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Political Economy of Social Welfare

How Journal Articles Can Be Helpful for Policy Research

  • Find out if researchers have done studies about effects of current policies on your topic?
  • Find out if researchers have done pilot projects on proposed policy changes?
  • Find theoretical articles about pros and cons or ethics of a proposed policy
  • Journal articles will not give you the most current information.  It can take over a year for journal articles to be published.  Search Google for reliable open access and news sources for more current information.  You will not always need to be concerned about finding information that is more recent that one year old; however, if you policy is currently being debated in congress, for example, you would not want to entirely rely on journal articles.

Databases for Journal Articles, Reports, Papers, Etc. on Policy Related Topics

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an open source search tool that spans across many disciplines and sources: it is often a very good resource for finding materials that may not appear in subscription library databases such as reports from professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, research institutes and think tanks, and other scholarly organizations.

Google & Google Scholar Tips & Tricks [pdf]

Search Journals One at a Time

Databases allow you to search many journals at once.  Here, you can search journals one by one.  This may be useful if you have already found out that a particular journal publishes a lot on your topic, or if you know there is a special issue on your topic.  You may access all these e-journals and more through the Hunter College Libraries website, and open the Journals tab