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Your Librarian

Nicole Robinson
nicoler@muskingum.edu
826-8154

Other Resources

Public Policy - 322

Professor James Longhurst

Where do I search?

Articles
The library has over 150 databases - and that's not even counting all the free stuff you can get on government and other university websites. When you don't know where to start, your best bet is to visit the subject guides related to your topic. We've broken the huge list down so that you don't have to.

Some guides that may be useful for public policy topics are:

Books
Remember that there may be useful books written on your policy topic, and sometimes this is the best way to get a good overview that takes debate and context into account.

  • The Muskingum Library Catalog will show you what we have on campus.
  • OhioLINK allows you to find and request books in other university libraries in Ohio. They arrive in 2-3 days, and we send you an email when they're here.

Specific Resources

Academic Sources
Limit your search to 'journal articles' or 'academic articles' if you're searching for something scholarly.

Popular & New Sources
Some of the 'academic' databases will also have popular news items. Some others are listed below.

Government Sources
There are hundreds of sources for finding government information on the web. A good way to search for government websites on your topic is to add 'site:.gov' to your google search - forcing it to find only pages with the .gov extension. If you need government information and are having trouble finding it, come ask a librarian!

  • USA.gov
    The Federal Government's webportal. Browse or keyword search to find useful information.
  • Federal Departments and Agencies
    These departments and agencies often put out reports and other information that can provide a good overview. Check this list for an agency relating to your topic.
  • LexisNexis Academic includes the following specialized legal research tools:
  • Thomas
    A tool for finding legislation from 1973 to the present.
  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)
    A finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online.
  • Congressional Record
    The official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress.
  • Open CRS
    Provides access to Congressional Research Services reports which are conducted by the Library of Congress on various topics for the benefit of members of Congress.
  • GAO Reports
    Evaluations of government programs and activities.

Interest Groups
If you know the name of an interest group, googling will likely find their official webpage. Be sure to check contact information and to evaluate the page to be certain it's trustworthy.

  • VoteSmart Issue and Interest Group Ratings
    Choose issues from a drop-down list to see interest groups involved in the topic. Although this is meant to help voters choose a candidate, it gives a is a very comprehensive list that gives a good summary of groups, as well as their address and their official websites.
  • Political Advocacy Groups: A Directory of United States Lobbyists
    Hosted by Washington State University Vancouver, this page breaks interest groups down by topic and includes a summary of each, as well as contact information and official webpages.

Statistics and Opinions

  • Statistics
    Visit our statistics guide for information on finding various sorts of statistics, primarily government-collected, such as census data, the economy, politics, and more.
  • ALA Guide to Public Opinion Polls
    The American Library Association has created a guide to online sources of public opinion polls. Many of these are conducted by media outlets, so keep in mind that they may have a slant. Note that some of these sources require a subscription and will be inaccessable, but many of them will be useful.

 

 

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