county and zip code information for the area you want to look up.
Subject Resource Pages
​These guides will help you find more resources in specific subject areas?
Finding full text
If you are searching in Scholar Search or some other databases, you will see both books and articles.

Some articles will give you a direct link to the PDF or HTML or Linked full text; some items will be not in our collection and you'll be directed to request them through Interlibrary Loan; but for many, you'll need to click Find it @Drew to see whether it's available electronically:

When you click Find it @Drew you will be taken to a page that will offer you a list of links to the resource in our electronic journal holdings. (Sometimes we have a journal article via more than one database; that's why you see multiple links. Click one of the links to get to the full text:
Find it @Drew

Books will show you either the link to the ebook or the call number for the printed book:
Evaluating Your Sources
Before you use a source, you should check to see if it seems credible and relevant to your topic. Use the title, abstract, publication and author information to see if a source looks promising, then read the text carefully, considering whether it is appropriate for your paper.

For instance, when searching for sources for an academic paper, you're usually looking for:
  • Works by scholars or experts (authorities)-- for instance, for a literature paper, writers who are have advanced degrees in literature. For a paper about sustainable development in South America, you might be looking for an expert in sustainable development.
  • Works that have been carefully vetted, for instance, in a peer reviewed journal (you can limit your search to 'peer reviewed/scholarly journals')
    • The type of publication the source appears in matters. Newspapers and Magazines are less likely to be accepted; scholarly books, however, are often acceptable. Reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries are generally used only to verify facts or background information. 
  • Works that contain actual primary data-- either numbers collected by a study or social science interviews with actual participants.
  • Works that are current with the scholarship in the field -- are they up to date, and factually, do they line up with other scholarly works on the topic? (As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, 'Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.')
  • Works that cite the sources where they got their own information: if there's no bibliography or references, view it with extreme suspicion.
  • Works that do analysis rather than expressing an opinion, and which are objective in their approach. ("Impact of Community Organization on Environmental Conservation in New Jersey" would likely be an analysis; "The ten best ways to run a community organization" is more likely to be an opinion.) Some book reviews may be scholarly, but even scholarly ones are also to be used sparingly and with care. 
  • And most importantly, works which are relevant to the topic you're working on. Even if it has all the right keywords and is scholarly, if the book or article has nothing to do with your topic, it's not going to help you. If it's an article in Art History Today on community development, it's likely off topic!
  • There are other factors to consider as well. 
It's up to you to decide whether a source is useful; but your professor and the librarians can help you.
Limit Your Results:
Proquest Research Library
When you search ScholarSearch, you won't find EVERYTHING. In particular, be sure to search 
ProQuest Research Library
A general index to popular, professional and scholarly publications. Many full text articles available. as an additional step.

There are some excellent articles here on  the definition of community.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Jenne Heise

Jenne Heise
Web Manager
Tel: 973-408- 3675

Online Newspaper Subscriptions
New York Times:

Your instructor may ask you to read articles in the online New York Times.
Sign up for free online access to NYT through Drew Library's subscription:
http://nytimes.com/pass using your Drew email address.

Washington Post:

The Washington Post offers free online content subscriptions to anyone with a .edu, .gov, or .mil email address. Instructions to sign up: