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Index to public policy since 1915

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PAIS Index was established in 1914. PAIS Index includes records from the print PAIS Bulletin 1977 and forward; it also includes print Foreign Language Index published 1972-1990, at which time it merged with the PAIS Bulletin.

The PAIS Index database contains continually updated records for over half a million journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, web content, and more. Newspapers and newsletters are not indexed. PAIS Index includes publications from over 120 countries throughout the world. In addition to English, some of the indexed materials are published in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and other languages. It is updated quarterly with over 17,000 current records added in total each year.

PAIS Index is a retrospective conversion of the PAIS Annual Cumulated Bulletin, volumes 1-62, published 1915-1976. PAIS Index contains over 1.23 million records and covers monographs, periodical articles, notes and announcements, and analytics. The original, historical subject headings have been retained. PAIS Index provides a unique perspective on the 20th century’s most important public and social policies, such as Prohibition, suffrage, pacifism, civil rights, McCarthyism, Vietnam War, and Watergate.

PAIS Index Coverage
PAIS Index was established in 1914 for the purpose of chronicling the world's public affairs, public and social policies, international relations, and world politics.  PAIS International with Archive was formed to prepare and disseminate information, primarily bibliographic in nature, for the use of scholars, researchers, librarians, legislators, government officials, the business and financial community, policy researchers, students, and others seeking to locate published information in the realm of public policy.

PAIS Index defines the "realm of public policy" as all subjects that bear on contemporary issues and the making and evaluating of public policy, irrespective of source or traditional disciplinary boundaries.  This includes the policy oriented literature of the academic social sciences such as economics, finance, law, education, the military, political science, public administration, international law and relations, the environment, demography, public health, science and technology, and reports and commentary on public affairs from the serious general press.

The PAIS Index database is concerned with current public policy issues and emphasizes factual and statistical information.  Print and electronic academic journals in the social sciences are indexed with particular attention to articles that bear on public policy, administration, and legislation.  Business topics are covered, with emphasis on economic factors, industry surveys, business-societal interactions and similar issues, rather than details of business operations.  In fields such as law, education, medicine, and transportation, publications dealing with matters of general public interest are listed; those of interest mainly to practitioners in the field are not.  In all appropriate subject fields, international comparisons and global views are included.  Highly technical writings, employing concepts or terminology accessible only to specialists, are normally not indexed, regardless of subject matter.  Historical works that are directly applicable to current problems may be included on occasion, but publications dealing mainly with events prior to World War II are normally omitted.

Level of difficulty
In all cases, matters of technical interest mainly to practitioners in the field are excluded. All subjects that bear on contemporary public issues and the making and evaluating of public policy, irrespective of source or traditional disciplinary boundaries are covered. PAIS Index selects materials suitable for colleges and universities, think tanks, research-oriented public libraries, clicks and mortar libraries, legislators and public officials.

Preference is given to factual over speculative or argumentative presentations. Efforts are made to represent the full range of positions on controversial subjects.

PAIS Index strives to include publication from and about all countries. PAIS Index, indexes publications of governments and nongovernmental organizations at the international, regional, national, state (provincial), and local levels. PAIS Index tries to balance US and international sources. PAIS Index does not index journals cover-to-cover but selects articles relevant to public policy.

Subject coverage
Major areas of coverage include:

  • Administration of justice
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Banking and finance
  • Business and service sector
  • Culture and religion
  • Economic conditions
  • Education
  • Energy resources and policy
  • Environment
  • Government
  • Health conditions
  • Human rights
  • International Relations
  • Labor conditions and policy
  • Law and ethics
  • Manufacturing and industry
  • Media and communications
  • Military and defense policy
  • Politics
  • Population and demographics
  • Science and technology
  • Social conditions
  • Trade
  • Transportation

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