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Information Sources - USA - General

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 2 months, 2 weeks ago

FrontPage / Information Sources / USA / General



Information Sources


USA - General


Home  |  Issue Briefs  |  Key Organizations  |  Information Sources




National Organizations & Programs

  • Federal Government
    • USA.gov clearinghouse website for both our Federal government but also has directories for state, local, and tribal governments. 
    • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance:  CFDA contains detailed program descriptions for 2,183 Federal assistance programs. Search under the "Assistance" option on the beta.sam.gov website search bar 
    • Federal Register: The Federal Register is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and consists of four types of entries. 
      • Presidential Documents, including Executive orders and proclamations.
      • Rules and Regulations, including policy statements and interpretations of rules.
      • Proposed Rules, including petitions for rulemaking and other advance proposals.
      • Notices, including scheduled hearings and meetings open to the public, grant applications, administrative orders, and other announcements of government actions.
    • USA Spending.gov:  searchable database of all Federal spending.



  • National Associations / Advocacy
    • Results.org  and http://www.results.org/website/article.asp?id=457)

      Results is a non-profit organization that engages ordinary citizens of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives in working to affect policy and legislation in order to reduce poverty and its worst effects both in the U.S. and globally.  They have a resource-laden website, including a very well-developed set of links and tools for research.  Check especially LINKS on the left sidebar.

    • National Council of Nonprofits: is a network of 40 state and regional associations with a collective membership of more than 20,000 community non-profits.

      Source: Press Releases 

    • National Governors Association - Center for Best Practices offers studies and issue briefs in Education, Environment, Health, Homeland Security & Technology, and Social, Economic, & Workforce Programs



  • Other

    • Alliance for Non-Profit Management -  News 

    • Aspen InstituteAn institute working to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.

    • FreeThink — daily news should inspire people to build a better world. While most media is fueled by toxic politics and negativity, we focus on solutions: the smartest people, the biggest ideas, and the most ground breaking technology shaping our future. 

    • Govtrack.usThis is an independent website for tracking the United States Congress, helping you follow the status of federal legislation and the activities of your senators and representatives. Data is collected from the official government websites via automated processes daily.  This site allows you to track bills, legislators, votes, and more, specifically focusing on the current United States Congress.  You can use email or RSS feeds to create trackers on issues you follow. 

    • National Council of Non-Profits  - Press
    • Nonprofit Quarterly
    • Nonprofit Times
    • Optimist Daily —  publishes positive, solutions stories every day that our subscribers can experience daily and share in just a few moments, so as to elevate, motivate, and reignite each individual’s innate reservoir of intelligent optimism as a way of catalyzing the evolution of human consciousness. 
    • Polici —  Polici collects, translates, and shares published research on the nation’s most pressing issues using artificial intelligence to reduce bias. They work with hundreds of researchers to craft the best summary so anyone can know and interact with the same studies and data that their elected officials use to base their decisions. . 
    • Stanford Social Innovation Review 
    • ThisWeKnow:  Our mission is to present the information the U.S. government collects about every community. By publishing this data in an easy to understand and consistent manner, we seek to empower citizens to act on what's known.


Research Reports / Policy Analysis

  • Almanac of Policy Issues: This is a place to find background information, archived documents, and links on major U.S. public policy issues.  A simple (google-like) search field allows you to type in a few words.  The findings will often include full issue briefs, as well as concise papers that provide context and background on an issue.  Try it out with the keywords ‘school reform,’ ‘gun control,’ or ‘homelessness’ to get started.  A tip on keywords:  try to think about words you’ve seen in your research, in the newspaper, current affairs, or even in class.
  • Center for Policy Alternatives:  This website is “of, by, and for state legislators” and provides background information on progressive policy issues. Note that as an explicitly progressive (e.g., liberal) resource, you should not use it as your only source to create an objective result.  You can find information on important state issues and leaders. 

  • INFOmine: This searchable database helps access scholarly internet resource collections on a topic. INFOMINE is a unique Web resource featuring well organized access to important university level research and educational tools on the Internet. A virtual library, INFOMINE is notable for its collection of annotated and indexed links. The site is built by librarians and is maintained by the University of California, Riverside. Try “school reform” for example, and you connect to 48 expert-selected resources with information, including non-profit organizations, research institutes, governmental agencies and more.
  • Scholars Strategy Network:  A one-stop resource that connects journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders to America’s top scholars and their research. Together they inform news and help solve the nation’s toughest policy problems.  Across the country, chapters and scholars volunteer their research, time, and energy. Scholars join the network to become part of a community of leading researchers who are dedicated to improving policy and strengthening democracy.  Through the network, journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders connect with responsive scholars and jargon-free research to support their work. 
  • SuDoc: SuDoc & Agency List of Internet Titles is a list of links to federal government publications online, mostly on the World Wide Web (WWW).   Agency homepage, overview, or gateway type web pages which in turn organize other pages on the agency's website are listed first. Statistical databases are listed. Agency index or table of contents web pages which collate agency reports, papers, studies, series, etc. are included. Individual documents are included if they have a reputation for high use.  
  • The UN Chronicle (Online). The UN Chronicle is a quarterly magazine published by the United Nations Department of Public Information and available worldwide through subscription. This website currently contains articles from the print magazine from 2007 to 2009.  While we migrate content from the older website, please visit the archivepage to access magazines from 1997 to 2006. The UN Chronicle looks at issues of vital concern to the UN and to the world community, such as climate change; human rights; economic development; UN peacekeeping; regional issues; health; and activities and programmes of the UN system. It features interviews, essays, opinions and ideas from personalities connected with the Organization as well as independent experts. 


Statistical Data


  • American FactFinder

    This is the Census Bureau's search page for Decennial Census data, including the 1990 and 2000 Censuses. It also includes data from the American Community Survey, which is conducted annually between decennial censuses, the five year Economic Census, and the Population Estimates Program.

  • Census Bureau Web Site

    Subtitled "the official statistics," this website bills itself as "your source for social, demographic and economic information."  Here, you can look up information about population, density, demographics, income, education level, and so on, even by county and tract.  Try it!  You can look at a map of the United States by such factors as educational attainment and reposition the map on various levels. 

  • CenStats

    Comprehensive statistical information including Building Permits, Census Tract Street Locator,  County Business Patterns, International Trade Data, Detailed Occupation by Race, Hispanic Origin and Sex, USA Counties, and Public Law 94-171 Data on Age by Race and Hispanic Origin.

  • Gapminder:  Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

  • Kaiser State Health Facts:  State Health Facts is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data for all 50 states. Statehealthfacts.org provides data on more than 700 health topics and is linked to the Kaiser Family Foundation website (www.kff.org).

  • Stateline.org

    This site has put together a list of state data organized by issue, and it also contains more journalistically written articles (such as Backgrounders) about issues in current events.  Here, you will find useful links to essential information from government, academia, and think tanks. The site provides information about political activity in the 50 state capitals.

    Stateline.org is one of seven projects that make up the Pew Research Center, which funds projects that generate information for the public interest.

  • State and Local Governments on the Net

    If you’re looking for state, local, and city government information, this site provides convenient access to the web sites of thousands of state agencies and city and county governments.  Use the search field for “Local Government” (third down) to find information by county in your state.  After you find a particular county, you can access a municipality or city (e.g., try New Jersey, Middlesex County, Princton) and find its budget, revenue and appropriation summaries, directory, and more.

  • National Center for Character Statistics -...
  • National Research Council Newsroom 


One particularly helpful element may be to contact the governor or lieutenant governor for state-related information.  You can look them up at: http://www.statelocalgov.net/50states-gov-ltgov.cfm.  From state sites, you can find departments, agencies, and more.


Funding Opportunities



  • Simmons Library 

    Here you can find a highly selective list of resources that will help you find journalism resources (actually part of Simmons College’s library). Also included are links to guides on related topics. They suggest that you contact a (local) librarian for help using the resources listed in this guide or for help finding additional information that you may need.  You can access and Almanac of Policy Issues, collections from the Congressional Quarterly.

  • Science Daily  This is a remarkably wide-ranging, easy-to-search, free database collection of research news.

  • Solutions Journalism Network:   SolutionsU identifies, vets, and tags high-quality solutions stories in one searchable database. To be included in our growing database of 3,400+ stories, each story must possess the 4 elements of solutions journalism.

  • Making Policy Public: CUP's series of foldout posters that use graphic design to explore and explain public policy. Making Policy Public is published four times a year. Each poster is the product of a commissioned collaboration between a designer and an advocate.

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