Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS)

In the course of your legal education, you may often require scholarly analysis of the kind that cannot be found in a law review article or legal treatise. In such cases, you may need to expand the scope of your research to include the social sciences.

 Public Affairs Information Service (1972 - date) is one of the online tools for social science research and may be particularly useful if your topic deals with international law. PAIS contains citations and abstracts to worldwide literature in the areas of public policy, social policy, and the social sciences. PAIS includes references to journals, books, government documents, statistical compilations, committee reports directories, serials, reports from public, private, and intergovernmental organizations, and most other forms of printed literature from all over the world.

PAIS is accessible from any UW-Madison or law school computer workstation, or remotely by UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff. 

For expanded search options, click on "Advanced" at the top of the initial search screen. This allows you to search across a large number of fields, including author, title, descriptors, keyword, journal name, abstract, citation and more.

Search terms can be joined by connectors ( eg., AND, OR, AND NOT), which allow you to broaden or narrow your search. Click on the “Help” button in the top right hand corner of the search screen for more operators and other search options.

As with most  indexes, PAIS provides you with a citation to an item, but not the full text. But clicking on the FIND IT button at the bottom of any search result, you can link to other electronic databases, if there are any,  that contain the full text of the particular article.  If the full text is not available online, you can link to MadCat to determine whether a UW Madison campus library owns it. If the publication is not available on campus, you can request a copy through interlibrary loan using Library Express.

Submitted by Sunil Rao, on November 28, 2008

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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