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POSC 130g: Law, Politics, and Public Policy

Subject-Specific Databases

Below are research databases arranged under broad categories. Consider the underlying subjects of the Supreme Court case you have chosen to study that would be investigated by scholars in a particular discipline. Search the appropriate database to locate additional research that examines the impact and consequences of a particular case beyond what can be found in ProQuest


Databases that offer the opportunity to understand and contemplate the implications of policy or judicial decisions through the eyes of those most impacted by those decisions and from alternative perspectives.

  • Alternative Press Index -- a database with links to the full-text of more than 368,000 journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 300 international alternative, radical, and leftist periodicals. There is a separate Alternative Press Archive dating back to 1969.
  • Chicano Database -- focuses on the Mexican-American and Chicano experience, and the broader Latino experience of Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and Central American immigrants since 1992. Covers Chicano/a art, education, folklore, health. history, labor, language and literature, music, politics, public policy, religion, sociology, and women's studies.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch -- includes current and archival coverage of newspapers, magazines and journals from ethnic and minority presses. Very important database for gaining a perspective and an understanding the perspectives of underrepresented groups and minorities.
  • GenderWatch -- a full-text database that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas. Publications include academic and scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, books, booklets and pamphlets, conference proceedings, and government, NGO and special reports.
  • LGBT Life -- key resource to the world's literature regarding Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual issues with coverage that includes traditional academic, lifestyle, and regional publications, as well as non-periodical content such as non-fiction books, bibliographies and dissertations.


These databases access research that relates to business and economics and can help identify research about a particular company or industry impacted by a court decision or administrative rule.

  • ABI/Inform Complete -- articles from leading business journals, magazines, trade publications, and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, covering all aspects of business and the private sector.
  • EconLit -- provides coverage of a wide range research literature related to economics, business economics, and social economics. Covers both theoretical and applied aspects of economics and related disciplines from the social sciences.


Primary databases for investigating how policy decisions and research problems in society are understood through mass media messaging and the use of language.

  • Communication Source -- a comprehensive source of communication-related journal articles, research reports, working papers, and books from a variety of publishers, research institutions, and information centers. Includes not only communication literature but also literature in other disciplines that is relevant to communication researchers.
  • Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts -- accesses the international literature in linguistics and all aspects of the study of language, including descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical, and geographical linguistics. Important database to understanding the use of language in communicating policy.


These databases cover educational research broadly defined and at all levels. Useful if the case or administrative rule applies to or uniquely impacts schools.

  • ERIC -- provides extensive access to educational research and information from journal articles, conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books and monographs.


Databases devoted to the study of environmental issues.

  • Environment Index – a comprehensive database with coverage in applicable areas of ecology, natural resources management, environmental law, public policy, social impact analysis, urban planning, and more from 1973 to the present.
  • Pollution Abstracts – combines information on scientific research and government policies from scholarly journals, conference proceedings, and technical reports. Topics of growing concern are extensively covered from the standpoints of effects on people and animals and environmental action in response to global pollution issues.
  • Water Resources Abstracts -- provides summaries from 1967 to the present of the world's technical, scientific, and public policy literature on water-related topics covering the characteristics, conservation, control, pollution, treatment, use, and management of water resources as well as the legal aspects of water supply, use, control, or management.


Databases that provide access to research conducted by historians.

  • America: History and Life -- database that covers the history of the United States and Canada. It includes key English-language historic journals, selected historic journals from major countries, state and local history journals, and selected relevant journals in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Historical Abstracts -- this database includes key history journals from major countries, as well as relevant selected journals from the social sciences and humanities. Covers world history outside of the United States and Canada. All article summaries [i.e., abstracts] are in English.


Databases that access the literature of disciplines focused on the human condition in practice.

  • AgeLine -- provides coverage of social gerontology, which is the study of aging in psychological, health-related, social, and economic contexts, in journals, books, book chapters, research reports, and dissertations.
  • Child Development and Adolescent Studies -- provides citations to current and historical social and behavioral sciences literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21, including book reviews, abstracts from hundreds of journals, technical reports, books, book chapters, and theses and dissertations.
  • Family Studies Abstracts -- this database includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to family studies, including marriage, divorce, family therapy, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline.
  • Social Services Abstracts -- provides coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development, evaluation research, policy planning and forecasting, support groups/networks, and welfare services.
  • Social Work Abstracts -- summarizes articles in more than 450 English language journals in all areas of social work, including theory and practice, areas of service, social issues, social problems, child and family welfare, legislation, and community organization. Coverage is from 1966 to the present.
  • Violence and Abuse Abstracts -- provides access to articles related to violence and abuse, including family violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline.


Key databases in the field of political science and related disciplines such as public policy and governmental affairs.

  • PolicyFile -- provides full-text access to U.S. foreign and domestic policy papers and gray literature published by a wide variety of think tanks, research institutes, and agencies. PolicyFile is updated weekly with abstracts and links to the latest reports, papers, and documents.
  • Public Administration Abstracts -- provides information on public administration-related publications worldwide covering such areas as administration and economy, administration and politics, administration and society, administrative structures and organization, public and social services, public service personnel, and theory and method.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts -- provides indexing of the international journal literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration and policy. Over 1,700 titles are monitored for coverage and, of these, 67% are published outside of the United States. Essential for obtaining studies about the political aspects of civic engagement.


Databases that help locate additional scholarship about the personal or social impact of a decision or rule.

  • PsycInfo -- abstracting and indexing database with more than three million records devoted to peer-reviewed literature of journal articles, chapters, books, dissertations, and research reports in psychology and the behavioral sciences. Useful for finding research that looks at the affective and personal aspects of being involved in the political process.
  • Sociological Abstracts -- a resource for accessing research in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database draws information from an international selection of over 2,600 journals and other serials publications, plus conference papers, books, and dissertations. Useful for finding research that looks at the group or community aspects of being involved in the political and policy-making process.


Databases devoted to accessing research in religious studies, ethics, and related areas of study.

  • ATLA Religion Index -- a comprehensive database for religious study and research that includes journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays from books representing major religions, faiths, denominations, and languages.
  • Philosopher's Index -- covers worldwide research in all subject areas of philosophy, including ethics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, and material on the philosophy of law.


If the underlying issues of your case or administrative rule have a particular impact on urban centers or people living in cities, this database can help you find additional research.

  • Transportation Research Information Services [TRIS] Online -- contains almost half a million records of references to books, technical reports, conference proceedings, journal articles, and on-going research in the field of transportation.
  • Urban Studies Abstracts -- database contains records gathered from legislative groups, research institutions, public research agencies, universities, and scholars from around the world covering essential areas related to urban studies, including urban affairs, community development, urban history, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. Coverage is from 1973 to the present.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.