Library Resources for Education Policy and Social Analysis

| August 9, 2011

This virtual research guide is intended to provide an overview of library resources and services of particular relevance for research in subject areas encompassed in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA) at Teachers College, Columbia University.  The resources, which are primarily electronic but also include some printed works, have been selected to support the organizing principles of the department, i.e.,  “an emphasis on strong research skills with understanding of the political, bureaucratic, organizational, economic, legal and social forces that affect schools and the broader educational enterprise,”  as well as the foci of the existing programs (Economics and Education, Politics and Education, and Sociology and Education) now housed within EPSA, of the new Leadership, Policy and Politics program, and of the specializations Early Childhood Policy and Education and Law.  The library services and publications section of this guide consists of research consultation/assistance and document delivery/retrieval options available to all members of the Teachers College community.

Library Resources

Online Catalogs

Periodical Indexes

Federated Search Engines

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound)

Handbooks of Research

Reviews of Research

Citation Indexes

Tests and Measurements

Digital Archives

Statistical Resources

Numeric Data Resources

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Resources

Bibliography and Citation Management Programs

Library Services and Publications

All students, faculty, and researchers also have access to a number of important library services and publications provided to support and facilitate research and study in their particular programs and disciplines.



Online Catalogs

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are the official subject terms prescribed by the Library of Congress for the cataloging of books and are in use in essentially all academic libraries.  To find works pertaining to subjects relating to education and social policy analysis and related subjects, it may be useful to use some of the subject terms, or combinations of terms, listed below when searching the online catalogs of libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University, and other institutions.

  • Child care
  • Child care services — Law and legislation
  • Children — Government policy
  • Children — Services for
  • Community and school
  • Early childhood education — Government policy
  • *Economic policy
  • *Economic policy — Evaluation
  • Education — Aims and objectives
  • *Education — Economic aspects
  • Education — Political aspects
  • Education — Social aspects
  • Education, Preschool — Law and legislation
  • Education, Urban
  • Education and state
  • Educational accountability
  • Educational change
  • Educational equalization
  • Educational law and legislation
  • Educational leadership
  • Educational planning
  • Educational sociology
  • Family policy
  • Policy sciences
  • Political planning [Use for Public policy]
  • Public administration
  • School management and organization
  • Social advocacy
  • Social policy
  • Social service
  • Urban policy

EDUCAT – The most definitive record of the holdings of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, including books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

CLIO – The union catalog of Columbia University Libraries (exclusive of the libraries of Teachers College, the Columbia Law School, and Jewish Theological Seminary), providing the most definitive record of individual libraries’ holdings of books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

WorldCat – The union catalog of the contents of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, providing the means to do exhaustive searching by author, title, subject, and numerous other criteria and to find locations for specific items in libraries nearby and elsewhere.

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Periodical Indexes

APA PscyNET – Single search interface for PsycARTICLESPsycBOOKSPsycCRITIQUES, and PsycEXTRA (see E-Collections below).

Academic Search Premier – A multidisciplinary database providing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles.  PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals.  See also Academic Search Complete, a scholarly, multidisciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.  The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887.

America:  History and Life – Index (with some abstracts) of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.

*ERIC – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related periodical literature, ERIC (which stands for Educational Resources Information Center) provides coverage of conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books, and monographs.

Descriptors (official subject terms) worth considering for an ERIC search:

  • *Economics [Use For Economics of Education, Educational Economics]
  • *Educational Finance
  • Educational Policy
  • Educational Principles
  • Educational Sociology
  • Foundations of Education
  • Policy Analysis
  • Policy Formation
  • Politics of Education
  • Public Policy
  • Sociology

*EconLit – The American Economic Association’s database of the literature in economics, containing citations, abstracts, and full text for economic research dating back to 1969.  Covers journal articles, books, collective volume articles, dissertations, and working papers, among other types of publications.

*Education Full Text – Provides comprehensive coverage of an international range of English-language periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks. Indexing coverage begins June 1983; abstracts are included beginning spring 1994; full text of some journals is available beginning in January 1996.

*Education Index Retro – Provides cover-to-cover indexing for an international range of English-language periodicals and yearbooks; coverage from 1929 through mid-1983.

*Education Research Complete – Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 2,100 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,200 journals, and includes full text for nearly 500 books and monographs.

Historical Abstracts – Provides citations and abstracts for publications related to world history, excluding the U.S. and Canada, from 1450 to the present.

Index to Legal Periodicals and Books – Covers the contents of over 1,025 international legal periodicals and law books,  providing coverage of scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, legislation, books, book reviews, and more.

Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective – Indexes the contents of over 750 legal periodicals published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand published between 1908 and 1981.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences – A valuable online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research, IBSS includes over two million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951, providing broad coverage of international material and incorporating over 100 languages and countries.

International Political Science Abstracts – Indexes and abstracts articles in the field of political science (including the sub-fields of public administration, political theory, and international relations) published in journals and yearbooks published worldwide.

LexisNexis Congressional – Indexes information produced by or pertaining to the United States Congress from 1789 to the present. Provides full text for many titles, generally from the early 1990s to the present. Includes bills, laws, legislative histories, committee prints, House and Senate documents and reports, the Congressional Record, Code of Federal Regulations, and Federal Register.

PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) International and PAIS Archive – Contains citations to journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, “gray literature,” research reports, conference reports, publications of international agencies, and Internet resources pertaining to public affairs and public policy issues; coverage from 1915 to present.  Also available through the new ProQuest interface.

*Professional Development Collection – Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of nearly 520 high-quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. The database also contains more than 200 educational reports.

ProQuest – Provides broad multidisciplinary coverage of scholarly  journals, newspapers, dissertations, and other types of publications; for international coverage and access to full texts of dissertations only, search Digital Dissertations, a subset of ProQuest.

PsycINFO – Covers the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.

Public Administration Abstracts – Includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to public administration, including public administration theory, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline.

Social Sciences Full Text – Provides coverage of English-language journals across social science disciplines, with indexing from 1983, abstracting from 1984, and select access to full text from 1984 to the present.

SocINDEX with Full Text – Offers comprehensive coverage of sociology, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study.  The database contains full text for more than 860 journals dating back to 1908, more than 830 books and monographs, and over 16,800 conference papers.

Sociological Abstracts – Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences, covering such major areas as culture and social structure, family and social welfare, history and theory of sociology, radical sociology, rural and urban sociology, and the sociology of the arts, business, and education.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts – Provides abstracts and indexing of the international literature of political science and international relations, along with complementary fields, including international law and public administration/policy. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,500+ serials publications and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and working papers.

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Federated Search Engines

*Quicksearch (via Columbia University Libraries) – To search the catalog, multiple periodical indexes, and other web resources simultaneously within a variety of subjects and disciplinary subcategories.

*Super Search (via Gottesman Libraries) – To search some or all of our periodical indexes, plus EDUCAT and CLIO, simultaneously for books, journal articles, reports, dissertations, etc.

Google Scholar – Provides the means to search for scholarly research across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.

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Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Print Resources

Education and Sociology:  An Encyclopedia (2002)

Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership and Administration (2006)

International Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Education (1997)

E-Resources

The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought – Provides an overview of the main themes of social thought, principal schools and movements of thought, and those institutions that have been the subject of social analysis or engendered significant doctrines and ideas.

Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology:  A User’s Guide to Sociological LanguageProvides basic and secondary definitions for terms used in the field of sociology.  Many entries have one or more readings, as well as bibliographic references for further study; also includes biographical sketches of prominent sociologists.

Encyclopedia of Education (2nd Edition) – The 2003 version of the classic resource in education and related fields.

Encyclopedia of Public Choice – Offers a detailed and comprehensive account of the subject that deals with the intersection of economics and political science, including the exchange among ethics, moral and political philosophy, and law, as well as economics and political science.  Volume 1 includes biographies of the major figures in public choice, those who set the scene for the disciplines and those who have made major contributions to its development, and essays written by leading senior public choice scholars; Volume 2 defines in detail the core concepts associated with the discipline.

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences – This key reference work comprises 4,000 articles, commissioned by 52 Section Editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes.

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E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound)

*Berkeley Electronic Press (bep) – Provides full text (page image) access to over 100 scholarly journals and working papers published in the fields of education; political science, policy, and international studies; economics and business; law;  statistics; health and medicine; and science and technology.

CQ Press Electronic Library – An important reference resource for research in American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs, comprising a suite of fifteen unique Congressional Quarterly Press modules searchable via a common platform.

Ebrary – Online books across a range of subject areas; searchable, under All Subjects, by Fine Arts; History (General) and History of Europe; Language and Literature;  Music and Books on Music; Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, etc., and various sub-topics, and by author, title, and other criteria.

JSTOR – An online archive of over 1,200 leading scholarly journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.  Journals are always included from volume 1, issue 1 and include previous and related titles.  The most recently published issues (the past 3-5 years) are generally not available through JSTOR, though they usually are through other e-sources.

National Bureau of Economics Research – Contains the full-text of working papers from the NBER, which covers four areas of empirical research: developing new statistical measurements, estimating quantitative models of economic behavior, assessing the effects of public policies on the U.S. economy, and projecting the effects of alternative policy proposals.

Oxford Scholarship Online – Provides the full text of classic and newly published Oxford University Press books in economics and finance, law, political science, and other disciplines.

PsycARTICLES – A full-text database of journals published by the American Psychological Association and other publishers in subject areas such as applied psychology, health, theory, research, social/personality, and more.

PsycBOOKS – A full text database of books published by the American Psychological Association, classic books, and entries from the Encyclopedia of Psychology.

PsycCRITIQUES – Full-text reviews of current books and some popular films, videos, and software, as well as comparative reviews of books in the field of psychology.

PsycEXTRA – A gray literature database comprised of material written for professionals and disseminated outside of peer-reviewed journals; documents include newsletters, magazines, newspapers, technical and annual reports, government reports, consumer brochures, and more.

SAGE Education Full-Text Collection – A subset of Sage Journals Online, provides access to and advanced searching of the full text of 36 education-related journals.

SAGE Psychology Full-Text Collection – Provides access to the full text of 34 psychology-related journals from SAGE Publications.

SAGE Sociology Full-Text Collection – A subset of Sage Journals Online, provides access to and advanced searching of the full text of 36 sociology-related journals.

Social Theory – Brings together an extensive range of influential writings representing the most important trends of sociological thought from the eighteenth century to the present day; includes the full text of seminal works by such theorists as Harriet Martineau, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Jürgen Habermas, Talcott Parsons, Michel Foucault, and Jean Baudrillard.

Westlaw Campus Research (accessible on campus only) – Contents include cases from the courts of all 50 states and the Federal courts; statutes from all 50 states and Federal statutes published in the United States Code Annotated; Federal regulations published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations; American Law Reports, a publication containing attorney-written articles that summarize and analyze case law on a particular legal issue; and American Jurisprudence 2d, a comprehensive encyclopedia of state and federal law.

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Handbooks of Research

Print Resources

Handbook of Education Policy Research (2009)

Handbook of Education Politics and Policy (2008)

*Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy (2007)

Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders (2009)

*Handbook of the Economics of Education ( 2006) (see also e-version below)

Handbook of the Sociology of Education (2000) (see also e-version below)

International Handbook of Educational Policy (2005) (see also e-version below)

International Handbook on the Preparation and Development of School Leaders (2008)

The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Education (2009)

E-Resources

Blackwell Reference Online – Provides full-text access to reference works in the social sciences and humanities; see research handbooks and companions in Economics, Politics, and Sociology, and other subject areas.  Notable titles include The Blackwell Companion to Sociology, The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, and The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory, among others.

Handbook of Research Methods in Public Administration – A collection of 24 chapters in in nine parts, this handbook intends to provide a comprehensive survey of quantitative methods in public administration research, to document illustrative past uses of these methods, and to explore potential emerging uses of quantitative methods in public administration.

*Handbook of the Economics of Education – With four volumes published (1 and 2 in 2006, 3 in 2010, and 4 in 2011), this resource surveys research on multiple aspects of the subject.  Volumes 1 and 2 are comprised of 25 chapters on topics ranging from post-schooling wage growth to income-contingent loans for higher education; volume 3 is made up of 11 chapters dealing with such subjects as econometric methods for research in education, the economics of international differences in educational achievement, and the economics of tracking in education; and volume 4 consists of 11 chapters on topics that include migration and education, the design of performance pay in education, and the political economy of educational funding.

Handbook of the Sociology of Education – Comprising 24 chapters in six major sections, dealing with theoretical and methodological orientations; the development and expansion of education; the study of access to schooling; the study of school organization; the study of sch0ol outcomes; and policy implications of research in the sociology of education.

International Handbook of Educational Policy – This handbook consists of 55 chapters divided into five sections dealing with large-scale educational reform, leadership and governance, teaching quality, literacies, and workplace learning.

International Handbook on Globalisation, Education and Policy Research:  Global Pedagogies and Politics – Aims to present an international overview of developments in education and policy change during the last decade, attempting in 47 articles to address some of the issues and problems confronting educators and policy makers globally.

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Reviews of Research

Print Resources

Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization (1981-2002)

E-Resources

Annual Reviews – Reviews of topics in social sciences and other disciplines published as annual journals; see series for Economics, Law and Social Science, Political Science, Sociology, and others.

Review of Educational Research – A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RER publishes quarterly critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education, including conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of scholarly work.

Review of Research in Education A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RRE provides an annual overview and descriptive analysis of selected topics of relevant research literature through critical and synthesizing essays.

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Citation Indexes

Scopus – Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

Web of Science Comprising the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Science Citation Index Expanded, this database supports searching by topic, author, or publication name, and is also a major means for doing cited reference searching, to find articles that cite a person’s work.

  • See also our library’s Citation Indexes video tutorial on citation searching via the Web of Science and Google Scholar.

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Tests and Measurements

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI) – Information on approximately 15,000 measurement instruments (i.e. questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists, coding schemes, rating scales, etc.) in the fields of health and psychosocial sciences.

Mental Measurements Yearbook (Ovid) – Produced by the Buros Institute, this database contains extensive information about and reviews of English-language, commercially available, standardized tests covering educational skills, personality, vocational aptitude, psychology, and related areas, as included in the printed Mental Measurements Yearbooks.

For further information on access to actual tests, measurements, instruments, scales, etc., see our Knowledge Database entry at http://library.tc.columbia.edu/kb/idx.php/0/196/article/.

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Digital Archives

Academic Commons – Columbia University’s online repository, where current faculty, students, and staff can deposit the results of their scholarly work and research.

PocketKnowledge – The social archive of Teachers College, including unpublished manuscripts and archives from the library’s collections, documents from other departments and administrative offices College-wide, and the work of TC students, faculty, and researchers.

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Statistical Resources

For information on access to statistical resources of various kinds, see our Knowledge Database entry at http://library.tc.columbia.edu/kb/idx.php/0/198/article/.

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Numeric Data Resources

For information on access to numeric data resources of various kinds, see our Knowledge Database entry at http://library.tc.columbia.edu/kb/idx.php/0/187/article/.

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Resources

For information on access to geographic information systems (GIS) resources  of various kinds, see our Knowledge Database entry at http://library.tc.columbia.edu/kb/idx.php/0/176/article/.

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Bibliography and Citation Management Programs

Citation Management Software – An extensive description of and guide to the use of BibDeskEndNotePapersMendeley, and Zotero, including a comparison of their relative merits, produced by the Columbia University Libraries’ Digital Science Center.

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Library Services and Publications

Ask a Librarian a Question – To explore a variety of kinds of research support:  submit an email reference query to librarians onsite; request a research consultation with a Gottesman librarian; review frequently asked questions via the library’s Knowledge Database.

E-Reserves – Provides online access to digital course readings, including e-journal articles and book chapters, as well as call numbers for physical course reserves materials (books, DVDs, videos, etc.).

Document Delivery – The means to recommend items for purchase and/or to request from other libraries materials  (dissertations, book chapters, journal articles, etc.) not available through the Gottesman or Columbia University Libraries.

Learning at the Library – The Gottesman Libraries’ blog via the Pressible platform, including content in many topical areas contributed by library staff members.

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