Political science, governance, and international affairs: Public policy & administration (SPIA)
This subject guide for public administration and policy identifies principal resources for most research in the field at Virginia Tech.
Resources listed on this landing page are grouped into Essential databases for accessing scholarly literature in the field; Background information sources; Contact information for the subject librarian; and access to tabs identifying Additional information.
Parts of this guide are also available in Bruce Pencek's other subject guides: Data sources for social research; News/journalism/streaming media; Advice for searching/citing/engaging scholarly literatures; and Accessing VT Library resources from off campus.
Essential: most literature-searching will start here
- Public Administration Abstracts from EBSCOhostPublic Administration Abstracts indexes citations and abstracts of articles from public administration journals. 1974-present.
- ProQuest One BusinessExpanding on the former ABI/Inform, ProQuest One Business is an important source for scholarship and the trade press about management of public and nonprofit organizations, organization theory, organization behavior, and other areas where social science intersects business. ProQuest One Buseinss indexes citations, abstracts, and full text news articles, market, industry reports, country reports, downloadable data sets, dissertations, business cases, working papers, annual reports from North American companies, and company profiles and histories. You can limit searches to peer-reviewed journals. Full text provided in HTML and PDF. 1971-present
- Policy CommonsPolicy Commons is a global portal to "gray literature" -- research publications such as reports, briefs, analyses, working papers, and datasets done to academic standards but not peer-reviewed -- produced by university research centers, "think tanks," consultancies, government agencies, inter- and non-governmental agencies, advocacy and interest groups, and more. Often problem-centered and solution-oriented, these publications can fill the gap between journalism and traditional scholarly publications.
- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts from ProQuestWorldwide Political Science Abstracts indexes citations and abstracts from journal articles, books, essays, book reviews, working papers, technical reports, theses, and dissertations in the social sciences related to politics. You can limit to peer-reviewed sources. 1975-present.
- HeinOnline PortalHeinOnline provides full-text PDF legal documents organized into "libraries," notably including Law Journals (something like a JSTOR for law reviews: ABA, Core US, Criminal Justice, International, Intellectual Property); Legal Classics; US Code; US Statutes at Large; US Federal Legislative History; Code of Federal Regulations; Federal Register; US Presidential; US Treaties and Agreements; World Constitutions Illustrated. Topical collections include Women and the Law, Pentagon Papers, and Slavery in America and the World. Some Canadian, UK, continental European content. 1200s-present.
- VoxGovVoxGov is an interesting application of “big data” to tracking the outputs – traditional documents and also official social media -- of persons and agencies of the US government. Coverage of some official print outputs extends back to the late 1970s. The content is updated every 15 minutes. Visualizations are simple but effective. The advanced search interface gives a sense of the scope of coverage and the many dimensions for filtering and comparing the data. You can also browse by policy categories, compare members of Congress, and track outputs from the last presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections.
- GPO Monthly Catalog The catalog for US government publications. Covers all types of US government documents, including congressional reports, hearings, debates, and records; judiciary materials; and documents issued by executive departments (Office of the President, Defense, State, Labor, etc.). Includes a bibliographic citation in each record. 1976-present. For earlier federal publications, see Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications 1895-1976 database (VT only). To discover and access federal information more broadly, see GPO's free govinfo.gov (which replaces the old
- O’Reilly Safari Learning Platform: Academic EditionO’Reilly Safari Learning Platform: Academic Edition provides over 38,000 full-text ebooks (in HTML) from many publishers and 30,000 hours of videos in computer science, information technology, and business -- including nonprofit and public management. Discovery Search identifies O’Reilly ebooks, but you must sign in with a vt.edu email address to access content.
With a personal account you can download ebooks through the O'Reilly mobile app. When creating your personal account and password, you can ignore the non-required fields about major and graduation date.
Background and reference sources
- National Academy of Public Administration StudiesNAPA produces a number of reports and publications resulting from its dialogues, working papers, management studies, and forum results, Searchable and browseable.
- SAGE Knowledge: Politics & International Relations Reference ebooks from major publisher of research works and textbooks in social sciences. Expandable menu directs you to works in most major subfields of the discipline.
- CQ Press Electronic Library CQ Press Electronic Library allows searching across multiple CQ Press ebooks, periodicals, and analytical reports on all aspects of American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs. Major document types included are court case summaries, chronologies, floor votes in Congress, election analyses, legislative analyses, maps, and primary sources. Most full-text content is presented as HTML web pages, though tables and PDFs are also included. 1700s-present.
- SAGE Research Methods OnlineAllows you to explore the concepts and mechanics of social research to design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct research, and write up your findings. With its focus on methodology rather than disciplines and sophisticated search options, SRMO can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more. Incorporates full-text content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and articles. SRMO incorporates specially commissioned instructional materials illustrating the application of particular methodologies:
- sample cases,
- practice datasets.
- International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2d ed) by Comprises over 3,900 articles, commissioned by 71 section editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes; more than 80 percent of the chapters are new or updated since the original text. Both its format and integrated chapters encourage discovery and map contexts and connections within the social and behavioral sciences. Some experts prefer the first edition (2001).ISBN: 9780080970868Publication Date: 2015
Temporary, trial access only -- use while you can
The University Libraries at Virginia Tech regularly secure short-term, trial access to online resources in order to gauge their appropriateness to our university's teaching and research missions. These trials run in October, February, and sometimes April.
Trials are listed in a sidebar in the main Databases A-Z directory.
Each entry includes a link to a user survey. I and other subject librarians invite you to email us your detailed assessments of resources. Responses from the Virginia Tech community are vital to the library's deliberations about whether and when to acquire or enhance databases and the like.
As appropriate I will list trials and user survey links a resource trials tab in this and my other libguides. Entries for trials I may include in the body of my libguides will go away when the trial period ends.
Social Sciences & History Librarian
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Email is the best way to contact me with questions or appointment requests.
Office hours (walk-in and/or Zoom): T 1-3:00 pm, W-Th 2-4:00 pm (Eastern time), and by appointment.
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Interlibrary Loan Services
All current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, regardless of your location, may request through ILLiad for materials:
- not owned by Virginia Tech (books, articles from journals and conference proceedings, book chapters, standards, and technical papers)
- owned by Virginia Tech but are unavailable for use (print books)
- owned by Virginia Tech and available in print (scans of articles from journals and conference proceedings, book chapters, standards, and technical papers)
We ship requests via UPS to users outside the immediate Blacksburg area (Montgomery, Giles and Pulaski counties).
Articles, book chapters, and many technical papers are delivered in PDF format to your ILLiad account. Occasionally, due to copyright restrictions, a paper copy of an article or standard is held for your at the Newman User Services Desk or sent o the mailing address listed on your account.