Think tanks are public policy research analysis and engagement organizations that generate policy orientated research, analysis, and advice and international issues, thereby enabling policy makers and the public to make informed decisions about public policy.
Think tanks often provide valuable and impartial policy research and information; however, think tanks can be susceptible to biases and outside influences which raise questions about their independence and integrity. While not affiliated explicitly with a political party, think tanks may have a particular orientation or political leaning around policy issues.
Evaluating and Assessing Think Tanks
The following resources may be helpful in evaluating and assessing think tanks.
Writing about think tanks and using their research: a cautionary tip sheet: An article from Journalist's Resource. Provides helpful tips about the critical questions to ask when drawing upon think tank research.
Global Go Think Tank Index: The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) works with leading scholars and practitioners from think tanks and universities in a variety of collaborative efforts and programs, and produces the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index that ranks the world’s leading think tanks in a variety of categories. This is achieved with the help of a panel of over 1,900 peer institutions and experts from the print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments around the world.
Searching Think Tanks
Think Tank Search, maintained by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Think Tank Search is a Google Custom Search of more than 700 think tanks and research centers.
Think Tank Websites: You can also search the websites of relevant think tanks.
Roper Center for Public Opinion Research iPOLL: The Roper Center's iPoll is the most comprehensive, up-to-date source for US nationwide public opinion available today. A full-text retrieval system, the iPOLL online database is organized at the question-level. The system allows for users to sift through over 700,000 questions archived from national public opinion surveys since 1935. The database is updated daily.
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts: Provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy.
Political Science Databases Guide: Comprehensive guide to political science databases available through the Loyola University Libraries.