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HDFS 3100: Family Policy (Rombo) Fall 2023


Hello and welcome! This guide was created to help students in HDFS 3100: Family Policy research NY State policies. This guide contains information about helpful databases, journals, NY government websites, tutorials, and other places to obtain sources about NY State policies.

Photo of the Albany, NY capital building by Wally Gobetz.


A photo of the Albany, NY capital building.











How to Start

Where to Start?

If you are still looking for an issue to analyze:

  • Use The New York Times (Use SUNY Oneonta email for free account here) or another newspaper to search for issues in news and for NY state legislation mentioned in news articles
  • Use google search to find issues and any relevant NY State bills
    • For example, search "gross highway act" and 'NY State"
  • Use a reference database to browse for a topic

If you want to begin by finding a NY State policy

  • Browse policies in at and choose a bill and an issue
  • If you are looking for a specific bill, it helps to know the sponsor's name

When searching for a non-profit on your issue:

  • use google search to look for non-profits on the issue (this may also be helpful for finding a relevant bill)
    • example search "climate change non-profit"


Database: A searchable list of records

Milne Library: Searches through a list of records kept in almost every database and the library catalog

Library Catalog: A searchable list of every physical item in Milne Library

Journal Search: A searchable list of academic journals

EBSCO, Gale, ProQuest: Companies that provide access to various databases, each with their own different set of organized information, for a fee.

A source: Anything that provides information. A source can be a person, place, event, document, or material. 

Primary source:  Are documents, materials, or objects that provide direct first-hand evidence or accounts of a topic.

Secondary source: Analyze, discuss, and comment upon primary sources. 

Call number: Is a unique identifier for a book. It is used to organize books by subject. The call number also helps us find books on a certain subject and aids retrieval.

Stacks: the bookshelves

Types of Periodicals

A periodical is any type of publication that is published in a series and periodically (hence the name). Periodicals include daily newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. A periodical is a good source for current information about specific topics or recent events.