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Education Policy, Organization and Leadership 420


A Guide to Library Resources for EPOL 420 (SOC 420)


U.S. Education Statistics

  • The Almanac of American Education, 2008 (370.973021 Ed8331, Education Reference)
    Compare statistics by national, state, and county.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, 2011 (Q. 378.73 C468, Education Stacks)
    Variety of data about the most important trends in higher education.
  • Digest of Education Statistics
    Compilation of American education statistics from prekindergarten through graduate school. It’s possible to view the full text or tables by year, level of education and / or education topics. Published by the National Center for Education Statistics.

U.S. General Statistics

  • Explore Census Data
    Use the links or search box to find data in tables, maps, and other visualizations.  Topics in the Advanced Search option include education, employment, race and ethnicity, and much more.
  • FedStats
    Statistics from over 100 U.S. government agencies.  Search by topic within yearly compilations or use the search box to search across the website.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Provides a wide range of information about the population. The People section includes information on education, families and living arrangements, fertility, income, marriage and various other subjects.

U.S. Disability Statistics

  • Disability Statistics (Cornell University)
    Cornell releases “Disability Status Reports” on the US and individual states. These reports include information about demographics, employment, income, education, and insurance of people with disabilities.

International Statistics

  • Library of Congress: Country Studies
    Diversity information of all types, e.g., education, race, ethnicity, language, religion, etc., for individual countries outside the United States.
  • United Nations Statistics Division
    Start here first for international statistics. The UN collects, analyzes and disseminates a wide range of statistical information to the general public. Links to information on statistical methods, links to data and reports, and other sources. See the site, UNdata, for UN statistical databases.
  • The World Bank: Education Statistics
    Includes information about school enrollment, completion indicators, learning outcomes, education inequities, education projections, and expenditures on eduction by country or topic.


HINT: The U.S. Government releases many reports about topics in education. Since many of these reports are in PDF format, run a Google search, but limit your search by filetype. For example, the Google search: bullying statistics us government filetype:pdf , finds the “Student Reports of Bullying and Cyber-Bullying” report from the U.S. Department of Education. Change the keywords and add others if necessary.

HINT: For additional international statistics and information, check a country’s department of education website. For example, the United Kingdom’s Department of Education has a section about data, research and statistics.



Reference resources are sources of solid background information about the trends, history, and social movements in education. All books are located in Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library reference collection unless otherwise noted.


Online Reference Collection


Start by keyword searching larger collections of encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks. It’s also possible to browse an specific online reference source by subject. Suggestions of specific reference sources are listed after the collection name.

  • ABC-Clio E-Book Collection
  • Credo Reference – Key Concepts in Education
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library – Human and Civil Rights: Essential Primary Sources
  • Oxford Digital Reference Bookshelf – Encyclopedia of Human Rights



Scholarly journal, newspaper, and magazine articles are one of the primary means of communicating research ideas. They are an important component of academic research and give you some insight into ongoing debates and scholarly conversations about your topic. You can find articles through database searches.

Finding articles is a two-step process:

  • First, find the citation to the articles you want. You can use bibliographies or suggested readings lists, or you can search for the topic you are interested in by using one of the article databases listed below. If you get stuck, ask your professor or a librarian for help getting started.
  • Next, find the actual text of the articles you want. Many of our journals are online, but some of them are still available only in print format. If the journal article you are looking for is not available electronically, you will need to use the Online Library Catalog to look up the location of the journal for which you have a citation.

Education Databases

Sociology Databases

General and Other Subject Article Databases

Searching Article Databases

Experiment with keywords to search article databases.

  • Try words to describe your topic (e.g. cyber bullying, No Child Left Behind, sexual harassment, alternative schools, feminist movement, civil rights movement, etc.) in addition to the type of information you are interested in (statistics, penalties, laws, pros/cons, education impact, outcomes, etc.)


HINT: The starred (*) databases can be searched at the same time. After entering one database, click on Specific Databases in the center of the page; select the additional databases you would like to search. You will save time by not running individual searches in each database.



Library catalogs are used for two purposes. First, if you know exactly what you are looking for, for example you know the exact title of a book or journal or an author’s name. Second, you can use library catalogs to find materials that might be helpful to you by doing subject and keyword searching.

  • Online Library Catalog – Look here to find books, DVDs, magazines or journals containing articles that you need, and many other resources. In addition to the 12 million volumes we have on this campus, you can connect to over 70 other libraries in Illinois and request that books be sent to you. When you find something you want in the catalog, write down the following:

    Location – in which library the item is kept (or libraries, if we have multiple copies)
    Call Number – this number is essential for finding the item on the shelf
    Status – is it available for you to check out?

  • WorldCat and Interlibrary Loan – The places to verify citations for books and request books and articles you cannot find elsewhere. Ordering books and journals via Interlibrary Loan is free and generally fairly quick.


Definitions of and tips for finding primary and secondary sources can be found at Find Primary Sources and Find Secondary Sources.


In addition to the sources and research suggestions above, the resources and search hints below will help you with your EPS/SOC 420 paper.

Background Research

Reference sources are a great starting point for background information about a topic. The Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library, as well as other libraries at Illinois, have general AND subject specific reference books.

Find Books, Journals and Articles

Search the Online Library Catalog and the databases in the Articles section using these suggested search terms or similar terms. Remember to search the subject or keywords field rather than the all text/anywhere field; this will provide more relevant results.

  • Civil rights
  • Civil rights movements
  • Feminism
  • Feminist movement
  • Gay liberation movement
  • Labor movement
  • Peace movements
  • Protest movements
  • Social movements
  • Student movements
  • Student protesters
  • Women’s education
  • Women’s rights


  • Education
  • Learning and scholarship
  • Schools
  • Teaching
  • 1960’s


Online Resources



Library Guide to APA citation style

Additional guidelines for citing electronic and print resources are available from the Undergraduate Library’s Citation Styles guide.

Need help collecting and organizing your citations and producing a list of works cited? Citation management tools can help! The guide “Citation Managers” helps users choose a citation management tool and provides links to other guides on specific options like Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote.



Is it Scholarly? Peer-Reviewed? A Research Article?

Consult the Research Articles and Peer Reviewed Journals Guide for definitions and tips for identifying scholarly and peer-reviewed research articles.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

This Annotated Bibliography Guide  explains the purpose of an annotated bibliography, describes the content that should be included in an annotation, and provides examples and additional resources.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another as if they were your own.  It can be an intentional or unintentional act, but either way there can be severe consequences.  The information in this Plagiarism Guide will help you understand and avoid plagiarism.


Ask-A-Librarian for Help with Your Research

Use our Ask-A-Librarian Service to IM, chat, email, phone or find a reference librarian.

Contact a librarian to request an appointment for an in-depth Research Consultation.

Finding Your Way Around

There are over 25 departmental libraries on our campus, and sometimes it may be difficult to determine where to find the resources you need.  For your class, the library that you will be using most is the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library. We are located in Room 100 and 101 of the Main Library building.

More Help Using the Library