Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

PPOL 5170 - Public Management and Leadership: Types of Information Sources

Different Types of Information Used for Public Policy & Administration Research

As developing scholars in public administration, become familiar with new types of  scholarly information

Specialist Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

yellow and blue cover image of book: Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance edited by Ali Farazmand.

Data and Statistics

image of divorce statistics from CDMNext 2020

"Raw" data  gives your material to make your own arguments, predictions, etc.

Allows you to make your own charts, etc.

MUST come from reputable sources

Example of Reference

China. National Bureau of Statistics. (2020).  CN: Population: No of Divorces: Guangdong, 1995-2018.  ID:4772901; SR Code: SR92530. [data file]. Retrieved from CDMNext Database, March 9, 2020.

Books & Handbooks

Image of the red cover of the book  Policy analysis : concepts and practice David L. Weimer and Aidan R. Vining.

Books  provide good compiled information - concentrated, topical, lots of info


Handbooks provide summaries & outline basic ideas, issues, methods, anthologies, - good place to start


Scholarly Journal Articles

  • Cover in-depth research in a specialized subject area
  • Written by academics, researchers or scholars. Qualifications or credentials of the authors usually appear near the names or in the footnote or end-note
  • Contents are peer-reviewed (revised according to comments from subject experts in the field before publication)
  • Structure of the article: Article title, authors and their qualifications and affiliations, abstract (article summary), research methodologies, conclusion and references
  • Arguments, claims and conclusions supported by data and evidence.

Some helpful videos (try one)


 Review Article    (in a scholarly journal)

A published "literature review".

The author(s) brings together the published articles and books on the topic and summarizes & analyses the current state of knowledge.

What can you get from it?

  • Names of major scholars working on the topic
  • Current state of knowledge (when it was published)
  • Identify research gaps
  • List sources for you to go for further reading


 Government and NGO (non-government organizations) publications

image of the blue cover of Transparency Internaional's report: Corruption-free climate finance: Protecting forests and people

Government documents present data, information, and analysis from government departments, with that perspective

 Policy Briefs / Policy Report

blue and white cover of OECD Policy paper with title: Innovation and Industrial Policies for Green Hydrogen

 A short document that presents findings and recommendations (often to policy makers), usually following a specific format to share evidence and recommendations.

image of title page of thesis: Hometown ties or spatial agglomeration of human capital : the selection of scientific elites in China by Liu Canhui

Liu, C. (2019). Hometown ties or spatial agglomeration of human capital : The selection of scientific elites in China..



Dissertation (Thesis)

© HKUST Library, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. All Rights Reserved.