Skip Navigation

SWK 530: Bridging Course in Social Welfare Policy - Summer 2014

Finding current information

CQ Researcher - This is a full-text magazine with detailed overviews on specific policy issues.

Google - You can find a lot of information using Google, but will need to use careful evaluation.  I also recommend using the site: command in your searches.

 Finding scholarly information

   For interpretation, historical background, and implementation effects of a policy, you need to find secondary sources of information.  The best analysis usually comes from materials written by scholars, or experts, and published either through a editorial review process, such as books published by academic publishers, or  a peer-review process, used by many scholarly journals.

  • URSUS - The catalog is the place to look for books, both print and electronic.  You may order books not at your physical location to be sent to your local campus/center library; to do this click on the Request button.  You will be asked for your last name and barcode (on the back of your MaineCard).

  • Social Services Abstracts - This covers some Social Work journals, as well as other journals in the social sciences; Article Linker is used.

  • PAIS - This is a public policy database that indexes journals, reports, and some U.S. government publications; Article Linker is used.


Request (click for a demo) allows you to order books to be sent to Fogler from other URSUS libraries.

Article Linker (click for a demo) allows you to check for access to journal articles. 

Interlibrary Loan - use for sources you can't access through Fogler

Finding Government Information

To find a government policy itself, first, make sure you know what kind of policy it is: is it a law? a court case? a regulation?  Then you need to know what body formulated the policy: U.S. Congress?  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? These are sites that can assist in finding the actual policy, your primary source.

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

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

LexisNexis Academic - Use the Search By Content Type box to search for full text federal & state court cases; analysis is provided for U.S. Supreme Court cases

You can also search for U.S. government reports using the Advanced Search function of URSUS.  However, if you are working with a specific federal law, I recommend starting with ProQuest Congressional.

Citation Information

You are required to use the American Psychological Association citation style.  While we have the APA Style Manual and The Bluebook (used for legal citations) at the Help Desk in Fogler, here are some links to provide assistance:

APA Formatting & Style Guide   (Purdue Online Writing Lab)

APA Style Guide to Electronic References (pdf)

Bluebook Examples   (New England Law)

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: 06/05/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
© Copyright 2000-2014
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469