Use this guide to identify a policy or issue and find sources for your policy papers.
You'll need to use a variety of sources to provide context and to support the conclusions and recommendations you are making.
If you have any questions or get stuck during your search, don't hesitate to reach out - email Kayla, the Social Work Librarian.
Start by finding out the basics about your topic and it's context within the field of social work and social policy.
Background information provides a general overview of a research topic including important terms and concepts, relevant demographic data, dates of specific events, and more. Background information can also help you identify specialized vocabulary and keywords that you can use to create a search string to locate relevant sources.
Use a Google Site Search to limit the results to a specific domain or URL extension. This can help you easily identify government and organization websites related to your topic.
Google Site Search allows you to limit the results to a specific site or domain extension. Put "site:" in front of a site or domain extension to narrow the results. Don't forget to include your keywords or search terms before the "site:"!
site:.gov searches government websites
site:.edu searches educational websites
site:.org searches non-profit organizations
site:.com searches commercial websites
Example search: chronic illness site:.gov
Use Boolean Operators as a way to narrow or broaden your search:
AND: use to combine different concepts or keywords; each result will contain all search terms
Example: race AND libraries
OR: use to connect similar concepts or keywords; each result will contain at least one of the search terms
Example: medicine OR health
NOT: use to exclude words or concepts; tells the database to ignore concepts implied by your search
Example: technology NOT database
Parentheses ( ): place around related terms to search for more than one group of keywords
Example: (teaching OR education) AND race
Asterisk *: use at the end of a keyword to search words that start with the same letters
Example: education AND librar*