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Public Policy

A research guide for CSUDH students in Public Policy Administration.

Databases & Algorithmic Bias

An algorithm is a set of directions or a formula, often for a machine to execute. We have algorithms that determine credit scores, Google search rankings, Spotify discover playlists, and even how results are ordered in library databases. Algorithms can reflect the biases of their creators and the larger world they occupy perpetuating societal biases such as racism and sexism.

In library databases we usually encounter two types of biases: content and indexing. Content bias is what sources were selected to include in the database, these are often peer-reviewed scholarly sources, part of a scholarly communication system, where many studies document racism and sexism in the peer-review process. Indexing biases occur when subjects or keywords are assigned that provide moral, social, or political commentary on the information source.

For a more detailed analysis of algorithmic biases check out Matthew Reidsma's article "Algorithmic Bias in Library Discovery Systems" and Dr. Safiya Noble's book "Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism as introductions to this topic.

Recommended Databases for Public Policy

Best Databases for Political Science

The databases below are recommended for most political science articles; see the full database list for databases in all fields.

Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus

Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus

If you're following a permalink from your instructor in Blackboard, a library database link, or a full text link in OneSearch, you will be prompted to log in to the CSUDH Authentication Service using your CSUDH username and password. Or, sign in to My Account in OneSearch. 

Trouble logging in? Check that you are not mistyping your username or password, try clearing your browser cookies and cache, or reset your password at

If you have questions about resetting your password, please contact the IT Help Desk or call (310) 243-2500.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If a book or article isn’t available through one of the library’s subscriptions, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan is a resource sharing service with libraries across the country that provides research materials at no cost to you. If you're requesting an article or book chapter, you'll receive a copy as a PDF. 

First, check to see if it's available in OneSearch or another library database. Look for the Find It @ CSUDH Lib button. 

Find it @ CSUDH Lib button.

You can also borrow books from other CSU campuses and have them delivered to the CSUDH Library. Look for the Request through CSU+ option in OneSearch

For more information about borrowing books from the library, check out the Library's "Borrowing Materials" page.