Policy Briefs

I am going to be working on Capital Hill this summer, and I need to refresh on some of the hot button political issues. Are there any sources you know of that provide thorough, but not book length, policy briefs. Something in the 40-80 page range would be ideal. Also, the less partisan the better. Thanks!

ANSWER PERSON RESPONDS: For international affairs, you might try the CIAO database. There’s a “policy briefs” choice in the menu at the left to browse, or you can use the Search interface and check “policy brief” as the collection to search.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) writes digested summaries of major issues at the request of the US Congress. You can search for the CRS Reports 2004-present in the Lexis/Nexis Congressional database (go to advanced search). Many older ones are in the library catalog and located on microfiche or film in the Public Documents dept (you can ask there for help).

Really, lots of think tanks have such reports, some more partisan than others, so you’ll have to look into the nature of the organization. The Rand Corporation reports in the Public Documents department (in the library catalog) may suit your needs.

This is the kind of question that is best asked at the Perkins Reference desk. There is a Public Policy subject librarian, and others for other subjects that you’re interested in.