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A collection of research resources pertaining to Policy Studies.

Some resources are restricted to people currently affiliated with Dickinson.

Because Policy Studies research can cross over many academic disciplines (such as political Science, International Relations, Sociology, or Economics) students are strongly encouraged to consult with a librarian for help with specific topics.

For subject assistance contact: Anna Kozlowska, 717-245-1849.


General Collection

Full length books on subjects relating to Policy Studies may be found in the Waidner-Spahr Library Catalog. However, because Policy Studies can encompass such a wide range of topics, try combining specific terms related to your topic rather than just searching for Policy Studies.

Examples of search terms to try:

Government Policy \ Foreign Policy \ U.S. Policy \ Immigration Policy \ Environmental Policy \ Economic Policy \ Military Policy \ Education Policy

Reference Collection

The reference collection at the Waidner-Spahr Library contains a number of resources on Policy Studies.

Simply typing in the term “Policy” in the search field and selecting “Reference Stacks” for location will yield a number of items.

Therefore, the following list is a brief selection of sources that may be useful when researching topics in Policy Studies and should not be viewed as the extent of available reference material.

Encyclopedia of American Public Policy REF JK468 .P64 J33 1999
Entries defining key concepts, divided into the following categories: Key Concepts, Agriculture, Civil Rights, Commerce and Transportation, Communications, Crime, Economics, Education, Energy, Entitlement Programs, Environment, Health, Housing, and Labor. Entries include cross-references and references. Source provides a bibliography and an index.
International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration REF H97 .I574 1998
Four-volume set contains alphabetical entries on policy issues from a variety of countries, with a focus on the United States and Western Europe. Entries include references and cross-references. Source includes a general index in the fourth volume.
Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System : Studies of the Principal Structures, Processes, and Policies of Congress and the State Legislatures Since the Colonial Era REF JF501 .E53 1994
Three-volume set provides articles from a variety of authors on specific sub-topics of the American legislative system. Third volume contains an index.
Ethics, Government, and Public Policy: a Reference Guide REF JA79 .E824 1988
Contains articles from various authors divided into four sections: Analytical Approaches, Ethical Dilemmas and Standards for Public Servants, Techniques and Methods in Ethical Policy-Making, and Studies of Systemic Issues in Government. Contains a selected bibliography and an index.
The Public Policy Dictionary REF H97 .K78 1987
Alphabetical entries divided into five sections: The Nature of Public Policy, The Public Policy Process: Formulation, The Public Policy Process: Implementation, Types of Public Policy, and Evaluation and Impact of Public Policy. Contains a bibliography and an index.

Major Databases

(This list of databases offers the best places to get started but there are many more available @ Waidner-Spahr Library. Consult a librarian to choose the best database to look for information about your specific topic.)

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts  
CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy.
Political Science Complete  
Subject coverage includes comparative politics, humanitarian issues, international relations, law and legislation, and political theory. Coverage Range: 1960s-present, some Full-Text.
Public Affairs Index  
Covers aspects of national and global contemporary public policy issues ranging from public health, the environment, housing, human and civil rights, to international commerce and conflict. Topics include banking & public finance, criminal justice, economic policy & taxation, education & education policy, emigration & immigration, energy & energy policy, ethics, government, humanitarian issues, industry & labor, law & legislation, natural disasters & poverty, politics & elections, social policy, and transportation . Coverage Range: 1970-present, citations only.
PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) International  
Access to theory and research in international affairs from 1996 to present. Also includes economic information, and map and country data. Full text.
Praeger Security International
The world's largest full-text electronic resource on international security, containing books, expert commentary, reports and primary documents from foreign policy, military, and security professionals. Covers security-related topics such as terrorism, economic development, diplomacy, and international crisis response.
CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online)  
Index access to journal articles, book chapters, reports, and government publications from 120 countries. The coverage ranges from 1972 to present, with some full-text.
Congressional Universe (ProQuest)
Contains documents on microfiche from federal, state, private, and international sources and world-renowned indexing, including Congressional, executive, statistical, judicial, environmental, and other publications.
CQ Researcher  
CQ Researcher issues comprehensive reports devoted to timely topics ranging from school violence to homelessness in America. This database is useful for finding in-depth information on political or social issues such as teaching the theory of evolution or reassessing foreign aid.
Business Full Text  
Contains articles on a wide range of business related topics from both academic and popular sources. Some full text, with coverage from 1982 to present.
Economic Literature  
A major index database to scholarly articles in economics. Mostly index only. Coverage from 1960 to present.

Other Helpful Databases

An interdisciplinary archive of over 600 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Project Muse  
A multi-disciplinary database of full text articles from scholarly journals in both humanities and social sciences. Most journals covered are up to date. Can be used as complementary to JStor as the latter covers mostly archival issues.
Social Science Citation Index  
A multidisciplinary index to the journal literature and conference proceedings of the social sciences. Also has the capacity to conduct a cited reference search and create a citations map. Covers publications 1965 to present . Gives access to citations only, not full text.
Social Sciences Full Text  
Covers English-language periodicals, published in the Unites States or internationally, in sociology, anthropology, psychology, geography, economics, political science, and law. Indexes material from 1983-present, includes abstracts for material 1984-present and contains some full-text for 1994 to present.

Government Information

Please also see the library’s Government Documents for assistance.

United States

A website provided by the Library of Congress that provides detailed legislative information. It offers bill tracking by number as well as sponsor. Also searches cabinet nominations, appropriations bills, public laws, the congressional record, presidential nominations, treaties and roll-call votes.
GPO (Government Printing Office) Government Documents  
Covers all types of U.S. government documents published since 1976. Includes citations with some links to full text. Print documents are available in our library, the State Library in Harrisburg, and via interlibrary loan (ILLiad).
Access to Archival Databases  
Online gateway to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the Federal government.
Congressional Universe (ProQuest)  
Contains congressional publications, committee prints, Congressional hearings, House and Senate documents and reports, legislative histories, bill tracking, and full-text public law. Coverage range: 1969-present. Majority is Full-Text.
CQ Weekly  
Provides a weekly report on issues in Congress, as well as the status of proposed legislation, committee and floor activity, debates and roll-call votes. Covers a date range of 1983 to the present and has full-text access.


Constitutions, Treaties, and Official Declarations  
An index providing full-text access to international treaties, constitutions, and other political documents from around the world.
ODS: Official Documents System of the United Nations
The official place to look for United Nations documents, it covers documents published by the United Nations from 1992 onwards, as well as the full-text of UN Resolutions.
This is the catalog of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library andincludes links to the full-text of many UN documents. It covers three main areas: Bibliographic Records from 1979 to present, Voting Records from 1946 to present, and an index to speeches. Items not available in full-text may be requested through ILLiad.
United Nations Treaty Collection 
Provides access to multilateral treaties deposited with the United Nations, as well as bilateral and multilateral treaties registered with the United Nations.

European Union

Europa: Official website of the EU  
Provides a plethora of information on the European Union, as well as links to its governing bodies. To search for documents, go to Documentation Centre, then official documents.

News Sources

Please also see the library’s Locating Newspaper Articles Research Guide.

Lexis-Nexis - Academic Universe
Access to hundreds of newspapers from around the world, plus a wealth of legal, business, medical, and reference information.
Academic Search Complete  
Covers all disciplines including social science, humanities, arts, literature and so on. Entries contain value-added content from a wide range of sources including newspapers, periodicals and books.
World News Connection  
A news translation service produced by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) for the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Service, a government agency which monitors and translates newspapers, radio and television broadcasts, and official statements of foreign governments.

Public Opinion

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press  
Offers survey reports and datasets from the organization.
Gallup Organization  
The website provides some access to public opinion research conducted by the Gallup Organization.
Polling the Nations  
Provides access to over 14,000 surveys conducted in the United States, as well as countries around the world. It includes surveys from a variety of pollsters and detailed information on the questions. The surveys are from 1986 to present, and are available in full-text.


Please also see the library’s Statistics Research Guide.

Statistical Insight  
Searches both statistical tables and publications summarizing statistical findings in a variety of social science disciplines. Includes data collected from government sources, research organizations, associations, commercial publishers, and international intergovernmental organizations. Contains data from 1970-present, with some full-text.
U.S. Census Bureau  
Information about demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics of the United States population, as well as business, industry and trade data.
ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research)  
Maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data from around the world for research and instruction, and offers training in quantitative methods to facilitate effective data use. Contains data from 1850 to the present, with primarily full-text access.


The American Presidency Project 
A collection of online material relating to the American Presidency from the University of California Santa Barbara. Includes presidential papers and documents from 1789 to present.  
A website from CQ press that pulls together political news articles, bill tracking, committee information and voting records.