Donald E. Stokes Library for Public and International Affairs
and the Ansley J. Coale Population Research Collection
Wallace Hall, Princeton University
Stokes Library Home

Public policy research at Princeton University Library:
An introductory guide

This is a selected list of resources available in print in the libraries or available electronically. There are many other resources in the
library and on the Internet. Ask for help!

A. Getting Started -
I.    Researching your paper - who to contact for help in the Princeton University Libraries
II.   Encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.
III.  Library Catalog - finding books and other materials
IV.  Finding scholarly journal articles
V.   Other journal article indexes

B. Sources of Specific Types of Information -
VI.   General Databases
VII.  Newspaper articles and other media sources
VIII. Legal Research
IX.   Government Information/Congressional
X.     Public Opinion/Poll Data
XI.    Statistics
XII.   State Research
XIII.  International Organization web sites
XIV.  Foreign Countries - Official government web sites

C. Wrapping Up -
XV.   Citing your sources
XVI.  Evaluating your sources
XVII. Writing your paper - who to contact for help

I. Researching your paper - who to contact for help in the Princeton University Libraries:

Nancy Pressman-Levy, – Public & International Affairs/Woodrow Wilson School Librarian, Stokes Library, Wallace Hall - you can ask me about anything to do with the libraries or library research – if I cannot help you I will refer you to someone who can.
Joann Donatiello,, Population Research Librarian, Stokes Library, Wallace Hall
Elana Broch,, Assistant Population Research Librarian, Stokes Library, Wallace Hall
Bobray Bordelon,, Economics Librarian/Acting Data Librarian, SSRC, Firestone Library
David Hollander,, Law and European Union Librarian, SSRC, Firestone Library
Susan White,, Sociology/United Nations Librarian, SSRC, Firestone Library
John Hernandez,, Politics & Government Publications Librarian, SSRC, Firestone
Linda Oppenheim,, New Jersey Documents Librarian, SSRC, Firestone Library
Fernando Acosta-Rodrigues,, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian, Firestone Library

Key to location of materials:
Chemistry Library: Fine Hall
Engineering Library: Friend Center
Firestone: Firestone stacks
General & Humanities Reference: Firestone Library, 1st Floor
Geosciences Library: Guyot Hall, 1st Floor
Psychology Library: Green Hall
Stokes: Donald E. Stokes Library, Wallace Hall
SSRC: Social Science Reference Center, Firestone Library, A Level

II. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.
Print sources:
Congress and the Nation: a review of government and politics in the postwar years.
Washington: CQ Press. Published annually.
(Stokes Periodicals; SSRC, Firestone KF49.C653)

Congressional Quarterly Almanac.
Washington: CQ Press. Published annually.
(Stokes Periodicals; SSRC, Firestone JK1.C66)

Jentleson, Bruce and Thomas G. Paterson. Encyclopedia of U.S. foreign relations.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1997. 4 vols.
E183.7 .E53 1997 (Stokes Reference, SSRC, Firestone)

Kruschke, Earl R. and Byron M. Jackson. The public policy dictionary.
Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1987.
H97 .K78 1987 (SSRC, Firestone and Stokes)

McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science and technology. 8th ed.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.
Q121.M3 1997 (Firestone - General & Humanities Reference; Chemistry, Engineering and Geosciences Libraries)
Also available online as AccessScience.

Nagel, Stuart S. Encyclopedia of policy studies.
New York ; M. Dekker, c1994.
H97 .E6 1994 (Stokes Reference, SSRC, Firestone)

Nagel, Stuart S. Handbook of public policy evaluation.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002.
H97 .H359 2002 (Firestone)

Shafritz, ed. International encyclopedia of public policy and administration.
Boulder: Westview Press, 1998. 4 vols.
H97 .I574 1998 (SSRC)

SIPRI Yearbook: Armaments, disarmament and international security.
Oxford: Oxford University Press. Published annually.
UA10. I55 (Stokes Reference, SSRC)

Smelser, Neil J. and Paul B. Baltes. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
New York: Elsevier, 2001. 26 vols.
H41 .I58 2001 (SSRC, Firestone and Psychology Library - earlier edition in Stokes Library)

III. Library Catalog - finding books and other materials in the Princeton University Libraries
The library catalog is the place to start when researching any topic. Books will give you an overview of the issues involved.
Remember that scholarly books also have bibliographies that can lead you to other sources.
NOTE: Before you begin searching, think about your topic, and write down some words that might be used to describe it.

Some helpful points regarding Keyword searches:

-- Remember that phrases must be in enclosed in "quotation marks" e.g., "death penalty"
-- Try to think of other words that describe the same concept and combine them using 'OR' e.g., "death penalty" or "capital punishment"
-- If appropriate, add geographic location to narrow your search even further e.g., ("death penalty" or "capital punishment") and "united states"

TIP: When you find a record for a relevant source, Click on Long View, scroll down to the subject headings
and click on relevant subject headings to find more materials on that same subject.

IV. Finding scholarly journal articles
For information about what a scholarly journal is and how to distinguish it from a non-scholarly
journal click here.

The following are indexes to scholarly journal literature.

EconLit (Economics)

ERIC (Education - both scholarly and non-scholarly resources)
OmniFile Wilson (Choose Education from the Subject Area drop-down menu)

Environmental Issues and Policy Index
Environmental Sciences and Pollution
Environmental, Lexis-Nexis

General - public & international affairs, foreign policy
Hispanic American Periodicals Index
International Political Science Abstracts
PAIS - Public Affairs Information Service
SocioFile (Sociological Abstracts)
Web of Science (Science, Social Science, Arts & Humanities)
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

Contemporary Women's Issues
Web of Science
Gender Studies Database

Index to Legal Periodicals and Books
Westlaw Campus

How to find the text of journal articles:

1. Use the E-journal Finder
2. Search the Library Catalog by journal title
3. Ask for help.

V. Other journal article indexes
These multidisciplinary databases provide indexing and some full-text to both scholarly and non-scholarly journals (eg. Economist, Time, U.S. News and World Report).

Ebsco/Academic Search Premier

VI. General Databases

CQ Weekly and CQ Researcher
CQ Weekly provides weekly coverage of U.S. Congress legislative news and analysis since 1983. CQ Researcher provides more in-depth coverage and analysis of major issues since 1991.

Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)
CIAO is designed to be the most comprehensive source for theory and research in international affairs. It publishes a wide range of scholarship from
1991 up to the current date that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional paper series from NGOs, foundation-funded
research projects, and proceedings from conferences. Each section of CIAO is updated with new material on a regular basis.

Environment and Energy Publishing
Includes up-to-date information about environmental policy including the three newsletters Environment & Energy Daily, Land Letter and Greenwire.

Janes' Online - Security, military, intelligence and terrorism
International security information concerning such topics as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, reports on military readiness of individual countries, etc.

Keesing's Record of World Events Online
Authoritative monthly digest of worldwide political, diplomatic and economic affairs. Concise reports of events since 1960 for individual
countries and international organizations.

National Journal Policy Central
This database provides comprehensive politics and policy information including the National Journal, Almanac of American Politics,
Markup Reports, Congress Daily and Poll Track.

PolicyFile indexes and provides full-text links to publications addressing the complete range of public policy research with content from public policy think tanks, university research programs, research organizations and publishers. Covers issue both domestic and international.

RAND is a non-profit think tank that provides research and analysis to further policy decision making. Areas of expertise include
health, international policy, social welfare, population and regional studies, education and child policy. Many publications are available
at the site for free in full-text.

Social Sciences Research Network
Provides access to scholarly research often before it is published in scholarly journal. Organized into networks including finance, economics, legal and management. Abstracts for all papers and full-text availability for most documents.

VII. Newspaper articles and other media sources
Academic Universe - U.S. national, state and international newspapers, news services, radio and TV transcripts
This service provides keyword searchable full-text documents from over 5,600 news, business, legal, medical and reference
publications with a variety of flexible search options. Publications available include newspapers, policy papers, newsletters and legal materials.

Keyword searching and full-text retrieval of major U.S. and international newspapers and state newspapers.

Ethnic Newswatch
Provides indexing and full-text of more than 200 publications from the African-American, Hispanic, ethnic and native press.

Russian, NIS, CIS publications
Full-text of newspapers, journals, etc. from Russia, the Newly Independent States and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Some in English.

English translation of non-English international newspapers
These services provide english translation of non-english, non-U.S. media sources, including newspapers, radio and TV broadcasts, on a daily basis.
They cover more than 140 countries in more than 100 languages providing immediate coverage of political and economic news.
Click here for an excellent guide to translation services that provide english translation of non-English, non-U.S. media sources . This guide provides links to the online services that are available electronically.

VIII. Legal research
There are many resources in print in the Firestone Library. If you cannot find what you need in the catalog ask for help at the Reference Desk, SSRC. For more information see Politics and Law Collection at Princeton University and European Union Collection at Princeton University.

Academic Universe - United States federal, state and international law
This service provides keyword searchable full-text legal documents such as legal cases from various levels of the courts, laws,
bills and regulations. The full-text of law reviews is also available.

Index to Legal Periodicals
These are two scholarly journal indexes that will lead you to articles in law reviews and other types of legal journals.

Westlaw Campus
Westlaw Campus allows you to search and retrieve the full-text of federal and state legal cases and legislative materials.
Documents can also be accessed through broad subject categories such as Civil Rights, International Law and Environmental Law.

Full-text of several hundred legal journals is available in this database accessible from the PUL database list. Not recommended for searching.
Use LegalTrac or Index to Legal Periodicals for searching.

IX. Government Documents and Congressional Resources
NOTE: PUL has extensive collections of government publications and is a depository library for U.S. federal, New Jersey, United Nations and European Union documents. Many publications available at Princeton are not listed in the PUL catalog. It is very important to ask for help if you do not find the publication you are looking for in the catalog. For more information about these collections click here.

Daily Coverage of Congress
National Journal's CongressDaily
National Journal's Hotline
National Journal Technology Daily

Washington Post Section A
All issues from January 4, 1977 to current available on Congressional Universe - scroll down to INSIDE WASHINGTON

Weekly Coverage of Congress
Roll Call
Semi-weekly newspaper published Monday and Thursdays
Latest issue only available at
All issues from December 1, 1989 to current available on Congressional Universe - scroll down to INSIDE WASHINGTON

The Hill
Weekly newspaper published on Wednesdays
All issues from January 4, 1995 to current available on Congressional Universe - scroll down to INSIDE WASHINGTON

CQ Weekly and CQ Researcher
CQ Weekly provides weekly coverage of U.S. Congress legislative news and analysis since 1983. CQ Researcher provides more in-depth coverage and analysis of major issues since 1991.

National Journal
Full-text of the non-partisan weekly, National Journal.

Other Congressional Information - Current, retrospective and historical
Congressional Universe
Congressional Universe is a comprehensive online resource providing access to Congressional hearings, public issues, legislation, legislative histories,
and legal research. The full-text of Congressional information including member biographies, committee assignments, committee transcripts, voting
records and financial data, and, the full-text of key regulatory and statutory resources allows you to do in-depth research on current and historic issues
considered in Congress.

Congressional Record
The record of proceedings in the House and Senate. Available in paper in SSRC, Firestone Library and online. Paper record will contain additional
material that is not available online. Available from 1970 on Congressional Universe.

Congressional Committee Hearings
Information gathering is an important part of policy making. One of the ways that Congress gathers information is to hold Congressional hearings.
Experts, interested individuals, representatives from lobby groups, political action committees and governmental and non-governmental organizations,
and members of the house and senate are examples of the types of people who testify before congress. The testimony given at these hearings is
published. Complete hearings are available in paper in the SSRC, Firestone Library. Transcripts that include verbal testimony and prepared statements
are available in Congressional Universe.
[NOTE: Go to SSRC, Firestone Library and look at the paper copies of hearings. They often contain supporting material - such as diagrams,
statistics, graphs, photographs, reports - that in most cases you will not find online.]

Other Government Publications Sources:
University of Michigan Documents Center
The Documents Center is a central reference and referral point for government information, whether local, state, federal, foreign or international. Its web pages are a reference and instructional tool for government, political science, statistical data, and news.

GPO Access
The U.S. Government Printing Office's gateway to congressional information provides full-text access to important congressional documents.
The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is also available here.

European Union
Princeton University Library has many publications and official documents from the European Union. For a guide to the European Union collection
at Princeton University click here.

X. Public opinion/Poll data
Young, Michael L.
Dictionary of Polling: The Language of Contemporary Opinion Research
New York, Greenwood Press, 1992 266 p.

The following databases are full text collections of public opinion polls conducted in the United States. Data are included from Gallup,
Harris, Roper, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Poll Track - National Journal
Polling the Nations
Lexis/Nexis: Roper Center for Public Opinion Research (Click on Reference; Click on Polls & Surveys)

General Social Survey
The GSS (General Social Survey) is an almost annual personal interview survey of
U.S. households conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). The first survey took place in 1972 and since then more than 38,000 respondents have answered over 3,260 different questions.
It makes timely, high-quality, scientifically relevant data about social attitudes, values and behavior available to the social science research community.

For additional sources of public opinion research click here.

XI. Statistics
Statistical Abstract of the United States
HA202.U58 - Available in print in Stokes Library and most other libraries on campus
An excellent resource for finding U.S. statistics on almost any topic. Sources of statistics are clearly documented so that you can easily get to the original source of the statistics where you will often find more detailed statistics.

Statistical Yearbooks of Other Countries
Most countries produce an annual statistical yearbook or abstract similar to the Statistical Abstract of the United States. The latest editions are available in SSRC, Firestone Library. Previous editions are in the regular book stacks in the Firestone Library. Look in the Library Catalog - try keyword search statistics and (yearbook or "year book") and your country name OR ask in the libraries for assistance. There is a microfiche collection of international statistical yearbooks in the SSRC that are not listed in the PUL catalog. The Census Bureau provides a list of links to the statistical agencies of specific countries.

Statistical Universe
Statistics on many topics at the federal, state and international levels. Some in full-text. Most of what is not available in full-text is available in the PU libraries in print or on microfiche. Please ask. TIP: Its better to choose the option to SEARCH ABSTRACTS than to use the Power Tables.

Census Bureau - United States

EIU Country Data
Two hundred and seventy-eight series of annual, quarterly and monthly economic indicators and forecasts for 117 countries and 40 regional aggregates, running from 1980 and forward to 2005.

World Development Indicators
Provides access to 550 development indicators - economic and social - with time series for 207 countries and 18 country groups from 1960 to 2000, where data are available.

Global Development Finance
Debt statistics for the 136 countries that report public and publicly-guaranteed debt to the World Bank Debtor Reporting System. Covers 1970 to 2000, where available.

For more information about economic and financial data available at Princeton click here.

XII. State research
The Book of the States.
Lexington, Ky: Council of State Governments. Annual publication.
JK2403 .B62 (Stokes Library and SSRC, Firestone)

State Capital Universe
Search this database to find full-text of legislation, regulations, bills, statutes and constitutions, and, information about members of legislatures for all 50 states. Also includes discussions of state policy issues.

New Jersey Government Publications
For information about PUL's collections of New Jersey documents and links to New Jersey web sites click here.

XIII. International Organization web sites
These are the sites for major international organizations. For a more complete list of organizations and their web sites see the Northwestern University Library list.

African Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Caribbean Development Bank
Commonwealth of Independent States
European Union
Food and Agriculture Organization
International Migration Organization
International Monetary Fund
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Organization of American States
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
United Nations
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
World Bank
World Health Organization
World Trade Organization

XIV. Foreign countries - Official government web sites
This links to Northwestern University Library's comprehensive and current list of official government web sites for countries other than the U.S.

XV. Citing your sources

For information about how to cite your sources click here.

American Political Science Association. Style manual for political science. Washington, DC: APSA, 2001.

The Bluebook. 17th ed. Cambridge: Harvard Law Review Association, 2000.

Chicago manual of style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC: APA, 2001.

You may also obtain information on citing sources at

XVI. Evaluate your sources!
Most of the resources listed in this guide have all been licensed and paid for by PUL. That means they have been carefully evaluated and selected
by subject experts in the library. You will also want to search web sources through a search engine like Google. The resources that you will find on
the web have not been evaluated by anyone. Almost anyone can post anything to the web. Therefore, it is important for you to evaluate those resources.
Web sites that can help you to do courtesy of University of Albany Library; UCLA Library; or University of Southern Maine.

XVII. Asking for help when writing your paper
Remember that advice on how to write a clear, organized and effective paper is available from the instructors in the Woodrow Wilson School Writing Center.
Contact Steve Frakt or Janet Churn . The staff of the Writing Center has prepared three brief guides that can be viewed online. They are: Some Thought on Writing a Policy Paper, Common Questions Addressed in Policy Papers, and Common Problems in Policy Papers.