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Political Science 330 Public Policy Analysis: Books & Government Publications

An online course guide for researching government programs as part of policy analysis for POLISCI 330

Search Research@UWW for Books

Search Research@UWW's "Books, Media & more (UW Whitewater)" to find books, ebooks, government documents, videos, etc. on a topic, or to find a specific title or author. Results will be online or physical items in Andersen or Lenox (Rock campus) library collections.

Search Research@UWW's "Books, Media & more (UW System)" if UW-Whitewater's libraries do not have enough material, or if titles you want are checked out from Andersen/Rock libraries. UW-Whitewater students and staff may request materials from other UW campus libraries via the free UW Request service; items should arrive in 2-5 weekdays unless they are not loanable, e.g., non-circulating reference or course reserve items.

Search Google Books for a title to see if there is a preview that shows its table of contents or allows a search for words or phrases within the text. This might show you whether the book has useful information for you. For some titles, all or some of the full text may be readable online.

Research@UWW Search Tips

Most likely you should start with keyword searches:

Put phrases in quotation marks  " "  and use commands like AND, OR, NOT in uppercase and between search terms.

Using the Advanced Search you can change "Any field" to "Subject" to find your search words in subject headings, which can help focus results. However, you won't see titles where your search words only appear in a table of contents or the title, rather than in the subject headings. Usually subject headings are found by looking at items found with keyword searches. Click on a title and look at the subject headings in the "Details" about it. You can click on them, or incorporate them into a revised search. Some suggestions are below:

Some useful subject heading segments you can use as phrases in keyword searches in combination with other search words:

 "law and legislation" (used with topics, e.g., harassment AND "law and legislation")

"legal status"  (used with groups of people, e.g., teachers AND "legal status")

  "government policy"

   "political aspects"

Example search: nutrition AND "government policy"


Results from keyword searches are sorted by relevance, but you can use "Sort by" on the left to change that, or use limiters on the left to limit results to a date range, language, etc. Under Resource Type on the left there may be material other than books, in which case click on Books.

"Available at" vs "Online access" in Books, Media and More

Catalog records describe items and provide information about their availability. In search result lists, "Available at..." indicates a print copy of a book (or another tangible form, such as DVD). "Online access" indicates an online item, such as an ebook or streaming video. Click "Online access" to display links to get to the item online. In either case, clicking the title and then "Details" will show additional information, such as subject headings and sometimes a table of contents.

screenshots of search results showing Available at, aka tangible, versus Online titles

Catalog record detail with link to ebook full text under View Online

Federal Documents' Classification Numbers

Federal (U.S.) documents in print format or mifrcofiche format are arranged on the shelf in a specific order:

By CLASSIFICATION NUMBERS (Superintendent of Documents, or SuDocs numbers) in the Federal (U.S.) Documents

  • In general, they start with letter(s) from the agency name, e.g., A = Agriculture Dept. and ED = Education Dept.Classification letters for the U.S. Congress = X and Y. (In other words they group documents by issuing agencies.)
  • SUBagencies usually start with the same letter(s) as their parent agency/department and then a number assigned to that particular subagency within the department, e.g., Internal Revenue Service = T 22 (T for Treasury Dept., 22 for IRS), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms = T 70.
  • Annual/biennial reports are usually at or near the beginning of the classification number for an agency, e.g., the annual reports of the Dept. of Agriculture are at A 1.1:
  • ALL NUMBERS ARE WHOLE NUMBERS.  There are no decimal points!  In other words, A 1.10:993  files AFTER  A 1.2:E 67.
  • GENERALLY, LETTERS PRECEDE NUMBERS (everything else being equal), e.g., Y 4.J 89/1:A 67 will precede Y 4.J 89/1:101-563.

Some documents are in paper format, others are in microfiche format.  The catalog doesn’t always get it right!  The reference librarians can tell you for sure.  Having trouble finding a number?  Get help at the Reference Desk!

Search Books, Media, & More @ UWW

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Use this search box to find UW-Whitewater libraries' books, ebooks, government publications, videos, and more.