The PAIS database indexes material related to public affairs dating from 1972 to present. Material indexed includes government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, books, articles and much more.

Video Transcript:

The PAIS database indexes material related to public affairs dating from 1972 to present. Material indexed includes government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, books, articles and much more.  To demonstrate how to use this database, let’s do a sample search for information about cyber security.

On the Advanced Search, you can enter keywords or search terms that relate to the topic. In this example, I’ll do a search for “information technology security” or “cyber security” spelled both as one word or two words since I’m not able to predict which variation may have been used in different articles. To make my search more precise, I can limit it to only look for these terms in the abstract of the articles. Searching for these terms in the abstracts helps ensure I find relevant results.

After clicking on “search,” you can see that it has retrieved over 200 results. You can now further limit these results by source type, publication date, location, and more. For example, we can limit the results to show only those that are considered peer-reviewed. If we wanted to also limit by location, we can look at the breakdown and select the locations of interest to us. For example, I can see that only 3 articles specifically focus on the United States.

Remember, you may also need to modify your original search terms by using other related keywords and synonyms. If you have questions on how to search in this database, feel free to ask a librarian!