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Policy Studies: Home


This guide supports students in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work and other students undertaking research in policy studies in public and social policy in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; with a specific emphasis on Australian social policy.

The Guide will help you identify:

Government departments and agencies involved in creating policy
sources where policy is published or recorded
sources which allow you to trace the history of a specific policy area
sources which analyse and discuss policy

Your Librarian in Fisher Library is

Researching Policy Studies

Policy research is often complex. There is frequently no single source that provides a definitive overview of a specific policy area. Landmarks and changes in policy can be reflected in legislation, government spending, initiatives and projects, reports and recommendations from Committees of Inquiry or the adoption of international protocols. News media sources and academic literature may assist in identifying debate or discussion that surrounds a significant change in a policy area. Many of these sources may need to be consulted in order too understand a policy area or compare or trace changes in policy over time.

Key Sources for Policy research

Parliamentary & Government documents - including government websites, parliamentary debates and documents, Parliamentary committees, media releases 

Legal Resources - legislation (Acts, Bills), legal encyclopedias  

Media releases - available from government & ministerial websites, news media sources, websites monitoring policy changes, political party websites

Secondary sources - books and articles which analyse and discuss policy and policy development and change.

Keep up to date with news feed from APO

Analysis and Policy Observatory

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Key Texts