User Guides

A staple of the academic world is the classic guides to the literature, usually book-length publications that offer both the new and the experienced researcher an overview of all the material worth having in a particular subject area. Public administration is no exception. Search in academic library catalogs under the following terms to find book-length guides to the literature as well as bibliographies (lists of selected books, often accompanied by descriptions and annotations): PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Classic Print Guides

Check for these in a library near you.  Bear in mind that many sources have moved online and that online information sources change their content and especially their interfaces very quickly.

Caiden, G. E. (1983). American public administration: a bibliographical guide to the literature. New York: Garland Pub..

Cherry, V. R., & Holzer, M. (1992). Public administration research guide. New York: Garland Pub..

Cutchin, D. A. (1981). Guide to public administration. Itasca, Ill.: F.E. Peacock Publishers.

Gladden, E. N. (1972). A student's guide to public administration. London: Staples Press.

Holzer, M. (2007). Teaching resources guide for public affairs and administration. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.  (Also

McCurdy, H. E. (1986). Public administration: a bibliographic guide to the literature. New York: M. Dekker.

Public administration. (1996). Denton, Tex.: University of North Texas Libraries.

Simpson, A. E. (1976). Guide to library research in public administration. New York: Center for Productive Public Management, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.


Online Guides

These days there is an additional kind of user guide, the online guides built by librarians and scholars all around the world to help individuals use research material.  Many of the guides by librarians can be found through a commercial site, LibGuides (, that supplies specialized content management systems to libraries and colleges. Searches of the guides can be limited to academic libraries or special libraries if desired.

Of course not everyone uses LibGuides to build their websites! An alternative way to find an online library guide is to select a library of interest and then explore its website for subject guides about public administration. For content by scholars, identify their name, institution, and department, and then search the website for teaching materials or other kinds of guidance in using public administration resources. A wide array of information and expertise is freely shared on the Internet.

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