Policy Research Guide
This research guide introduces sources for conducting research in policy analysis, including government reports, statistics, and reference materials.
This research guide is designed to serve as a starting point for conducting research in policy analysis. It will include both print and electronic resources available in the Georgetown Law Library. Additionally, links to think tanks and other policy research centers are included.
To get an overview of public policy, you may want to start your research by reading a Secondary Source. Here are a few books which could provide you with a starting point.
Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, JK9 .E526 2008
As the name indicates, this edition is an encyclopedic look at the numerous topics covered by public policy today. Arrticles cover topics such as feminism, evolutionary theory, No Child Left Behind Act and a look at Graham-Rudman-Holings to name just a few. Each issue covered provides references to additional resources.
Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, KZ1160 .E53 2002, also available electronically
All aspects of foreign policy are higlighted in this encyclopedia which is available both electronically and in print. Subject specialists have prepared arrticles on all aspects of foreign policy, from Cold War Diplomacy to the Domino Theory to Militarism to Simmit Conferences.. Each essay includes a detailed bibliography to continue research on the topics.
Handbook of Social Policy HN65 .H345 2009
This comprehensive look at social policy begins with a definition and overview of American social policy and then provides a historical look at social policy,followed by a discussion of the political economy of social policy and social services.
Public Finance and Public Policy, HJ141 .G78 2007
A look at public policy from the perspective of financing each agenda item. This book offers theoretical & empirical tools for public finance, as well as looking at multiple aspects of taxation and publically financed insurance.
Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles & Policy Subsystems, H97 .H69 2009
Understand the five stages of a policy cycle, inlcuding policy formulation, implementation and evaluation by reading this book.
- Public Policy Law
- Policy Sciences
- Political Planning
- Political Planning United States
- United States Politics and Government
This table of electronic resources includes databases of articles, Congressional document databases, and bibliographic indices to policy research papers.
|Provides full text for over 4,600 publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. Over 8,200 titles are abstracted and indexed, of which approximately 3,600 are peer-reviewed. Coverage: 1975 ‹ present.|
|CQ Electronic Library||Provides access to and search capability across two Congressional Quarterly publications: CQ Researcher, and CQ Weekly|
|CQ Researcher||Publishes weekly reports covering the most current and controversial issues with complete summaries, insight into all sides of the issues, bibliographies and more. Includes all CQ Researcher reports published since 1991.|
|CQ Weekly||Provides nonpartisan news and analysis on the United States Congress. The service includes access to the full text of all articles published since 1983.|
|CQ.com on Congress||Georgetown Law Library subscribes to only Bill Text, Bill Compare, and Bill Track. Once you have pulled up a bill using the Bill Text feature, you will find links to the Bill Compare, and Bill Track. Current Congress only|
|Declassified Documents Reference System - U.S.||Full text searchable access to a selection of over 75,000 previously classified U.S. government documents. Post World War II documents include correspondence and memoranda, minutes of cabinet meetings, technical studies, national security policy statements, and intelligence reports. Most documents are at least 25 years old.|
|JSTOR||This database includes the full text of the articles from hundreds of scholarly paper journals, most beginning with the first volume. Coverage often excludes articles from the most recent 1 to 3 years. PDF format. Searching is available across all bibliographic fields and in the full text.|
|ProQuest Congressional||Full text and indexing of U.S. Congressional documents, including hearings, CRS reports, etc..|
|PolicyFile: Public Policy Research and Analysis||Abstracts of data from public policy think tanks, university research programs and publishers, with coverage from 1990. Links to organizational home pages and to full text documents, where available.|
|Full collection of journals, magazines and newspapers on a broad range of general subjects.|
|Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) International||Bibliographic index to the literature of public policy, social policy, and the social sciences in general. Journal articles; books; government documents; statistical compilations; committee reports; directories; serials; reports of public, intergovernmental, and private organizations; and most other forms of printed literature from all over the world are indexed.|
|Social Sciences Full Text||Over 600 English-language journals cover ethnic studies, economics, environment, geography, health, law and criminology, public administration, political science, psychology, sociology, urban studies and women's studies. 1983 - present.|
To do a comprehensive search of the journal literature on your topic, you must use journal indexes. The full-text journal databases on Lexis and Westlaw do not contain all of the law journals published, and, for those that are included, the starting date of coverage is rarely volume 1. The journal indexes, in contrast, include virtually all legal journals from volume 1 and, in the case of the Legal Resource Index, legal newspapers as well.
Here are links to the electronic versions of a few of the major law journals with an emphasis on public policy issues. Print editions are available in the library as well.
- Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy
- Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy
- The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy
- Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
- New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy
- Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy
Think Tanks and Research Centers
Public policy research and analysis is often the province of non-profit research organizations known as think tanks. The annual report of Global Go-To Think Tanks identifies and ranks both U.S. and international research centers by subject areas.
The Univeristy of North Carolina maintains a Customized Google Search engine that searches more than 300 think tanks for policy reports and white papers.
These sites link directly to individual think tanks:
Harvard University: Think Tank Directory
Think Tanks, compiled by SourceWatch
Public Policy Institutes, compiled by Yahoo
Federally Funded R & D Centers (National Science Foundation Master List)
NIRA World Directory of Think Tanks (Japan)
Public Opinions and Poll Data
Public opinion may influence those creating policy statements, so here are some sites which monitor public opinions and provide polling data.
Gallup Brain - This searchable database provides over 70 years of public opinion polling responses.
Roper Center for Public Opinion Research - The iPOLL databank offers access to nearly half a million survey questions and answers asked in the US by more than 150 survey organizations from the 1930's to the present.
Roper Center's Polling 101 - This site educates on the basics of polling; and it allows for basic and advanced public opinion searching.
For additional statistical research, consult our Statistical and Empirical Legal Research Guide.
Congressional Budget Office - The charge of the CBO is to produce a cost benefit analysis of legislation introduced in Congress. This site includes background papers, economic analyses, cost benefit reports, and other analytical studies prepared by the CBO. The publications cover an extensive range of subject areas, including the environment, labor, homeland security, federal spending and much more. Special topics currently being covered include the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, climate change,and economic stimulus, among others.
Congressional Research Service - The CRS is a government "think tank" tasked with producing reports for members of Congress on all aspects of the government and current worldwide events. They do not make their reports public, but many of these reports are available through various websites and databases, such as ProQuest Congressional (Georgetown use only), Bloomberg Law, Federation of American Scientists and the U.S. Department of State.
Government Accounting Office - All unclassified reports produced by the GAO are available to the public. The entire range of government activities are reviewed by the GAO and these reports provide factual and thorough anaylsis of government projects. Older GAO reports are available on FDSys (1989-2008) and Westlaw (GAO-RPTS, coverage begins in 1994). .
C-SPAN Video Library - Every C-SPAN program since 1987 is available and searchable in this extensive archive of the C-SPAN network, providing access to hours of policy debates and transcripts. Programs are indexed by policy groups.
Policy Archive - searchable respository of policy reports produced by hundreds of policy organizations on all types of topics from health to law to immigration.
Social Science Space - Public Debate & Policy is a hot topic on this resource designed as a workplace for social scientists to explore and shape the big issues. Hosted by Sage Publications, the current focus is the United Kingdom, but a more international scope is evolving.
Latest Thinking - McKinsey & Co. identifies "tomorrow's trends" and features essay and debates on policy topics such as women, the credit crisis, geopolitics and more.
Georgetown has a collection of Research Guides on many topics closely impacted by public policy. These guides will identify the most relevant subject specific resources available for policy research. For example:
|Banking Law Research Guide||Education Law Research Guide|
|Environmental Law Research Guide||Health Law Research Guide|
|National Security Law Research Guide||Poverty Law Research Guide|
|Securities Law Research Guide||Tax Law Research Guide|
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