SW 520 Social Welfare Policy: Home

Library Services for Summer Term 2021

front of the library building

The Library's 1st floor is open for students to pick up items at the circulation desk and use the computer lab (limited seating available).  Please visit Library Services - Summer 2021 for more information.  Laptops, wifi hotspots, and other equipment are available for checkout.


In this guide

This guide is focused on the various resources useful for your social policy research:

Research Tips

Research Tips:

  • Think like a detective. Identifying the specifics about a policy, such as the formal and informal titles, bill or law number, and key individuals and groups that pushed for the policy can be helpful as you look for information across many different types of information sources.
  • If you are researching a newly enacted policy, it is unlikely that the impact has been assessed yet. Typically, research on the impact of a policy will take at least two years to appear. In this case, look for similar policies enacted in other jurisdictions that can reasonably provide useful information about how a policy will unfold. 
  • Be flexible. Policy research involves using many different types of resources and websites, all with their own specific ways of searching.
  • Use CTRL + F to find your topic in lengthy online documents. 

Social Work & Social Sciences Librarian

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Kimberly Pendell
Office hours by appointment
(503) 725-4501

Policy Research Video Tutorial

To skip ahead to specific sections, please refer to the following time stamps:

  • Using different sources for research 0:34
  • Tour of useful resources 1:05
  • Ask a Librarian 1:31
  • Exploring the Social Problem 1:48
  • Exploring Encyclopedias 2:01
  • Data & Statistics 2:58
  • Media & public opinion 4:01
  • Investigating the Policy 5:44
  • Searching bills and laws 5:50
  • Government agency information 7:50
  • Looking for Impact Policy 8:46
  • Think tank & advocacy reports 8:12
  • Finding research articles 10:40
  • Search tips & Conclusion 11:45

Ask a Librarian

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