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Washington Program in National Issues

Each of the following resources is a good starting point for finding out about possible policy issues, getting ideas for narrowing your topic, learning what is happening regarding that issue currently and discovering who the players are.

Selected Free Listings of Public Interest/Public Policy Web Sites

Compiled and maintained by a librarian at California State University, Chico, this site provides an annotated listing of web sites for "cause lobbyists" (the site defines a "cause lobbyist" as an advocate for or against a particular cause like environmentalism or feminism). The site is arranged topically.

This specific section of the Project Vote Smart site features an annotated list of Think Tanks and other policy-influencing organizations. The Project Vote Smart site also offers a comprehensive database about thousands of candidates and elected officials for President, Congress, Governors and State Legislators.

This site, compiled and maintained by one of the librarians at Vanderbilt University, offers a comprehensive listing of resources dealing with public policy issues, as well as foreign policy and relations and other political science topics. Arranged topically.

Selected Free Government Web Sites and Resources

This is an excellent gateway to economic and population census data. Data are available for download, in customizable tables or in thematic mapped. The site provides access data from the Decennial Censuses, the Economic Censuses, and the American Community Survey.

This directory from the LSU Libraries allows users to search by keyword or to locate an agency by browsing the structure of the federal government. All three branches of the federal government are represented.

Directory of institutions participating in the Federal Depository Library Program.

More than 70 agencies in the United States Federal Government produce statistics of interest to the public. The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this site to provide easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by these agencies for public use.

The Library of Congress hosts this site for congressional material. The legislative material goes back to at least 1989 with Public Laws available from 1973 to the present. Thomas also hosts the Congressional Record from 1989 to the present. Schedules for both houses of Congress are available as well.

This is the U.S. government's official portal to federal and state information online. It offers a subject directory as well as a search engine that will search federal, state, or a particular state' s web sites.

Kent State University Resources

Try these first

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Congressional Research Service Reports (2004 - Current)
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides members of Congress, committees, and congressional staff with nonpartisan and objective research and analysis on all public policy issues. This tool provides keyword access and full-text to CRS reports produced since 2004.

CQ Researcher (1923 - Current)
Offers a balanced overview of contemporary political and social issues. Each report includes background information, both sides of the debate surrounding the issue, and suggested resources to consult for further information.

CQ Weekly (1983 - Current)
This weekly publication from Congressional Quarterly (CQ) offers expert coverage of the U.S. Congress, including status of bills, votes and amendments, floor and committee activity, backroom maneuvering, and more.

LexisNexis Academic
Use this resource to find federal and state case law and legislative materials, law reviews, transcripts from the major news services, and the full-text of newspapers for the past 20 years. For information about Countries, click Business and use the Country Analysis link -- this section includes the PRS Group Country Reports which provide information about a country's political, economic, demographic and social structures. Updates and coverage vary with section.

PAIS (1972 - Current)
Use this resource to find articles which focus on public policy and the economic aspects of political science.

ProQuest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional)
Brings together a vast amount of information published by and about Congress including bills, laws, regulations, hearings, and committee reports to name only a few. Many of the documents are available full text. Update and coverage varies with section.

Washington Information Directory Online
Washington Information Directory Online provides verified and updated mailing addresses, phone and fax numbers, e-mail and Web site addresses, contact names, and descriptions for 10,000 federal government offices, regulatory agencies, congressional committees, judicial offices, public interest groups, nongovernmental organizations, and international organizations.

Also recommended

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Academic Search Complete
Indexes numerous titles in political science and related fields. Many of the articles are available full-text.

Congress and the Nation Online (1945 - 2004)
Congress and the Nation has been the definitive resource for researchers studying the actions of the U.S. Congress. The online edition series combines the same content from the print volumes with a number of electronic features and functionality to make navigating this immense amount of content a smooth experience.

CQ's Politics in America Online (1999 - Current)
CQ Politics in America Series offers comprehensive, nonpartisan commentary and data about members of Congress. Detailed member profiles provide concise insight and candid analysis of personalities, political styles, legislative agendas, political ambitions, and reputations at home and on the Hill.

Historical Statistics of the United States Millennial Edition Online
Historical Statistics of the United States (HSUS) is the standard source for the quantitative facts of American history. HSUS provides data on social, behavioral, humanistic, and natural sciences including history, economics, government, finance, sociology, demography, education, law, natural resources, climate, religion, international migration, and trade - quantitative facts of American History. The fully searchable and downloadable electronic edition permits users to graph individual tables and create customized tables and spreadsheets reflecting their own particular areas of interest.

LexisNexis State Capital
Provides access to state government information, including legislative information (status of bills, full text of bills, legislative calendars), state statutes, full text of state regulations, information about state legislators and their staffs, and news sources for information on state issues for all 50 states.

Polling the Nations
Use this resource to learn the responses to 400,000 questions from 14,000 surveys/public opinion polls conducted from 1986-present in the U.S. and 80 other countries. Topics of questions asked include political opinion. Information provided includes the question, how the poll was conducted, where the poll was conducted and the response percentages.

Readers' Guide Full Text (1890 - Current)
Reader's Guide covers general-interest periodicals published in the United States. Full text is provided for 215 magazines back to 1994; indexing or abstracts available for 360 magazines back to 1890.

Supreme Court Yearbook Online (1989 - Current)
The Supreme Court Yearbook provides valuable in-depth coverage and analysis of every decision from the nation's highest court, including case summaries of every opinion written during each Supreme Court term, essays on the most significant cases from each year and the trends in each term, as well as useful tables and figures on voting patterns and trends in constitutional law.

U.S. Serial Set (1789 - Current)
This collection of government publications captures key aspects of American life from the early 19th century onward - from agriculture, to westward expansion, scientific exploration, politics, international relations, business and manufacturing. It is a key resource for early American history, and continues to serve as a source for legislative and Congressional history today.

U.S. Statutes at Large (1789 - Current)
This site searches the United States Statutes At Large, from 1789 to present. Statutes can be located by keyword searching, statute number, public law number or by Chapter and Congress. Full-text is available.

This is the U.S. government's official portal to federal and state information online. It offers a subject directory as well as a search engine that will search federal, state, or a particular state' s web sites.

Vital Statistics on American Politics Online
Vital Statistics on American Politics is a rich and authoritative resource of data offering more than 230 tables and charts covering the full spectrum of American politics dating back to 1788, including: congressional and gubernatorial elections; party competition at the national, regional, and state levels; public approval of the president, Congress, and the two major political parties; the federal budget and the national debt; and election information.

You may also try

You need to connect to the Kent State VPN to access the research databases listed on this page. Click this button for instructions. OhioLINK Authentication users can ignore this alert.
Electronic Journal Center (OhioLINK)
Full-text coverage of selected journals in all scholarly areas, including political science. This site is searchable.

Offers full-text of historical journals in political science and related fields. Coverage starts with the first issue of most titles and usually goes until 3-5 years of the present.

To see if a specific journal is available in full-text online, try the Journal Finder.