Virtual Reference Desk - Social Sciences
Last update: June 11, 2014 ShareThis

 

Social Sciences

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General

Internet Crossroads in the Social Sciences -  http://www.disc.wisc.edu/newcrossroads/index.asp
A clearinghouse of over 600 social science links including online databases provided by government and nongovernmental agencies as well as international sources.
Research Resources for the Social Sciences -  http://www.socsciresearch.com/
Created by Craig McKie, author of the book Using the Web for Social Research (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1997), this site provides extensive links to Web sites of interest to students and professionals in the social sciences.

Criminal and Juvenile Justice

FindLaw's Circuit Court Database -  http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/courts/index.html
Browse or search court decisions from the U.S. Circuit Courts since 1995.
LexisOne -  http://www.lexisone.com/
Lexis is one of the premier legal databases.  This site allows you to search some of its content for free (i.e., cases from the last 5 years, and legal forms) and pay as you go searching for other popular parts of the database.

National Center for State Courts -  http://www.ncsc.org/
The site provides "judicial branch links for each state, focusing on the administrative office of the courts, the court of last resort, any intermediate appellate courts, and each trial court level."  It also includes links to federal courts, legislation sites, and state court structure charts.

U.S. Courts.gov -  http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks/index.cfm
Links to and information about the federal appeals and district courts.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions 1937-1975 -  http://supcourt.ntis.gov/
Search the full-text of 7,407 Supreme Court decisions from 1937-1975.


Juvenile Justice 
National Center for Juvenile Justice -  http://www.ncjj.org/
Provides state profiles, statistics, and full-text reports on juvenile justice issues.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges -  http://www.ncjfcj.org/
Publications, resolutions, news, and other resources related to the Council's efforts to improve the court system processes and raise awareness about children's issues.

National Gang Center -  http://www.iir.com/nygc/
Full text reports on issues related to gangs, gang related legislation, and other information about the Center's effort to reduce gang activity.

Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention -  http://www.ojjdp.gov/
News, programs, publications, and statistics related to juvenile delinquency and victimization.



Police Agencies 
Community Policing Topics -  http://cops.usdoj.gov/html/cp_topics/Community-Policing-Topics.asp
From the Center for Problem Oriented Policing, this site offers guides, reports, and statistics on several policing topics.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center -  http://www.fletc.gov/
Network of federally operated training centers for law enforcement personnel. Course catalog and program descriptions, news and event information.

International Association of Chiefs of Police -  http://www.theiacp.org/
The world's oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with over 16,000 members in 94 countries.


Prisons & the Death Penalty 
Bureau of Prisons -  http://www.bop.gov/
Find inmates, facilities, and lots of information on prison programs and policies.

Death Penalty Information Center -  http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/
Provides information about the application of the death penalty in the United States, including an execution database, legislation, state-by state information, and more.

Innocence Project -  http://www.innocenceproject.org/
A non-profit legal clinic that uses DNA testing to "exonerate the wrongfully convicted."  The site includes case profiles, causes of wrongful convictions, legislation, and other policy documents.

Sentencing Project -  http://www.sentencingproject.org/
A "non-profit organization which promotes reduced reliance on incarceration."  The web site includes issue briefs, reports, statistics, and links to other resources.

State Prison Systems -  http://crime.about.com/od/state/
Links to the State Department of Correction Web sites where you will find information on state prison systems.

U.S. Sentencing Commission -  http://www.ussc.gov/
Access the Federal sentencing guidelines, reports to Congress, guides, and sentencing statistics.

Statistics 
Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center -  http://www.acjic.alabama.gov/
News, statistical analysis center, and links to related databases.

Bureau of Justice Statistics -  http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/
Data sets, brief reports, and full-length analyses of crime and the criminal justice system.

Uniform Crime Reports -  http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#cius
The FBI data for Crime in the United States, Hate Crimes, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted plus full-text reports analyzing the data.  Also of interest, the FBI's Most Wanted Lists.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) -  https://www.ncjrs.gov/
One of the most extensive sources of information on criminal and juvenile justice in the world.

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics -  http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/
Brings together data from more than 100 sources about all aspects of criminal justice in the United States, which are displayed in over 600 tables and in sections ranging from public attitudes on crime to the nature of offenses.


Other Resources 
Crime Library -  http://www.crimelibrary.com
Court TV brings together news and feature stories on criminals, trials, forensics, and more. 

History

United States
Africans in America -  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/home.html
A teaching adjunct to a six-hour public television series covering the history of slavery in the U.S. from it's beginning to the end of the Civil War.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School -  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/default.asp
An impressive collection of historical documents "relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government."

A Chronology of U.S. Historical Documents -  http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/
Beginning with the Pre-Colonial period of U.S. history.

The African American Mosaic -  http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam001.html
An overview of materials in the Library of Congress about the African American experience.

African American Odyssey -  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/
Another virtual exhibition from the Library of Congress, this is a larger extension of the Library's digital exhibit and subsequent publication, The African American Mosaic.

American Memory -  http://lcweb2.loc.gov/amhome.html
Historical collections, National Digital Library.

The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925 -  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award99/ncuhtml/csbchome.html
A part of the Library of Congress' American Memory Collection, this is a compilation of 137 printed texts from the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy -  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/coredocs.html
A service of the Government Printing Office.

An Outline of American History (1990) -  http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/H/1990/index.htm
From the Colonial Period to Modern America.

Documenting the American South: the Southern Experience in 19th-Century America -  http://docsouth.unc.edu/
A University of North Carolina libraries and historical collections project digitizing southern history and literature of the 19th century.

Hyperwar: a Hypertext History of the Second World War -  http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/
Includes text published by the U.S. government and concentrates on the creator's interest in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater of Word War II.

Making of America -  http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moagrp/
A digital library of primary sources in U.S. social history, scanned from the libraries of the University of Michigan and Cornell University, making their rare holdings available.

Map Collections, 1544-1996 -  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gmdhome.html
From the Library of Congress' American Memory project.

National Archives and Records Administration -  http://www.archives.gov
Access the online catalog of items held by NARA and electronic copies of historic documents, statistics, and summaries in the Research Room and Digital Classroom sections of the page.

POTUS: Presidents of the United States -  http://www.ipl.org/div/potus/
Information on all 42 presidents, listed in chronological order.

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic -  http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/
A Library of Congress exhibition on the role of religion in America's beginnings.

Salem Witchcraft Hysteria -  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/salem/
An interactive National Geographic feature.

World War I: Trenches on the Web -  http://www.worldwar1.com/
Includes brief biographies of principle persons, timeline, documents archive, map room, and photo archive.


World 
Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources -  http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/africa/guide.html
A highly detailed site based on a handout from the Electronic Technology Group of the African Studies Association and operated off the Stanford University Library's server.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School -  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/default.asp
An impressive collection of historical documents "relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government."

The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization -  http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/
PBS site featuring a Flash-enhanced time-line menu leading to discussion of events in ancient Greek history.

INCORE Internet Country Guides -  http://www.incore.ulst.ac.uk/cds/countries/index.html
Provides scholarly information on the history of ethnic conflicts in selected countries.

The Roman Empire in the First Century -  http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/
Meet the Emperors of Rome, read the words of poets and philosophers, and learn about life in the 1st Century AD at this PBS site.

Talking History -  http://www.talkinghistory.org/
Audio files (requires Real Player) of historical events.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum -  http://www.ushmm.org/
Featuring archive and library holdings, a well-documented photographic archive, transcripts of programs and presentations held at the museum, and downloadable teaching materials.

Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga -  http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/
A multimedia exhibition of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, tracing the journeys of the Vikings around the turn of the first millennium.

Voice of the Shuttle History Page -  http://vos.ucsb.edu/browse.asp?id=2713
A list of Internet links on all areas and time periods.

The Wars for Viet Nam, 1945-1975 -  http://vietnam.vassar.edu/
A wealth of information, including primary documents, about the Viet Nam conflicts from 1945 through 1975, including analysis of Vietnamese geography, history, and culture.

World War I: Trenches on the Web -  http://www.worldwar1.com/
Includes brief biographies of principle persons, timeline, documents archive, map room, and photo archive.

Law

Case Law 
The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation -  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/browse.html
Full text of the Constitution, amendments, proposed amendments not ratified by the States, and case annotations.

Court Rules, Forms and Dockets -  http://www.llrx.com/courtrules/
Search the Law Library Resource's database for federal and state court rules, forms and dockets.  You can also browse by court type, type of resource, jurisdiction or state.

CourtWeb - http://courtweb.pamd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/
Access to information about select rulings, including the text of available rulings, by participating judges in several federal district courts.

Federal Court Locator http://www.uscourts.gov/court_locator.aspx
Oyez, U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia -  http://www.oyez.org/
Digital recordings of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments, biographies of the 100+ justices that have served on the Supreme Court, and news and info on pending cases.

PACER District Look-Up -  http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/lookup.html
Search for the federal district and appellate courts serving a particular county, or search for all counties in a district.

Supreme Court of the United States -  http://www.supremecourtus.gov/
The official Web site with historical information about the court, the Court's calendar, argument calendars, hearing lists, and the Court's schedule.


Statutory Law 
Congressional Record -  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CREC
The official record of proceedings and debates of the United States Congress.  You can search or browse the database.

Full Text State Statutes and Legislation http://www.whpgs.org/f.htm
Provides links to sources of full-text state laws and legislation, including statutes, constitutions, session laws, legislation and administrative regulations.

GPO Federal Digital System -  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
The official source for the Congressional Record, Federal Register, and United States Code. Search for pending legislation, recently enacted public laws, and more.

GovTrack -  http://www.govtrack.us/
Track federal legislation by bill, Congressmen, or subject.  There are also useful search aids to help you find relevant legislation or the Representative for your district.


Regulatory Law  
Code of Federal Regulations -  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/
The government's official site for federal regulations searchable by keyword or by section.

The CRE.com -  http://www.thecre.com/
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness provides Congress with analyses of agency regulations.  The site includes full-text reports, lists of "regulations which have the potential to impose unwarranted regulatory burdens," links, and more.

Federal Register -  https://www.federalregister.gov/
The government's official site for federal regulations. Coverage includes 1994 to present.

List of CFR Sections Affected -  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=LSA
Another GPO Access source.  It also explains how to use the document to update information found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

List of Federal Register Documents on Public Inspection 
http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/public_inspection/public_inspection_list.html Advanced notice of rules and other documents that will appear in the Federal Register (a daily service from the National Archives and Records Administration).

Regulations.gov -  http://www.regulations.gov/
A government portal, Regulations.gov facilitates finding, and commenting on, federal regulations. You can search for regulations by keyword or opt to list the newer regulations of a particular agency.


State & Local Law  
American Legal Publishing Online Library -  http://www.amlegal.com/library/
Access the city and town codes of ordinances of more than 25 states.

Full-text State Statutes and Legislation on the Internet http://www.whpgs.org/f.htm
Provides links to sources of full-text state laws and legislation, including statutes, constitutions, session laws, legislation and administrative regulations.

LexisOne -  http://www.lexisone.com/
Lexis is one of the premier legal databases.  This site allows you to search some of its content for free (i.e., cases from the last 5 years, and legal forms) and pay as you go searching for other popular parts of the database.

Library of Codes of Ordinances -  http://www.bpcnet.com/codes.htm
Access the city and town codes of ordinances of more than 33 states (from Lexis-Nexis).

National Center for State Courts - http://www.ncsc.org/ 
The site provides "judicial branch links for each state, focusing on the administrative office of the courts, the court of last resort, any intermediate appellate courts, and each trial court level."  It also includes links to federal courts, legislation sites, and state court structure charts.


International Law  
CODICES  http://www.codices.coe.int/NXT/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm
Database of constitutional case law around the world made available from the Venice Commission.

Databases on International Humanitarian Law -  http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/ihl-databases/index.jsp
The Treaty Database contains about 100 treaties on International Humanitarian Law, commentaries on the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols as well as an up-to-date list of signatories. The National Implementation Database provides access to documentation and commentaries concerning the implementation of international humanitarian law at national level.

European Judicial Network - http://www.ejn-crimjust.europa.eu/ejn/
Basic information about Member States, Community law, European law and various aspects of civil and commercial law.

Global Legal Information Network -  http://www.glin.gov/
A Library of Congress database of laws, regulations and other related documents contributed by the governments of member nations. It includes the full text of documents in the official language of the country along with summaries in English.

International Criminal Court -  http://www.icc-cpi.int/
The Web site provides information about the structure of the court and its rules and publishes the official records and documentation of the Assembly of States Parties.

World Legal Information Institute (LII) -  http://www.worldlii.org/
A global legal research facility comprised of several organizations, World LII offers numerous databases containing legal documents and information from several countries.

Court Dockets & Records 
U.S. Party/Case Index -  https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl?appurl=https://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov/search
PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) provides access to an index of court filings in federal district, bankruptcy and appellate courts.  Searching is free, but printing or viewing documents is fee-based.

Court Rules, Forms and Dockets -  http://www.llrx.com/courtrules/
"This site includes links to over 1,400 sources for state and federal court rules, forms and dockets. You can browse to find the resource you need, or search by keyword."


Criminal Records  
Federal Bureau of Prisoners Inmate Locator -  http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/
A database of information about federal inmates currently incarcerated or released since 1982.

VINELink -  http://www.vinelink.com/index.jsp
Search by SSN or name for information about the custody status of offenders in many states.  Victims may opt to register their names for notification when the individual's status changes.

Legal Research Sources  
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School -  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/default.asp
An impressive collection of historical documents "relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government."

Federal Legislative History Research http://www.loc.gov/law/help/leghist.php
The Law Librarians' Society's guide to researching, compiling and sifting through the legislative documents for legislative intent. It links to relevant Web sites and provides an extensive bibliography of law journal articles and other Web sites dealing with federal legislative history research.

FindLaw -  http://www.findlaw.com/
Find a lawyer and search for legal guides on a variety of topics.
Guide to Law Online -  http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/index.html
Prepared by the U.S. Law Library of Congress, this site is an annotated hypertext guide to sources of information worldwide on government and law.
TheLaw.com -  http://www.thelaw.com/
Hundreds of articles, forms, and legal resources.

LawCrawler
 -  http://www.lawcrawler.com/
Legal Web Searches.

Psychology

Basic Psychology 
American Psychological Association -  http://www.apa.org/
The official homepage of the American Psychological Association.

CDC National Center for Health Statistics: Mental Health Statistics -  http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/data-stats.htm
Brief statistical data is provided on this page along with links to the full data source.

Classics in the History of Psychology -  http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/
Full texts of historically significant public domain documents from the scholarly literature of psychology and allied disciplines. There are now over 25 books and about 200 articles and chapters on-line.

Community Psychology Network -  http://www.cmmtypsych.net/
Provides reputable, current information on a the growing fields of community/urban affairs and counseling.

Current Topics in Psychology -  http://www.fenichel.com/Current.shtml
A site created by a Dr. Michael Fenichel, a clinical psychologist practicing in New York City.

Encyclopedia of Psychology -  http://www.psychology.org/
This site provides access to career information, organizations, theories, history of psychology, publications and other resources.  Sites are reviewed by professors of Psychology at Jacksonville State University.

Internet Mental Health -  http://www.mentalhealth.com/
A very well-organized site on mental disorders, diagnosis, medications, research, and featuring many links to related web sites.

Mental Help Net -  http://mentalhelp.net/
An award-winning guide to mental health, psychology, and psychiatry online.

National Institute of Mental Health -  http://www.nimh.nih.gov
The official site of the NIMH, a governmental agency that conducts and supports research nationwide on mental illness and mental health.

Psychological Tutorials and Demonstrations -  http://psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/tutor.html
Links to hypertext tutorials in psychology.

Psych Web -  http://www.psywww.com/
A good site with excellent links to a variety of psychology resources, including books, journals, tests, study guides, and scholarly Internet sources.


Tests & Testing 
APA Science Directorate: Testing and Assessment -  http://www.apa.org/science/testing.html
Provides information on psychological testing and assessment, acquiring psychological tests, and ordering the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing guide.

Personality Modeling -  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
A 72-question test to determine your Myers-Briggs/Jung personality type.  Results include summaries of the personality type from two sources.

Psychological  -  http://www.psychologicaltesting.com/
Describes commonly used psychological tests, including their development and typical applications. Mental health job postings and discussion of issues and news related to professional psychology are also available.


Writing
APA Style Resources -  http://www.psywww.com/resource/apacrib.htm
A general listing of APA style guides from psywww.com.

Psychology with Style -  http://www.uwsp.edu/psych/apa4b.htm
A hypertext guide to writing research reports for students and instructors of experimental and research methods courses.

Public Policy

Issues 
Almanac of Policy Issues -  http://www.policyalmanac.org
"Background information, archived documents, and links on major U.S. public policy issues."

Congressional Research Service Publications http://opencrs.com/
Links to sources for those elusive CRS publications - some free, others require a fee.

FactCheck.org - http://www.factcheck.org/
Researched and documented articles checking the claims made in political ads, debates, interviews, speeches, and press releases by "major U.S. political players."  This is a nonpartisan site and becomes more active during election years.

Political Information.com: Issues -  http://www.politicalinformation.com/links/Issues/
Links to sources for orgnaizations and Web sites that organized by issue.

Stateline.Org -  http://www.stateline.org
Provides breaking state news arranged by category.


Legislation & Laws  
Full-text State Statutes and Legislation on the Internet -  http://www.whpgs.org/f.htm
Provides links to sources of full-text state laws and legislation, including statutes, constitutions, session laws, legislation and administrative regulations.

GovTrack -  http://www.govtrack.us/
Track federal legislation by bill, Congressmen, or subject.  There are also useful search aids help you find relevant legislation or the Representative for your district.

United States Legislative Information -  http://beta.congress.gov
Database of pending and passed legislation, full-text Congressional Record, links to Committee pages, and more.


Policy Organizations  
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research -  http://www.aei.org/
"AEI research covers economics and trade; social welfare; government tax, spending, regulatory, and legal policies; U.S. politics; international affairs; and U.S. defense and foreign policies. The Institute publishes dozens of books and hundreds of articles and reports each year, and an influential policy magazine, The American Enterprise."  The site offers full-text reports and books.

Brookings Institution - http://www.brookings.edu/
An "an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to research, analysis, and public education with an emphasis on economics, foreign policy, governance, and metropolitan policy."  The site offers full-text reports and information on the programs and scholars at the institution.

Cato Institute -  http://www.cato.org/
A think-tank founded on libertarian principles.  They research and publish papers on a "complete spectrum of public policy issues."  You will find full-text reports, news updates, and event information on this site.

Center for Responsive Politics -  http://www.crp.org/
"A non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy."

Heritage Foundation -  http://www.heritage.org/
"Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

Hoover Institution -  http://www.hoover.org/
"A public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs."  In addition to full-text reports, the site has information on the Institution's library of "firsthand accounts of historical events and political transformations."

National Center for Policy Analysis - http://www.ncpa.org/
"A nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental regulation."

National Conference of State Legislatures -  http://www.ncsl.org/
"A bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues."  The site provides full-text research, legislative tracking, campaign data, and more.

NIRA's Directory of Think Tanks  http://www.nira.or.jp/past/ice/nwdtt/
Links to the Web sites of leading think tanks where you will find full-text reports and statistics.  Arranged geographically.

Center for Effective Government -  http://www.foreffectivegov.org/
A nonprofit research, educational, and advocacy organization that focuses on budget issues, regulatory policy, nonprofit advocacy, access to government information, and activities at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Political Science Resources: Think Tanks -  http://guides.lib.umich.edu/content.php?pid=26817&sid=193938
Another resource for finding think tank Web sites.  Includes lists of conservative and liberal think tanks.

Public Agenda Online -  http://www.publicagenda.org/
A nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization devoted to public opinion and public policy. Issue guides include news, background data and sources for more information with an analysis of public opinion drawn from major polls.

Rand Corporation -  http://www.rand.org/
A nonprofit institute that performs research on behalf of public and private sponsors as well as funding some research on its own.  Research areas cover a range of domestic and international policy issues.

U.S. Public Interest Research Group -  http://www.uspirg.org/
An advocacy group focusing on consumer, environmental, education and democracy issues.  Issue areas include reports, fact sheets, links, and ways you can become involved.

Urban Institute -  http://www.urban.org/
"A nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization."  You will find complete reports, issue areas, and policy centers on this site.

Sociology

American Sociological Association -  http://www.asanet.org/
Founded in 1905, the ASA is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good.
The Socioweb -  http://www.socioweb.com/~markbl/socioweb/
A searchable guide to sociology resources on the Internet.