PLCY 800: Introduction to Policy Issues and Analysis

This guide provides selected resources for your PLCY 800 assignments.

Contact information

If you need help, please contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian, at 778.782.5043 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) or (Monday to Thursday),  Book a research appointment, or Ask a Librarian for quick reference questions.

For detailed research questions on statistics information resources or questions about microdata, please contact the Data Services Librarians Team at


Resources for Instant Analysis assignment

If you have just one week to do your research you will want to look for some quick-to-find, but reliable news articles, scholarly articles, a report or two, and some statistics.  Here are a couple of suggestions:

    News resources

    CBCA Complete
    Newspapers  and newswires (full text), journal articles, trade publications and more

    Canadian Newsstream
    Full text national and local newspapers

    Full text global newspapers and business sources

    Scholarly journal articles

    Political Science Complete
    Access to full-text political science articles [sample subject terms: Health care reform AND Canada]

    Database for world economic literature (sample subject terms: Urban Economics AND Canada)

    Environment Complete
    Covers environmental law, public policy, renewable energy sources and more

    International Political Science Abstracts
    Comprehensive, global database providing access to abstracts and information on world-wide political science journals

    See also: databases for Public Policy


    Searching Journal article databases

    General database search tips, or things you can't always do in Google:

    • truncation, e.g. transport* and phrase searching e.g. "food sovereignty"
    • syntax: AND to narrow and OR  to broaden search
    • pearl-growing, or starting with a good article and finding more (see YouTube tutorial)
    • search the database Thesaurus to find useful subject headings
    • Keep in mind research is generally not a straight line, but iterative searching
    • More search tips in How to find journal articles


    Statistical resources

    Statistics Canada
    Quick tips for navigating the site:

    • Subjects to find data and analysis as well links to other agencies with useful statistics
    • The Daily, StatCan's official release bulletin.  Search within The Daily to find topic subjects, e.g. covid youth
      Helpful hint: Newspaper articles are terrible at citing sources, so if a StatsCan report is mentioned in one, chances are very good that looking at The Daily for the same week will get a link to it. 

    "simple-to-use statistics portal that integrates statistics from thousands of sources, on topics related to business, media, public policy, health and others".  Covers Canadian, US and international resources, including Statistics Canada, but having so much more.

    For more resources see the Statistics and Microdata section of the Public Policy page

    Reports and backgrounders

    Canada Commons
    Canadian public policy documents from government and nonprofit organizations as well as think tanks

    Government of Canada including Departments and AgenciesOpen Government and Government of Canada Publications


    Policy Memo

    See the section Policy Writing section of the Public Policy page for how to write a policy memo


    Resources for other assignments


    Giving effective presentations
    Research Commons

    Resources to help you improve your presentation skills
    also Research Commons

    Voice and Presentation Skills
    SFU's Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE) has free workshops for SFU faculty, staff, and graduate students

    Anti-Racism and Anti-Colonialism

    Decolonizing our minds
    Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre at SFU Library. Resources on reconciliation and related topics
    Race, Class, and Gender
    GSWS course page covering search techniques and more