Collection Spotlight: Policy Commons
by Winn Wasson, Social Science Librarian
Syracuse University Libraries now has access to Policy Commons, a database that indexes content from over 20,000 think tanks, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, non-profit foundations and other policy-focused organizations outside of government, including organizations that are defunct. The organizations covered by Policy Commons span 160 countries and dependencies across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania, with content in 104 languages.
Policy Commons is an excellent resource for faculty, students and staff conducting research on or teaching or taking courses related to policy issues and the work of think tanks and non-profit, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on topics ranging from economic development to the environment to healthcare to human rights to governance, and so on. Although most of the content of some of the most well-known of these organizations is not currently searchable in Policy Commons (though these organizations are listed in the database, with links to their websites), the database will certainly include organizations with which even the most advanced expert is unfamiliar, including content from organizations that are defunct as well as ones currently operating.
The ability to simultaneously search content from over 20,000 organizations will also prove an asset to Syracuse University community members who wish to use Policy Commons for conducting research (including systematic reviews) or completing course assignments, and in addition to its homepage search box, Policy Commons also has advanced search capabilities that allow users to limit searches by organization type, publication type, country and language and that also include a box for searching by topic, which will offer autocompleted suggestions.