Remember: Be cautious about the date of encyclopedia entries - they will often be 10 years old or more. Use them for foundational information - not current, up-to-date policy specifics. Subject-specific encyclopedias are written by experts to familiarize novice researchers with different aspects of the topic or problem, including affected populations and practice implications.
Creating a search strategy begins with mapping out or identifying the key components of your topic or research question. Use this handout to brainstorm potential keywords that you can use in your search string.
Databases are useful for locating background information, identifying how the policy is being implemented, and the scholarly perspective of the issue, law, or policy. Topics in social work often overlap with other subject areas and disciplines. It may be useful to search within a multidisciplinary database to gain a complete picture of the policy or issue.
The list below is NOT COMPREHENSIVE and is intended as a starting point.