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How to Search Nursing Literature

A guide on bibliographic research in nursing


The scales of justiceResearching policy can be daunting if you have never delved into it before. Don't be afraid to come to the library for help! 

On this page you will find a number of resources for researching health policy. When doing legal research always keep in mind the difference between primary and secondary sources. (see box below)

If you are looking for more information on health policy please visit the Health Law LibGuide.

The content on this page is courtesy of Debbie Percher. 

Primary and Secondary Sources in Legal Research

Legal research can include the use of both primary and secondary sources.

Primary sources are official pronouncements of governmental lawmakers.  Examples of primary sources include court decisions, statutes, and regulations that influence legal doctrine.

Secondary sources are works that discuss, explain, or analyze legal doctrine, but are not actual laws.  Examples of secondary sources include: treatises, hornbooks, restatements and practice manuals.


Legal Primary Sources
Legal Secondary Sources

Court decisions




Regulations that form the basis of legal doctrine



Practice manuals


Law reviews from academic journals


Massachusetts - Laws and Regulations

The websites listed below are provided by the State of Massachusetts and contain laws and regulations that are applicable within the Commonwealth.

Federal Government - Laws & Regulations

The websites listed below are provided by the United States Federal Government. The first two websites  include legislation and bills that are currently being considered by the House of Representative and the Senate.

The other websites that are linked allow you to find laws and regulations that were previously issued.

Case Law

Helpful Websites