Search Terms

Standardized sets of search terms (subject headings, descriptors, thesauri, taxonomies) provide a shortcut method for finding information beyond just keywords in text. Many databases have their own set of subject headings, but one of the most influential sets is that of the Library of Congress. (Introduction to the Library of Congress subject headings at

Here is the scope note for indexing to the term PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:

Besides PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, consider alternative or related terms.

Some of the narrower terms suggested by the Library of Congress:

    Administrative agencies
    Brokers in public contracts, etc
    Civil service
    Communication in public administration
    Crisis management in government
    Expenditures, Public
    Foreign relations administration
    Government accountability
    Government missions
    Government productivity
    Government property
    Governmental investigations
    Intelligence service
    Interagency coordination
    Intergovernmental cooperation
    Internet in public administration
    Mentoring in public administration
    Military government
    Office practice in government
    Personnel management
    Political planning
    Public records
    Security sector
    Sunset reviews of government programs
    Total quality management in government
    Transparency in government
    Volunteer workers in government


Sometimes you cannot find a subject heading that is appropriate, or you do not know what the subject heading should be for what you want.  Most online systems today allow searching for books and articles by keyword or phrase;  being able to search keywords inside subject headings or descriptors is a bonus.  Consider a subject keyword search as follows:   public administration and history   .   This subject keyword search allows some flexibility, retrieving books under    public administration united states history   as well as just those indexed to    public administration -- history   .  Here is a sampling of the wide range of titles you might find with    public administration and history   :

Farmbry, K. (2009). Administration and the other : Explorations of diversity and marginalization in the political administrative state. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Fry, B. R., & Raadschelders, J. C. N. (2014). Mastering public administration : From Max Weber to Dwight Waldo (Third edition ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press.

Gragnolati, M., Lindelöw, M., author, Couttolenc, B., author, & World Bank. (2013). Twenty years of health system reform in Brazil : An assessment of the Sistema Unico de Saúde. Washington, D.C: The World Bank.

Newbold, S. P. (2010). All but forgotten : Thomas Jefferson and the development of public administration. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Shafritz, J. M., & Hyde, A. C. (2012). Classics of public administration (7th ed.). Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.


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