Loading Library Hours...

Educational Policy Studies 421


A Guide to Library Resources for Educational Policy Studies 421 (AFRO 421, HDFS 424, and SOC 421)


Statistics | Reference ResourcesArticles | Books & Journals | Citing Sources | Research TipsHelp




  • FedStats Statistics from over 100 U.S. government agencies. Use the Topics Links A-Z to browse by subject.
  • 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.


  • The Almanac of American Education, 2008 (Education Reference 370.973021 Ed8331) Compare statistics by national, state, and county.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, 2011 (Education Stacks Q. 378.73 C468) Variety of data about the most important trends in higher education.
  • Digest of Education Statistics (published by NCES) 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.

Families, Marriage & Divorce

  • Data on Marriage and Divorce (US Census Bureau) Excellent information about marriage and divorce from the American Community Survey (ACS), Current Population Survey (CPS), Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the Decennial Census.
  • National Center for Health Statistics Includes information about health and insurance, but also has information about marriage and divorce. Easiest way to access the information is through FastStats: Statistics by Topic and by searching the website.
  • National Survey of Family Growth Provides statistics and datasets about family life, marriage, divorce, and related health issues.  Offered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


  • Current Population Survey The CPS is a joint effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census to collect, analyze and disseminate information on labor force characteristics in the United States for policy makers, legislators, researchers and students. The site is searchable and also provides links to related surveys and supplements.

Diversity in Other Countries

  • Demographic Yearbook Annual comprehensive collection of international demographic information for 250 geographic areas of the world.  Topics covered include population, natality, mortality, marriage and divorce.
  • 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.

Racial / Ethnic Specific Statistics

  • The American Community – Pacific Islanders: 2004 (US Census Bureau) Portrait of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population in the United States.  Provides information about demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics.
  • Black Americans: A Statistical Source Book, 2009 (Main Reference 305.896073 B5622) Provides data and tables focusing on demographics and populace characteristics; vital statistics and health; education; government, elections, and public opinion; crime, law enforcement and corrections; labor & employment; income, poverty, and wealth.
  • The Black Population: 2010 (US Census Bureau) Provides information about demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics.
  • Hispanic Americans: A Statistical Source Book, 2009 (Main Reference 305.8680021 H629) -Provides data and tables focusing on demographics; social characteristics; household and family characteristics; education; government and elections; the labor force, employment and unemployment; earnings, income, poverty and wealth; crime and corrections; and special topics.
  • Profiles on Legal Permanent Residents: 2010 (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) Legal permanent residents (LPRs) are foreign nationals who have been granted the right to reside permanently in the U.S. View data by region or country.
  • The White Population: 2010 (US Census Bureau) Discusses the distribution of the white population at the national level and at lower levels of geography.

Religious and Other Group Specific Statistics

  • Association of Religion Data Archives Formerly American Religious Data Archive. Compiles statistics, maps, and directories on religious activities around the world, with an emphasis on the United States.
  • Pew Research Center A “fact tank” that conducts public opinion polling and social science research. Provides data and some statistics about religion. Use the Topic Index or their Advanced Search to find information of interest.
  • World Religion Database: International Religious Demographic Statistics and Sources (WRD) Contains detailed statistics on religious affiliation for every country of the world. WRD provides source material, including censuses and surveys, as well as best estimates for every religion at multiple dates for the period 1900 to 2050.


HINT: The US Census Bureau releases many reports about racial ethnic groups. You can find these reports by searching Google. Many of these reports are PDFs and you can limit your search by file type. For example, Hispanic US Census filetype:pdf . Change the racial ethnic group to match your research needs and add other keywords if necessary (e.g. marriage, education, etc.)



Reference resources are sources of solid background info about ethnic groups. All books are located in Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library reference collection unless otherwise noted.


  • Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World, 2004 (304.8 En192 + online)
  • Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies, 2008 (305.8003 C338e2008)
  • Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, 2008 (Q. 305.8003 En196)
  • Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans, 2011 (305.800973 M91922)
  • Multiculturalism in the United States : a comparative guide to acculturation and ethnicity, 2005 (Main Stacks, 305.800973 M9192005)
  • Statistics Sources, 2010 (016.31 ST2)

Diversity in Other Countries

  • Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities, 2005 (Undergrad GN495.4 E63 2005)

Racial / Ethnic Specific Resources

  • American Indian Chronology : Chronologies of the American Mosaic, 2006 (History Reference 970.00497002 W585a)
  • The Arab Americans, 2006 (Education Stacks 973.0497 K189a)
  • Asian American History and Culture, 2010 (Q. 973.0495 As4214)
  • Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States, 2005 (E184.S75 E587 2005)
  • Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, 2006 (online)
  • Encyclopedia of African American Education, 2010 (371.82996 En192 and online)
  • Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today, 2010 (Undergrad E184.A75 E53 2010)
  • Encyclopedia of Muslim American History, 2010 (Q. 973.088297 En196)
  • Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, 2006 (Undergrad Reference E76.2.W352006)
  • Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora, 2008 (History Reference 305.896003 En199)
  • The Indigenous World, 2011 (305 IW1 2011)

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 Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to the Present
  • Credo Reference — Encyclopedia of North American Indians
  • Gale Virtual Reference LibraryAfrican American Almanac, Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
  • Oxford Digital Reference BookshelfOxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States



Scholarly journal 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, 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 by clicking on the Discover button in a database. Many of our journals are online, but some of them are still available only in print. If the journal article you are looking for is not available electronically, you can use the Online Library Catalog to look up the location of the journal for which you have a citation.
  • If you know the citation of the articles you want, from bibliographies or suggested readings lists, you can use Journal & Article Locator to determine if we have full-text online or in print.

General Article Databases

Education Databases

Racial / Ethnic Specific Databases

Religious and Other Databases

Searching Article Databases

Experiment with keywords to search article databases.

  • Try words to describe your racial ethnic group:    ________ Americans (Asian Americans, Latino Americans, Italian Americans, etc.)
  • Try words to describe your research area: health care, insurance, life expectancy, interracial marriage, college enrollment, dropout, employment, income, poverty, etc.

Consider searching for these concepts together.  For example, “Asian Americans” and “life expectancy” = some great articles and books.


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 or an author’s name. This works for book titles and journal titles. Second, you can use library catalogs to discover material 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 13 million volumes we have on this campus, you can connect to over 86 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 – Use these 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.


Library Guide to APA citation style

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 the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library’s Ask-A-Librarian service to contact a librarian via Instant Messenger/chat, email, phone, or in person.

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 (SSHEL). We are located in SSHEL North (Room 100) and SSHEL South (Room 101) of the Main Library building. Do no hesitate to come in and ask one of our energetic and helpful information desk assistants.

More Help Using the Library