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Research Guides

Public policy: key government resources

A guide to governmental and grey literature sources for public policy research prepared by Sam-chin Li, University of Toronto Libraries.

United States - General

FDsys: Federal Digital System  

  • 1994+. Some older documents
  • US Government Printing Office's official website for online government information
  • Congress (bills, hearings, laws, etc.).
  • Presidential documents
  • Federal Register
  • GAO reports
  • Supreme Court decisions
  • Education Reports from ERIC (1995-2004) 
  • first stop to find any government information on the Internet
  • portal for the U.S. federal government
  • Indexes individual reports and bills


  • "Simultaneously searches more than 50 federal government publication catalogs, federal library catalogs, and specialized indexes."
  • "Pulls in non-government publications, such as the medical literature indexed in the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed and the millions of items described in the Library of Congress Catalog."

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (GPO)  

  • covers from July 1976
  • primary index to both electronic and print government publications
  • links to full text if available
  • Search for government information from the United States of America
  • searches sites including: *.gov, *.mil

LexisNexis Academic

  • U.S. and World news
  • U.S. federal and state cases
  • World company information


  • replacement of THOMAS (retired on July 5, 2016)
  • official website for U.S. federal legislative information

ProQuest Congressional

  • content goes back to 1789, check content coverage chart
  • Bill text
  • Congressional Record
  • Congressional Print, Hearings
  • Congressional Research Service (CRS) report
  • Serial Set

U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817 -1994  (Readex)

Congressional Research Service Reports website

  • public policy research section of the United States congress
  • also called "the nation's think tank"
  • produces hundreds of in-depth reports for congress


Budget of the U.S. Government (

Budget of the United States Government  

  • annual documents that describes of the president's budget plans for the coming fiscal year
  • online (1996+)

Budget justifications, Budget in Brief, Departmental Annual Performance Plans & Reports

Budget and Economic Outlook 

Economic Report of the President  


GAO Reports and Comptroller General Decisions  

  • 1991 - 2008
  • current
  • by topic
  • by agency
  • is frequently referred to as a "watchdog" or auditing agency for the entire federal government
  • contains reports ("blue books") on audits, surveys, investigations, and evaluations of Federal programs conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • includes all published reports, testimonies, correspondence, and special publications
  • restricted or classified products are not included

Cost Estimates for bills (Congressional Budget Office)

  •  nonpartisan assessments for proposed new law for economic consequences

U.S. Government Information: Accountability offices (Libguide, UC San Diego)


  • from Turuman to current
  • some Review Directives included


Policy areas (

  • 1973+

Public Policy: (Congress Collection: CQ Press)

Public Affairs Collection (CQ Press)

Policy Issues (US. Department of State)  

Statements of Administration Policy  


  • U.S. foreign and domestic policy papers and gray literature

American Policy Directory (University of Oregon)

Foreign Relations

Foreign Relations: Declassified documents, Department of State documents and more

Public Opinion

iPOLL Databank (Roper Center): question-level database of US public opinion. (Restricted to UT IP addresses, individual user registration required)

Grey Literature

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