SW 520 Social Welfare Policy: Home

Library Services for Fall Term 2021

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The Library is open for PSU students, faculty, and staff to access the stacks, study spaces, computer labs, and Learning Center appointments.  Your PSU ID card is required to enter the building.

The Circulation Desk is open for checking out course reserves, laptops, and other equipment, as well as library materials. Currently enrolled students, faculty and staff can request items be mailed to you using the Home Delivery Request Form. More information can be found on the Fall Library Services page.

Get help right away via Ask a Librarian

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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