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PPY 731/781 (Bruner): Library Guides

Library, government, and think tank resources to assist with research projects.

UNLV Library Research Databases

UNLV Newspaper Databases

Think Tanks

think tank or policy institute is a research institute which performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Although many think tanks claim to be neutral, some may be considered to have a more conservative or a more liberal agenda. For example, the Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank and the Heritage Foundation is considered to be conservative. Be sure to examine the "About the Organization" page, in addition to outside sources to investigate the organization's agenda and their political views.

Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.

he Urban Institute is a Washington D.C.-based think tank that carries out economic and social policy research to "open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions."

RAND's research and analysis address issues that impact people around the world including security, health, education, sustainability, growth, and development.

New America, formerly the New America Foundation, is a non-partisan think tank in the United States. It focuses on a range of public policy issues, including national security studies, technology, asset building, health, gender, energy, education, and the economy.

"Mathematica Policy Research is a pioneering nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving public well-being."

MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization based in New York City and Oakland, CA.

"The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality."

"The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities."

"The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advancing policy solutions for low-income people."

"The Social Work Policy Institute examines issues that relate to the work of social workers, including how to serve people who have multiple or complex needs and how public agencies and other structures deliver health and human services."

An international policy institute, the CSIS focuses on a number of topics including defense and security, governance, technology and global trends.

  • Policy Archive : This collection of public policy research is gathered from sources such as the American Bar Association, the Brookings Institution, the Ford Foudnation, the Institute for Policy Studies, and others. 

Finding Data/Statistics

You can use Google to find statistics published by federal, state, and local agencies by adding to your keywords, such as:

  • "crime statistics"
  • "teen pregnancy statistics"

Finding Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Using RefWorks to Manage Citations/Create Bibliographies

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

Finding Government Information

One of the easiest ways to find government information is via Google: After you type in your keywords, then type:

This will narrow your search to only federal, state, and local government resources.

For example, you could try the following keyword searches:

  • "crime statistics"
  • homeless veterans

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a division of the Library of Congress. They produce analytical, non-partisan reports on topics of interest to members of Congress. In 2018 they stood up a public website for dissemination of their more recent reports, and there are a number of free and subscription sites where you can find current and older CRS reports. You can also request copies from your Congressional Representative.

State Legislature

White Paper Resources

What is a white paper?

A white paper is a document used to inform readers on a particular topic/issue with the intention of using authoritative knowledge and research to argue for a specific solution.

Standard format of a white paper

  • Abstract - overview of main points
  • Problem Statement - explicitly states the issue the paper will address
  • Background - provides the reader with the background information needed to become familiar with the issue being presented
  • Solution - using the gathered evidence present a solution to the issue
  • Conclusion - summarizes major findings
  • References - list of sources used

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
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