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Public Policy

Guide to public policy research

PLCY 400 - Brown - Spring 2024

Use keywords from your project descriptions.

Don't forget to check the main tabs for details:
google  tips- use site:gov or site:org
especially when you are seeking to see what other states/cities/towns.. are doing to address the issues

CRS Reports - use the Congressional Publications database or google using your keywords and add - crs reports

Newspaper Articles:
Nexis Uni
National Newspapers Core (Washington Post / WSJ / Baltimore Sun)

So Important:
citation chasing - following references - backwards and forwards 
this is the best way to build your bibliography
Follow up on the references and then go to google scholar to see who has cited the original publication

manage citations - use a citation management tool to keep track of your sources

keep track of the databases and searches you use
save yourself time by keeping track so you do not duplicate your work

searching multiple databases - search mulitple EbscoHost databases together 
searching multile databases - search multiple ProQuest databases together

For many of your topics - you might want/need to search ALL the Ebsco databses at once   

Ebsco tip: too many results? add more keywords / change search field to AB Abstract / Limit to United states = "united states" or usa or u.s. and change search field to AB Abstract
Location = "united sates" or usa or u.s. = AB Abstract
In the filters (left-hand side) - Click on Geography - click on more and then choose all the us entries

Proquest tip: change search field from Anywhere to - Anywhere except full text / Abstract / filter = Location = United States or "united states" or usa or u.s. = Abstract

Web of Science tip: change search field from All Fields to Topic

Identify one or two relevant articles - check the abstract / subject words and incorporate into your search if necessary

Remember - you will always retrieve documents that are not relevant! 

Please email me with any questions

Ebsco databases:
Academic Search Complete, Business Source, Regional Business News, APA PsycInfo, MasterFile Premier, Criminal Justice Abstracts, SocINDEX, Urban Studies Abstracts, eBook Colelction, eBook Comprehensive

Proquest databases:
PAIS, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Proquest Dissertations & Theses, Sociological Abstracts

Possible search strategy:
metro or subway or "public transportation"
safety or safe
pedestrian* or bike* or bicycle* or crime

Can Add:
accident* or crash* or incident*
Maryland - change search field to AB Abstracts = only 4 and most in WPOST = except if you add the accident set


metro pedestrian* safe* maryland site:gov
metro pedestrian* safe* maryland site:org



Ebsco databases:
Academic Search Ultimate, Business Source, Regional Business News, MasterFILE Premier, AGricola


Proquest databases:


Web of Science
"clean water act"
policy or policies
local or state*


Possible search strategy
"clean water act"
Maryland - AB Abstract (Ebsco) 

Nexis Uni
1. "clean water act" /s Maryland
2. Possibly: change from News to -  A Publication 
In the far right box, start typing in University Wire and then click on the entry
search = "clean water act" /p student* /p (engagement or participation or program or volunteer)


National Newspapers Core
"clean water act" N/5 Maryland

"clean water act" maryland site:org
"clean water act" maryland site:gov

If need articles to identify programs used to help small businesses

Academic Search Ultiamte, Busienss Source, Regional Business News, EconLIT, MasterFILE Premier

Possible search strategies:
"small business*" or "small firms" or "small enterprise*" or "small compan*"
"community development" or revitalization
"Community Development Financial Institution"


Nexis Uni
"Community Development Financial Institution" /p maryland /p "prince georges" = only 1 relevant


Entrepreneurship page from VBIC - the Business Guide Portal


"Community Development Financial Institution" maryland site:gov
"Community Development Financial Institution" maryland site:org
maryland blueline corridor site:org
maryland blueline corridor site:gov
maryland blueline "prince george's" site:gov
maryland blueline "prince george's" site:org


Need help developing a survey:
Sage Research Methods



All the databases!

PAIS, Proquest Dissertations & Theses, Sociological ABstracts, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, ARTbibliographies Modern, International Bibliography of Art

Web of Science

Possible search strategies:
"creative placemaking"
"civic engagement" or "political participation" or activism or volunteerism
"creative placemaking"
"urban planning"

Nexis Uni
"creative placemaking" /p "urban planning"
"creative placemaking" /p ("civic engagement" or "political participation" or activism or volunteerism)

National Newspapers Core
"creative placemaking" and "urban planning"
"creative placemaking" and ("civic engagement" or "political participation" or activism or volunteerism)
If too many results - use N/5 or another number to get the words closer together

"creative placemaking" "urban planning" site:org
"creative placemaking" "urban planning" site:gov