Michigan in Washington
Library Research Strategies

Last updated on February 11, 2008

Top Research Advice
1. Remember http://www.lib.umich.edu/
2. LOGIN with your uniqname and password whenever given the opportunity
3. Ask the University of Michigan reference librarians (http://www.lib.umich.edu/collections/specialists.html and Grace York (graceyor@umich.edu) for research help when you need it
4. If you lose this handout, search for it on the library web site as Michigan in Washington

Library Services
University of Michigan
Library Web Site
  • Networked Electronic Resources
  • Electronic Journals and Newspapers
  • Search Tools
  • Collections/Subject Specialists
  • Search Engine
  • Ask Us/Ask Us Now
  • Remote Access
  • Library Web Page/Networked Electronic or Electronic Journals
  • MIRLYN - logon and then search for journal or database
  • Preface URL with: http://proxy.lib.umich.edu/login?url=
    Although you may not be able to borrow the U-M Library's collection of books during your internship, you can log in with your uniqname and password to get access to the electronic journals and databases listed in MIRLYN. Use the Find Other Library Catalogs to search OCLC's World Cat for libraries in Washington that own a book you want.
    George Washington University
    This is a combined cataloged for area research libraries, including Georgetown, American University, and Catholic University as well as GWU. You will use this primarily to identify books and journals not available remotely from the University of Michigan.
    Location 2130 H Street NW
    Washington, D.C. 20052
    (202) 994-6558
    Access Policies GWU is a private university which generously opens its doors to academic researchers. However, you must use books and journals in-house. We also recommend that you use University of Michigan remote access databases and and e-mail reference.
    Journal Articles
    Boolean Logic
    Used by all search engines. However, the protocols for AND/OR/NOT, truncation, and phrase searching vary between databases. Use http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/training/boolean.pdf for the search protocols of your favorite databases. OR do a search and check the help screens if the results seem screwy.
    SFX Button
  • Connect Directly to Article via Remote Server OR
  • Connect to MIRLYN's version of OCLC World Cat for a copy in a D.C. Library OR
  • Request an Inter-Library Loan (articles may be placed on a remote server)
  • Political Science
    JSTOR (UMich Only)
    Full text of scholarly journals in several of the social sciences, 19th Century to within the past five years. Expert searching allows you to designate the subject discipline and type of article in addition to keyword searching. Download articles with Adobe Acrobat to read them on the screen, print them, or download to a disk.
    International Political Science Abstracts (UMich Only)
    Indexes scholarly political science journals in Western European languages since 1989. Can combine searches under Search History.
    Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (UMich Only)
    Indexes scholarly and more popular journals in political science and related fields since 1975. The quick search can be supplemented by a thesaurus search.
    Proquest (UMich Only)
    Indexes 2500 journals, scholarly and popular, in the sciences, social sciences and humanities since the mid-1980s. Includes either full text or SFX links.
    Additional Disciplines
    Networked Electronic Resources
    Arranged by very broad discipline or title
    Political Science Resources
    Annotated list of major databases in political science and related disciplines
    Subject Specialists at the University of Michigan
    Subject specialty web pages are linked on the left-hand side of the screen
    Directories and Biographies
    Directory to all federal web sites. Use search engine (upper right) to search full text of federal or state web sites
    Use search engine for biographies on agency web sites or in some Congressional nomination hearings
    Federal Staff Directory
    GWU Gelman Ref. JK 643 .F42
    Good Who's Who type directory
    Almanac of American Politics (UMich Only)
    Extensive political analysis of each state or Congressional District plus the Congressperson's voting record and lobby group support
    CQ Congress Collection (UMich Only)
    Political biography of Congressperson and key votes. Additional search tools allow you to analyze voting alignments or select members by characteristics such as party, religion, or gender (not race)
    Congressional Staff Directory
    (GWU Gelman Ref. JK 1012 .C65)
    Standard Who's Who directory for members of the Congressional staff
    Federal Judicial Database
    Biographies of all Supreme, Circuit and District court judges since 1789
    Political News
    Individual Titles
    National Journal (UMich Only)
    Weekly periodical focusing on the Executive Branch (some Congressional material) since 1977.
    Congress Daily (UMich Only)
    Issued twice per day with the latest news and schedules from Capitol Hill.
    CQ Weekly Report (UMich Only)
    Highly-respected weekly journal analyzing events on Capitol Hill. Identifies the most important bills on a topic, summarizes action, provides behind-the-scenes information, and roll call votes. On the web since 1983.
    The Hill
    Insider news about Capitol Hill. Issued Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Current issue is free on the web. Issues since 1995 (with a two-day delay) appear in LEXIS-NEXIS Academic/Guided News Search/U.S. News/Southeast Sources.
    Roll Call
    Insider news about Capitol Hill issued four days per week. Current issue is free on the web. Issues since 1989 (with a one day delay) appear in LEXIS-NEXIS Academic/Guided News Search/U.S. News/Southeast Sources.
    Environment and Energy Daily (UMich Only)
    Daily interest-group newsletter on legislation.
    American Health Line (UMich Only)
    Interest-group newsletter on legislation.
    Lexis-Nexis Academic (UMich Only)
    Guided News Search provides the most flexibility with access to Business News (e.g. lobby groups), TV News Transcripts, and The Hill newspapers (in U.S. News/Southeast). Legal Research has the full text of law reviews as well as federal and state appeals court decisions.
    Legislative Process
    Legislative Chart
    Graphic outline of the federal legislative process with links to University of Michigan resources.
    How a Bill Becomes a Law(Dirksen)
    Excellent introduction to the legislative process divided into 14 units. Each unit also provides definitions, strategies, statistics, and further sources (the latter called The Legislative Junkie).
    Policy Process
    Detailed charts describing the background and sources for legislative and executive policy maneuvers and influences on the process. Links to public and University of Michigan sources.
    Best source for identifying bills and their status. Search for Bills and Resolutions/Advanced Search can identify legislation by subject and any combination of sponsor, committee, or status. Provides full text of bill and status of everything that happened to it except the text of hearings. Includes hot links to debates in the Congressional Record and roll call votes.
    Committee Hearings, Prints, Reports and Documents
    LEXIS-NEXIS Congressional (UMich Only)
    Main section indexes hearings (testimony), committee prints (research reports), reports (committee recommendations), and documents (executive branch communiques) by subject, committee, witness, bill number, law number. Links to partial texts provided for the past ten years. (Full text of hearings usually only found in libraries in paper or microfiche but you may be able to locate some on the web since 2003 using http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/gpolinks.htm. The Gelman Library has many paper hearings since the mid-1980s arranged by SUDOCS number. Search its catalog using and advanced keyword search (e.g. interior appropriations hearings) and set limits to the GWU Library. Example 1 and Example 2
    Congressional Research Service Reports
    CRS Reports
    Background information requested by Members of Congress for themselves or their constituents. You can find anything from wildlife in Alaska to whether impeached presidents keep their retirement benefits. Readily available on Capitol Hill but the rest of us must use creative means to find internet copies.
    Congressional Record
    LEXIS-NEXIS Congressional (UMich Only)
    Text of floor debates and roll call votes. Full text available since 1985 in Congressional Universe/Publications. You can narrow your search by typing speaker w/10 subject (e.g. Kennedy within 10 words of medicaid)
    Laws, Statutes and U.S. Code
    LEXIS-NEXIS Congressional (UMich Only)
    Public Laws are individually printed laws as they are passed. Statutes at Large has the same thing but in bound volumes dating back to 1789. The U.S. Code breaks reorganizes all existing law into 50 titles or subjects. All are searchable in the Laws section.
    Regulations, Federal Register, and Code of Federal Regulations
    LEXIS-NEXIS Congressional (UMich Only)
    Regulations are issued by the Executive Branch to carry out the intent of the law and published in the Federal Register. The Code of Federal Regulations divides existing regulations into 50 subjects. Both are searchable under Regulations in Congressional Universe.
    Statistical Abstract of the United States
    Annual publication with national and state statistics on everything from demographics to air pollution, foreign trade, day care, and the federal budget. The paper copy is easier to use than the web version and is available in almost all U.S. libraries.
    Statistical Resources on the Web
    Use the lefthand frame to identify statistics on a wide variety of statistics in 23 subject areas. Much easier than trying to track data through general web search engines.
    Statistical Universe (UMich Only)
    You may find some tables by searching the base edition but there is much more in the "Search Abstracts" section. You can also narrow your subject by various demographic, economic or geographic categories. If the publication you find is not linked to the web from this site, try searching its title in Google.
    Contact the Documents Center
    Statistics can be very complex. If you can't find what you need easily, just ask for help.

    Nancy Pearl, the model for the librarian action figure, is a University of Michigan graduate. And yes, this is a piece of humor.

    Grace York, Coordinator, Documents Center
    University of Michigan Library


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