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Master of Public Administration & Master of Urban Leadership: Welcome New Grad Students!

Resource guide for MPA/ULD students

Urban Affairs Librarian

Profile Photo
Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Lied Library
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 457014
Las Vegas, NV 89154-7014


Welcome to the Master of Public Administration/Master of Urban Leadership Library Research Guide!


Welcome from UNLV Libraries!

In order to access the online resources through the UNLV Libraries, please log on with your Ace Account.

To begin, view the UNLV Libraries tutorials at this by clicking here.

Need more help?   Contact your librarian, Susie Skarl at

The Inquiry Process

MPA & Urban Leadership-Related Databases

Learn Effective Database Search Strategies


Learn Effective Database Search Strategies


  (The following are suggestions to improve your search results)



Use different search terms or key words

a.       Try using other words to describe your topic, it will give you better results. 

b.       Examples: urban and leadership, cities and administration, leadership and nonprofit

 Truncation or wildcard (*)

a.       This will locate alternate endings for your search term.

b.       Example - lead* to find leaders, leader, leadership, etc.

c.       Note: Some databases use different symbols; consult the help page for the correct symbol

 Try different databases

a.       Each database contains unique material, so searching a different database may yield more relevant research.

 Help page

a.       Each database has a page with tips to help you effectively search that resource.

Choosing & Narrowing Your Topic

You will have to narrow down your research topic whether the topic comes from your professor or you choose it yourself. You may know the aspect of a topic you want to research; however, if you need help with this, below are some tips on how to do this.

For example, you have to write a paper on high school dropouts; there are various aspects of this issue to write about. To narrow down this topic, ask the basic questions:

  • Who? - Race, ethnicity, age, gender, students, etc.
  • What? - Social issues, ethical considerations, medical concerns, discrimination, etc.
  • When? - Historical overview, current developments, future progress, etc.
  • Where? - Regional, nationally, workplace, college, etc.

By applying one or two questions, you can narrow down your topic.

If you are still having trouble narrowing down your topic, search the internet to see what is being discussed. At this point, you are not looking for resources. You are just looking on the web to generate ideas for your research topic.

UNLV Libraries Data & Statistics Portal

To obtain official data sources on Google, remember to type in after your keywords. Search example: "teen pregnancy statistics"

Use Time-saving Library Services

Use Time-saving Library Services

UNLV Interlibrary Loan: Use this account to get articles, books, and other resources from our interlibrary loan system that are not available through UNLV Libraries for free by clicking HERE to set up an account. 

Google Scholar is a subset of Google that is designed to search for academic and scholarly articles and books online.

Follow UNLV Libraries on Twitter & Like Us on Facebook: For library news, research assistance, schedules, resource updates, and more, follow us on Twitter: @unlvlibraries  & Like Us on Facebook.

Suggest a Purchase for the UNLV Libraries: Do you have a suggestion for an item that we should add to the library collections?  Click here to make your request.

UNLV Graduate Workshops: Check out the wide variety of workshops we will be having throughout the semester for grads!

Research Consultations: If you would like to schedule a time that is convenient for your schedule to discuss your research, please contact me at or 702-895-2141.




What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic software package that enables you to:

  • Organize your research
  • Create a bibliography in a variety of citation styles, including APA, MLA and Chicago
  • Import references from many data sources
  • Create bibliographies in different document formats (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.)
  • Include citations while you write your paper

"New" RefWorks Instructions


  • MLA Examples and Guides
  • Models citations in the 7th ed. style
  • BibMe
    Quickly finds and formats citations - no login required.
  • RefWorks
    Good for keeping track of lots of citations. Creates APA, MLA and many other style bibliographies.

Tips for Searching on Google Scholar

A note about Google Scholar . . . 

Although Google Scholar contains many resources, it does not contain access to all relevant resources for hospitality research.  Researchers are strongly encouraged to look at the additional resources mentioned above to conduct a thorough literature review.  You do not need to purchase articles via Google Scholar many are available for through the UNLV Libraries or via Interlibrary Loan.

For help connecting to UNLV Libraries' resources through Google Scholar see the following.




Leadership-Related Journals

Sage Research Planner

Sage Research Methods--Project Planner 

Online Movies & Streaming Videos

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