Professor James Longhurst
Where do I search?
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:
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.
Limit your search to 'journal articles' or 'academic articles' if you're searching for something scholarly.
- Academic Search Complete
Popular and scholarly articles on a variety of topics. A good general database. more information
- International Political Science Abstracts
Index and abstracts of articles from political science journals. more information
- PAIS International
Index and abstracts of articles, books, government documents, and other literature on public affairs. more information
- Environment Complete
Index, abstracts and full text of articles on environmental studies. more information
Index of articles covering all aspects of human impact on the environment including:global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and recycling.
Index, abstracts, and full text for publications in sociology, including criminology and criminal justice. more information
Popular & New Sources
Some of the 'academic' databases will also have popular news items. Some others are listed below.
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!
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:
A tool for finding legislation from 1973 to the present.
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)
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.
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
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
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.