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Public Policy and Leadership

Resources and information for the UNLV School of Public Policy and Leadership, including Public Administration, Urban Studies, Nonprofit Management, Public Management, and Urban Leadership


Welcome to the Master's & Doctoral Public Policy Resource Guide!


Please register your Rebel Card at this link to check-out materials from the UNLV Libraries.

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

Sign up for Interlibrary Loan at this link. (Click on First Time Users to set up account.

Need more help?   Contact your librarian, Susie Skarl at

The Inquiry Process


Public Policy-Related Databases

Sage Research Policy Planner

Learn Effective Database Searching Strategies

Learn Effective Database Search Strategies

  (The following are suggestions to improve your search results)

Use different search terms or key words

  1. Try using other words to describe your topic, it will give you better results. 
  1. Examples: urban and leadership, cities and administration, metropolitan

 Truncation or wildcard (*)

  1. This will locate alternate endings for your search term.
  1. Example - gov* to find government, governments, governmental, etc.
  1. Note: Some databases use different symbols; consult the help page for the correct symbol

 Try different databases

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

 Help page

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

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.


Finding Federal, State, and Local Government Information

Using Google: Type in your keywords then add to limit your results to government-related resources. 
Example: "no child left behind"

Think Tanks

A 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.


  • Think Tank Search--Harvard: From Harvard's Kennedy School of Government library; custom Google search + list of hundreds of US and international think tanks.

Think tanks are defined by the above as institutions affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy groups, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and businesses that generate public policy research, analysis, and activity. 

Tips: Search these selected think tanks by keywords to find research and analysis.
If one seems most relevant to your topic, go to the home page and mine the site for publications, issues, research, and links to other organizations.


  • Brookings: Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.
  • Urban Institute: 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: 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: "Mathematica Policy Research is a pioneering nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving public well-being."
  • MDRC: MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization based in New York City and Oakland, CA.
  • The Human Rights Campaign: "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: "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."
  • Center for Law & Social Policy: "The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advancing policy solutions for low-income people."

Finding Data & Statistics

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

APA Style Resources

Other Resources:

Resources for APA 6th Edition (Old Edition as of 2020):

Journal Citation & Analysis Tools

Use the following resources to track citations, including by author, number of articles cited, number of articles published, etc. 

  • Social Sciences Citation Index: The Social Sciences Citation Index ® (SSCI ®) provides access to current and retrospective bibliographic information, author abstracts, and cited references found in over 1,700 of the world's leading scholarly social sciences journals covering more than 50 disciplines.


refworks logo

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

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