Develop a search statement to search databases (including news databases), the catalogue, and other academic sources
A search statement includes a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
- AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
- refugee AND law
- OR - either this concept or that concept (or both). This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms. Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea. A thesaurus can be helpful for this
- internet OR web OR online
- NOT - do not include this concept
- Mexico NOT city
- Quote marks - find a specific phrase
- "human rights"
- Truncation - any other combination of letters to follow
- Canad* - will find Canada, Canadian, Canadian's, etc.
- journalis* - will find journalism, journalist, journalistic, etc.
- Combine one or more of these operators
- Put a list of synonyms in brackets
(smartphone OR "mobile phone" OR "cell phone") AND (societ* OR cultur*)
Google Advanced search suggestions
- restricting content to site .org or .gov sites
- type in your topic and then either "site:.org" OR "site:.gov"
- *.gc.ca, *.toronto.ca, *.ottawa.ca, www.ontario.ca/*, *.gov.nu.ca
- restricting content to searching titles only
- type search "intitle: "climate change""
- to exclude words from your search
- to do this search use operator "-" (minus) eg. jaguar speed -car
- Search for sites that link to site of interest:
- link to:academyhealth.org
- Find quick information about a site:
- Search for words in a URL:
- use Google Australia, Google UK, Google.de etc.
Newspapers& Magazines (use Boolean Operators)
- Canadian Newsstream - Canadian
- Factiva - Canadian and international
- Nexis Uni - Canadian and international
- PressReader (Full-image international newspapers)
Explore News Guide for more news-related resources
- Alternative words to use instead of "policy": guideline, initiative, strategy, framework
For the fullest information on government policy, it is often necessary to search across the full range of government publications.
- The Debates cover arguments for and against policies
- Statutes codify policies
- The Budget sets out fiscal policy
- The Public Accounts track the money spent to realize the policies
- Annual reports (of departments, of programs, on acts) track implementation of policies
- Statistics measure the impact of policies
- Audit reports evaluate policy effectiveness
- News releases announce new directions in policy
- Royal Commissions, Commissions of Inquiry, Green Papers and Task Forces provide background materials to policy formation.
Check the division of powers and responsibilities for different levels of government
Government of Canada Publications: search "policy" under subject for policy publications
Policies, regulations and laws by department or agency (Government of Canada)
- CanLII contains much more than statutes, regulations and court judgments of every jurisdiction in Canada, it includes articles, reports and other resources
- Canadian Public Policy Collection
- Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)
- Think Tank Search (Harvard Kennedy School)
- Policy Commons
- Policy File Index
- Find policy
Start with OMNI Search engine located on the library home page, allows you to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously.
- Emerald Management eJournals
- PAIS International
- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
- International Political Science Abstracts
- Canadian Public Documents Collection
- Project MUSE
- Taylor & Francis Journals Online
Google Scholar For seamless access to the fulltext of articles that are part of the library's collection, take the link from the library page. If you run into difficulty, the instructions for a workaround are on the details page.
- Do not limit yourself to these: See Databases by Subject list
- Look at the Subject Guides that best relate to your topic. For example: Philanthropy, Health, Renewable Energy, Canadian Studies, Indigenous Policy, Business, etc.
OMNI Search engine located on the library home page
use filters on the left hand site and narrow down to:
- Book chapters
Cambridge University Press eBooks
Columbia International Affairs Online
Oxford University Press eBooks
eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
Canadian Publishers Collection