Public Policy Research Guide

Librarian Contact

  • Jesse Silva

  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: 218 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

About this Guide

This guide is intended to be a starting point for public policy research.

Connecting from Off Campus?

You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile device using one of two simple methods:

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network.

Unsure How to Start?

If you are unsure about your topic, use OskiCat (UCB Catalog--Does not include Law) to find reference books relating to your topic.  A reference book will provide a high-level overview and/or background on your topic, as well as citations to get you started.

Tips:

Try your search (you can limit to the above locations once you see results by changing the dropdown menu for location).

Want to try a new database? Use Reference Universe to find chapters in reference books at UCB, with links to the catalog so you can find the book.

Library Hours

Hours on: 
Enter as mm/dd/yy 

For: 


To select individual libraries/units, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking.

Campus Library Map

Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.

Article Databases for Public Policy

Below are selected databases most useful in finding academic/scholarly articles for your topic.  For a more complete list of the article databases, see the full list of Public Policy Article Databases at UCB.

Find Books, Journal Titles, and More

Use OskiCat or Melvyl to Find books or Journal Titles (not articles) to see if UCB or UC has the journal. If UCB does not have it, you can request the book/article though the request feature in Melvyl.  Allow 1 week+ for the item not at UCB to be available for pickup.

Google Books

Why use Google Books? Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  You can then use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.Try it now:

Google Book Search

UC-eLinks

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database isa bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

Find eBooks

The Library offers over 100 e-book and e-text collections in specific subject areas. E-books in collections marked * are also available through OskiCat and Melvyl. You can limit your search in OskiCat to "Available online," and in Melvyl to "Online resources."

Public Policy Research Organizations

More Policy Research Organizations

Public Policy Institute of California
Dedicated to improving the quality of public policy decisionmaking in California, the Public Policy Institute of California provides high quality research and broad outreach programs to a wide range of California-specific topics.  Data, reports, and surveys on California policy issues can be found here.

Policy Archive
Free, online research library of over 30,000 reports covering public policy across the United States.  Browse by subject or search by keyword. 

 

Government Information

This is a partial listing of the government information databases provided by the Library.  For a fuller list, please visit the Government Information pages.

Data and Statistics

These links will guide you to various sources for statistics and data.  If you are interested in manipulating a dataset on your own, please visit the Doe Library's Data Lab in 189 Doe.

News Resources

Here are some general news and newsmedia databases.  For a full listing of the Library's news resources, check this list.

Blogs for Public Policy

Blogs provide opinions and/or news from a particular agency or organization and breadcrumb link trails to other sites that you may not have already thought about pursuing to develop an area of policy or current events in which you have a focused interest.  Here are a few suggested blogs to visit

Rose Report - news and commentary from the the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, Claremont McKenna College.

Capitol Roundup-More provocative daily commentary and links from the editors of Capitol Weekly and AroundtheCapitol.com.

Rough and Tumble-More of a daily news digest than a blog, but extremely useful in tracking the events and people that California's major newspapers are covering.

Calitics-A very irreverent and smart-alecky progressive California politics weblog.

Google Research Tools

Google Scholar is an easy way to do interdisciplinary research, and with some settings changes can become even more useful.  You need a Google account to use these features.

Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it.  New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.

Open Scholar.  Click on scholar preferences [next to the search box]. Under Library Links, enter the word Berkeley.  Choose up to three database providers we subscribe to: Full Text@IngentaConnect; UC eLinks; and Read article via OCLC.

Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.

Google Search Tips, Tricks and Hacks

One of the largest hurdles of using Google is the amount you must weed through.  Some searches result in thousands of pages; who has time to go through all that?  You dont need to.  Did you know you can manipulate a regular Google search with a couple hacks to your search.  Its true!  Try these search "tricks" during your next google search.

You can also combine some of these search hacks, such as adding -site:nytimes.com to remove results from the New York Times website.  More search tricks can be found here.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Contact Jesse Silva

Jesse Silva
jsilva@library.berkeley.edu
510-768-7613

Citation Linker

Have a citation? Use Citation Linker to go directly to the article.

Get immediate access to journal articles, books and other publications (or request them when they are not available) by entering a title and other citation information.

Read more

Contact Julie Lefevre

Julie Lefevre
jlefevre@library.berkeley.edu

510-643-6445

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

linked chat widget image

Related Subject Guides

Related Course Guides

comment
Subscribe to RSS RSS Feed
add to bookmark Bookmark This

Go To Full Version