We've carefully selected the following databases and websites for their depth, currency, accuracy, and commitment to excellence. Use them to:
- select a topic
- gather the latest research on current events
- find statistics on an array of topics
- research public opinion on a controversial topic
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
One-stop source for information on social issues. Includes articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.
The CQ Researcher explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology. The CQ Researcher's hallmark is scrupulous objectivity and balance. Every 12,000-word report is written by an experienced journalist, and features comments from experts, lawmakers and citizens on all sides of every issue. Numerous charts, graphs and sidebar articles — plus a pro-con feature, a chronology, lengthy bibliographies and a list of contacts — round out each report. Updated daily.
Public Agenda Online
This phenomenal resource provides extensive reports on public opinion research for 21 broad categories. The unbiased research bridges the gap between government policy and what the public really thinks about issues ranging from education to foreign policy to immigration to religion and civility in American life.
To get started, click on the "Issues Guides" button.
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center website can be a very useful tool in helping you select topics and learn background information for you topic. The site allows you to search for your issue or browse by topic. The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by reporting news and analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues.
Thomas, Legislative Information on the Internet
The definitive and official site for federal legislation.
Search for proposed federal bills and public laws by keyword or number. Recently considered initiatives are highlighted on the top level page. You can also find how congressional members voted on bills. News releases, hearing schedules, transcripts, and oversight plans are included for both House and Senate Committees.
Oregon State Legislature
Search for existing Oregon laws or bills under consideration by the legislature. Check the press releases for ideas about current hot topics.
American Fact Finder
Published by the U.S. Census Bureau, this site helps you find current population, housing, economic, and geographic data in the United States. The website is comprehensive and easy to use.
Data topics and geographic area coverage available:
- Decennial Census of Housing and Population which would provide information on population, race, ancestry, income, disability, education, employment, language, marital status, occupation, poverty status, housing characteristics and more.
- Economic Census which covers topics such as industry, establishments, sales, receipts, revenues, shipments, expenses, products, payroll, employees and more .
- American Community Survey for areas such as population, race, ancestry, income, disability, education, employment, language, marital status, occupation, poverty, housing characteristics and more.
- Population Estimates Program which estimates total population for selected geographic areas; estimates by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Results from each of these data programs are provided in the form of data sets, tables, thematic maps, and reference maps.
Data for Local Communities
This website gathers statistical, spatial, and descriptive information about the cities, counties and other civil, economic and natural regions of Oregon. The LocalData database lets you retrieve web-based information by topic and geography, while Additional Resources provides links to geospatial data and other organizational websites.
When searching for data on a topic, the most effective approaches are 1) "Search LocalData by Keyword", and 2) "Browse LocalData by Topic".
Topics include: Agriculture, Business, Crime, Education, Employment, Environment, Ethnic Populations, Government, Health, History and Culture, Housing, Industry and Technology, Information Management, Land Use and Development, Law, Military, Public Safety, Recreation and Tourism, Social and Family Issues, Taxes, Transportation, Utilities, Energy and Communication, and Vital Records.Statistical Resources on the Web
The University of Michigan's Statistical Resources on the Web meticulously maintains the most current statistics. Twenty-five topic areas:
- Business and Industry
- Comprehensive Subjects
- Foreign Government Data Sources
- Foreign/International Economics
- Foreign Trade
- Government Finances
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
The Pew Center is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics, and public policy issues. Pew conducts regular national surveys that measure public attentiveness to major news stories, and trends in values and fundamental political and social attitudes.
Search for keywords in questionnaires or browse surveys by broad topic: business and economics, domestic and social policy, politics, global attitudes, and news media.
Polling Report labels itself as an independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion. This site works best for topics currently in the news. When you select a topic, you'll find a collection of polls from newspapers and news media across the country.