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 SWK 440: Social Welfare Policy & Issues - Spring 2014

Choose Your Policy

CQ Researcher - topical articles on policy issues

Encyclopedia of Social Work

Maine State Agencies

Maine Newsstand - full-text access to some Maine newspapers

Finding Background on Policy

The above refers to ways to find the actual policy - the primary source.  For interpretation of the policy, historical background, and implementation effects, you need to find secondary sources of information.  These can include books, Reference materials, news items, magazine articles, scholarly journal articles, and law review articles.

URSUS - for books and Reference materials

PAIS - an index to many kinds of policy-related materials

Social Services Abstracts - an index to articles in some Social Work journals, as well as related fields


Other possible sources:

Social Work Abstracts - indexes most of the journals in the field (limited to four users at once)

Academic Search Complete - a general, full-text index to magazines & journals

LexisNexis Academic>Search By Content Type: News - full-text newspapers
Also, the Search By Content Type: Legal section includes law reviews

Request (click for a demo) allows you to order books from other Maine libraries

Article Linker allows you to automatically check URSUS for electronic and/or print subscriptions in Academic Search, Social Services Abstracts, & PAIS International

Interlibrary Loan - use for journal articles we do not have access to

Finding the Specific Policy You Need

Once you know your policy topic, what kind of policy is it: is it a law? a court case? a regulation?  Then you need to know what body formulated the policy: U.S.Congress? Maine District Court? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services?

Once you have these answers, then you can choose a search tool:

ProQuest Congressional - Access to federal bills, laws, hearings, reports

LexisNexis Academic>Search By Content Type: Legal>- for federal & state court cases, and state statures & regulations

 United States Law Guide

Maine Law Guide

Citation Information

Correctly formatted citations are important tools so researchers can build on what other folks have already learned. Here are some sources to help you with this skill.

APA Style Manual - print, at the Help Desk in the computer area on the 1st floor of the Library

APA Style Guide to Electronic References (pdf)

APA Formatting & Style Guide - Purdue Online Writing Lab

The Bluebook - for legal citation in APA format, this is in print at the Help Desk

Citing Legal Materials (APA Style) - California State University, Stanislaus

Still Unsure...?

There are lots of ways to get help.  First, try the Help Desk - you can come in, call us at 581-1673, or use the Ask-a-Librarian chat or email service.

Nancy Lewis is the Social Work Librarian; you can send her an email on FirstClass ( or call her at 581-3613 to set up an appointment.

Created by: | Revised: 02/24/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469